Late 1941 - late 42: Bf-109 vs. Fw-190

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,987
    Likes Received:
    432
    Trophy Points:
    83
    For many people, the advent of the Fw-190 was a tough thing for the RAF in ETO. OTOH, many of the Bf-109 'people' tend to point out that Bf-109F was at least as good, if not better, prior 1943. So what one was better as an all-around fighter plane, in said time frame?
     
  2. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    6,688
    Likes Received:
    252
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Occupation:
    plumbing "pro" at Lowes in Franklin N.C.
    Location:
    north carolina
    The 190 was still going through teething troubles, as evidenced by the large number of progressional variants, until it got up to the A-8, whereas the 109 largely had been ironed out, so I'd have to say, at that PARTICULAR time the 109F was better. As soon as the 190 A8 showed up, IMHO, Willy's 109 took a back seat.
     
  3. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,281
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    none
    Location:
    Lazio
    i'm not agree that 190 had teething troubles for all the period.
     
  4. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2006
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Most troubles were ironed-out with the appearance of the A-5
     
  5. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Messages:
    2,281
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    none
    Location:
    Lazio
    Most trouble were out with A-2
     
  6. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    7,359
    Likes Received:
    561
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Executive, Consulting
    Location:
    Scurry, Texas
    IMO - the Spit IX and the FW 190A-3 through A-5 were the best all around fighters in the war in 1941 through 1942. I know the A-5 was barely in production in late 1942 but that fits the thread.

    The Me 109F and G for 1941 and 1942 were excellent but I believe they fall short of both the above.
     
  7. vinnye

    vinnye Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Messages:
    604
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Maths teacher
    Location:
    Barnsley, UK
    I would have thought the FW190 was the better of the two - because it gave the RAF a nasty suprise when it arrived on the scene.
    However, I have recently seen a TV program that had Adolf Galland on it. He said that the LW used the 109's as top cover to engage Bomber escort fighters and the 190 to attack the bombers. This would seem to suggest that the 109 was the better fighter and the 190 the better bomber killer/
    Maybe shades of Spitfire and Hurricane in the BoB?
     
  8. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,510
    Likes Received:
    943
    Trophy Points:
    113
     
  9. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,321
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Chicagoland Area
    That's because the radial engines of the FW190 weren't designed to operate above 20k feet. The Americans had the materials and production to build turbo-superchargers into their radials, which the Germans didn't, so they had to rely on liquid cooled Daimler-Benz engines to operate at the heights of the Allied strategic bombers and fighters (they mostly operated above 20k feet, but there still was a lot of combat below that where the Fw190 came into play). Eventually the FW190D came into production to meet that demand (delayed by their liquid cooled engine factories being bombed in 1943), and the Ta152 high altitude fighter was nearly ready to fight the higher flying B29s in 1945.
     
  10. riacrato

    riacrato Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Messages:
    669
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    Project Manager in FADEC industrialization
    Germany also simply didn't have a good turbocharger or an airframe to fit one in until the compact 801 TJ.
     
  11. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,987
    Likes Received:
    432
    Trophy Points:
    83
    #11 tomo pauk, Dec 22, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
    I'm not sure why the turbochargers are mentioned here?

    Maybe laying out some pros cons with particular aircraft.
    Bf-109F-4: starting in 1942, it's engine was cleaerd to use the Notleistung, allowing the plane to be fastest plane anywehere in the world, maybe the best climber? Prior that, it was making some 390-395 mph, still a major feat in 1941. It's diving abilities were tested true. The shortcoming is the light armament combat range. The gondola cannons are a good thing, though negating some performance.

    Fw-109: the armament started with 4 LMG + 2 MG/FFM, while the A-2 and A-3 were to have 2 LMG + 2 MG-151/20, with ability to carry the 2 MG/FFM - the armament is a plus here. So is it's celebrated the roll rate. I'm not going into the undercarriage layout here :) I'm not sure about when the Fw-190 started to carry drop tank - someone please drop in.
    The main shortcoming is the engine, it took several engine airframe modifications for the BMW to achieve the reliability power. The BMW 801C and restricted 801D (prior mid Oct 1942) were not as good as the 801D from mid Oct 1942 on. The Fw-190 of 1942 were, however, lighter more streamlined than later ones.

    table 801C.JPG
    table 801D.JPG
     
  12. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Japan
    Neither the Spitfire IX or the 190A3 were in production in 1941. Spitfire IX entered service in July 1942, 190A3 about four or five months earlier.

    FW 190A-3 is a significant step up from the A-2, Better armament, more power and importantly, a more reliable (although not still fully satisfactory) engine in the 801-D.
     
  13. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    6,418
    Likes Received:
    64
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    IMO the best mass produced lightweight fighter aircraft in the world during this time frame. It also had the lowest production cost.
     
  14. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Teacher
    Location:
    Japan
    2890 kg/6370 lbs is a lightweight fighter?

    Odd definition. Particularly one for a full-sized fighter powered by a 33.9 litre engine.

    Datenblatt for 109F-4:

    Kurfürst - Mtt. AG. Datenblatt, Me 109 G - 1. Ausführung
     
  15. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3,809
    Likes Received:
    181
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    from what i remember a lot of the 109 pilots liked the F best of all...

    from stigler's interview..

    Q: Your favourite was the F model, yet the one that was produced the most was the G6…

    Stigler: Yeah…

    Q: …But most pilots preferred, like yourself, the F models and the earlier G’s, like the G-2. What was the reason behind that?

    Stigler: The G6 basically had a heavier motor and could fly higher…not more speed, but that’s it…it starts getting heavier every time they put something new in.
     
  16. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,510
    Likes Received:
    943
    Trophy Points:
    113
    But it wasn't the Bf 109 F that forced the RAF back across the channel.

    Of the Bf 109 F the RAF thought:

    "The aircraft has a superior initial climb and dive to that of the Spitfire, but it is considered that the Spitfire could easily out-turn the Me.109F, especially at high speed."

    On June 24th 1941 the minutes of a meeting of the Air Staff regarding the Merlin 61 have Verney resisting any change to the Spitfire V.

    "This [Spitfire V] is the mainstay of the Spitfire first line strength for it is proving superior to the Me 109 and we cannot run any risks with it."

    They considered the Spitfire V to be coping with the Bf 109 F

    This all changed a few months later.
    It was the introduction of the Fw 190 that caused real problems. When this appeared,in September 1941,it was soon obvious that the Spitfire V could not compete with it. It was the Fw 190 that led,on 13th November 1941, to the issuing,by the Air Staff,of a directive halting all but essential operations over Northern Europe. It was the Fw 190 not the Bf 109 F which precipitated the production of the most numerous stop gap of all,the Spitfire IX with the Merlin 61.

    You and some others may consider the Bf 109 F to have been the best fighter of the time but the men of the RAF,who were having to deal with it, clearly did not.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  17. cimmex

    cimmex Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Same at the other side, I think German 109 pilots never got worried about the Spitfire. In his book “the first and the last” Galland rated the 109 always higher than the contemporary Spitfire.
    cimmex
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Messages:
    7,510
    Likes Received:
    943
    Trophy Points:
    113
    #18 stona, Dec 24, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
    Yes,that's true,but the RAF only started to suffer losses which they considered unsustainable after the introduction of the Fw 190. This led to the November directive from the Air Staff. The introduction of the Bf 109 F led to no such action.
    It wasn't just a perception or opinion by the RAF that the Spitfire V was coping with the Bf 109 F. We are not talking about pilots' opinions but the decisions of the men who have the figures for claims (which they knew to be unreliable) and their own losses (which were correct) to work with.
    Fighter Command's losses increased to an unacceptable level with the introduction of the Fw 190,this had not happened with the introduction of the Bf 109 F.
    British operations across the Channel resumed in February 1942 (after the "Channel Dash") but were again curtailed in June after the RAF lost 335 aircraft,mostly Spitfire Vs. This time the Air Staff ordered Sholto Douglas to curtail all operations,those that were carried out,cross Channel, being limited to coastal targets.
    The decisive factor in these decisions was the Fw 190 not the Bf 109 F which had already been in service for over a year.

    I happen to think the Bf 109 F was the best of the Messerschmitt bunch but it did not have the impact of the Fw 190. The best fighter operating against us in 1942 was certainly the Fw 190. The evidence is in the figures for Fighter Command losses and in the actions of the men who had to fight against it.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  19. Tante Ju

    Tante Ju Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nope, the comment wasn't on the 109F, it was on the 109E. The RAF at the time when referring to the '109' always referred to the E model, when they referred to the F they did that by saying '109F'. Also in June 1941 the RAF had no real idea of the capabilities of the 109F, apart from here-say - they did not capture one until the automn, and even that was a fairly damaged example which probably for that reason failed to reach the nominal speeds (and later dived into the ground for no apparent reason, killing the poor chap piloting it) Kurfürst - A.F.D.U. Tactical Trials - Me.109F aircraft

    The Spitfire V could not compete with the 109F equipped JGs in France in 1941, but perhaps they did not realize it at the time. Read up the losses in 1941, they are as bad if not worse than in 1942 when these JGs largely converted to Fw 190s. They RAF may have perceived the 190 as bigger threat, but it seems it was something more physiological, than material fear. The 109 they have got used to, the 190 was something new, alien, unknown and thus more menacing.

    Its interesting that the Luftwaffe (and I am sure you'd agree they knew their own fighters better) considered the 109F overall better as of late 1941. They had tested the early 190A vs. the 109F in Rechlin, and produced a lenghty report. The overall conclusion was that the 109 is faster and especially climbs better. The main advantage of the 190 was seen in that it's airframe was much stronger, and could be returned to service even after damage to it in accidents, for example it did not bend on belly landings. Overall however the impression was that while people of Rechlin were impressed with the 190, the 109 still offered better performance.

    On particularly interesting thing they have noted was that the BMW engine has not yet reached sufficient reliability levels to be flown over extended spaces like the steppe, desert or over sea, the dangers of loosing pilots due to this being consdiered too great. Hence why 190s were initially only deployed over occupied France, but not in the MTO or Russia.
     
  20. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2008
    Messages:
    7,987
    Likes Received:
    432
    Trophy Points:
    83
    What Bf-109F is the minute talking about? The F1/F2 (~375 mph), restricted F4 (390-395 mph, better climb, better armament), or unrestricted F4 (410+ mph, even better climb)?

    The Spitfire V RAF has in production entering service is compared there with the F1/F2.
    Could we now state that 1) RAF was wrong to say that Spit V was proving superior to the (presumably) F1/F2 and 2) the RAF was wrong in the assumption that LW will not field something better in no time ?

    Thanks for the minutes.
    Seem to me that it was the reversal of the 'Spitfire snobbery' - the LW fighter pilots downed by Hurricanes were maintaining they were shoot down by Spitfires? Ie. it was easier to say that LW has something far better that's giving us problems - therefore we cannot blame our tactics/strategies/pilots/planes?

    Cheers

    Steve
     
Loading...

Share This Page