MW-50 Bf 109s Vs Fw 190 A

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Jenisch, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    Hello,

    Theoritically, the 109 seems to have advantage, specially at high altitudes. However, many pilots preffered the Fw 190. Light controls, confortable cockpit, excellent firepower among others things are pointed as reasons.

    During the war, assuming combat at low and medium altitude, the 190 A could compete with the 109? I always read criticism of the Luftwaffe in high altitude for Antons, but never in low and medium. In Osprey's Fw 190 Aces of the Eastern Front, despite Russian claims the 190 was inferior to the 109, there's not a simple complaint about inferior performance from the German pilots.
     
  2. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    That's true for both the Fw-190A and Me-109. Both aircraft performed well below 20,000 feet where most Russian front combat took place.

    Internal fuel capacity was probably the greatest Fw-190 advantage when fighting in Russia. Pilots such as Hartmann loved the Me-109 but they had to fly with one eye on the fuel gauge.
     
  3. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    Not only internal fuel capacity, but external as well. The 190 could carry two drop tanks, instead of one for the 109.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    External tanks are normally dropped at the start of aerial combat. Internal fuel is all you have to fight the battle and fly home. Hence the reason internal fuel is much more important then external fuel.
     
  5. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    The standard Fw 190 could carry one drop tank, just like the standard Bf 109. Only some special variants could carry two or even three drop tanks.
    The Fw 190 may have more internal fuel capacity but its engine also burned more fuel.
     
  6. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    A very important point many people tend to miss.


    My data base shows the Bf-109 with 106 gallons internal and the Fw-190A with a 140 gallons internal. Just comparing hp, this gives the Fw-190 only slightly better operational fuel quantity. The limited internal fuel on the Bf-109 (and spitfire) severely limited operational flexibility, limiting them to front line offense and point defense. In comparison, the P-51 had 180 gallons just in the wing tanks, not including the 85 gallon extended range fuselage tank, which allowed much deeper penetration into enemy airspace and/or more endurance above the battlefield.

    My data base also shows the Fw-190A faster than the Bf-109G at all altitudes up to 30k. At low altitudes the Fw-190 outclimbed the Bf-109 but above 10k the Bf-109 climb was much better.
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Internal fuel capacity.
    340 liters. Me-109G
    535 liters. Fw-190A. 57% more then Me-109.
    1,100 liters. Fw-187 (early model). 1,300 liters for proposed later model.

    The Fw-190 undoubtedly burned more fuel then a Me-109 but I don't think it burned 57% more.

    Even with two engines I suspect the Fw-187 could stay in the air a long time using only internal fuel. Such a missed opportunity.....:cry:
    fw187-c1.jpg
     
  8. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    From my time studying WWII fighters, I am left with the following impressions:

    1. The Fw 190 had wonderful ailerons and could do an aileron roll that would rip the wings off an Me 109 or Spitfire at 400 mph. The landing gear made for very good rough-field jandling. It has great aramament and a reliable engine, though it did not run as long on boost as many in here believe. It made for a stable gun platform and the radial offered good protection for the pilot from frontal shots. It had an average to slightly poor rate of turn. That is, the elevators could not make the Fw 190 turn with the other fighters. It was in its element at anywhere from 250 - 420 mph and was a very poor turner above 400 mph, though stillr etaining a good roll rate.

    2. The Me 109 (or Bf 109 if you prefer) was an excellent attack aircraft at low to medium speeds. It developd a very good rate of climb at low aispeeds, around 180 - 200 mph, It was a very good fighter at 180 . 280 mph. The armament was not great, but mostly were mounted on the fuselage, where gun synchronization is not a factor, and most Luftwaffwe pilots were of the opinion that one gun in the fuselage was worth two in the wings. The 109 had nice controls at 180 - 250 mph but tended to "heavy up" above 280 mph and, at 380 mph, the stick was almost frozen in place with only slight roll and pitch available. If you were fighting an me 109 at 400+ mph, it was traveling in very straight lines. There was not rudder trim, and the Me 109 rolled much better to oen side tahn the other as a result of the pilot having a tired right leg.

    Much has been made of the narrow landing gear, but the Me 109 designed to operate from grass fields. If operated there and if the pilot were trained by the L:uftwaffe, the ground handling was not a big issue. On pavement, though, it is treacherous. The Achilles heel for the Me 109 was short range and relatively poor visibility forward and right or left. One can see pretty well straight forward or straight out to either side, but the windscreen design for forward and left or right is awful. I have sat in a Messerschmitt 109 cockpit at least 150 times and I still can't see how they fought with that canopy design.

    That being said, the Me 109 was the mount for the threee top scoring Luftwaffe Aces, for Marseilles in North Africa, for the top Finnish pilot, and for top pilots from Romania and Croatia. How bad can it have been? In later models, the Me 109 was given a good high-altitude capability and was certainly better than the Fw 190 and high altitudes until the Fw 190D and Ta-152's came along (though the Ta-152 never did see much service). However, it still had the tendency to heavy-up on the controls at high speeds, making it fast but unmaneuverable when actually going fast.

    All in all, the two aircraft gave the Germans a great one-two punch in the fighter department, with many pilots voting for both types as the better of the two. From combat record, it is Me 109 hands down ... but that mainly has to do with time of service and employment by group and front.

    At various times, both the Me 109 and the Fw 190 wrested the advantage from the Spitfires, but the Spitfires were developed, as were the two German planes, so the advantage tended to rotate back and forth among them.

    Bottom line, the "better" of the two would depend on the mission, If you just wanted to knock down bombers, the heavier armament of the Fw 190 was probablouy the better bet. In fighter versus fighter combat, you can get opinions both ways from the best pilots who ever strapped into a fighter.

    Naturally, there are those wh think this combination was the best in the world, though they were beatten by the Allies. When I think of top fighters of WWII, I include both the Fw 190 and the Me 109, as wellas the Spitfire, the P-51 Mustang, the Yak-3, the La-5 / 7, the P-47, the F6F, the F4U, and the P-38. Picking the "best" will involve the mmission, the range, and the circumstances ... and you'll not get any two people to agree.
     
  9. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    Thinking well, the correct Anton for compare against the MW-50 109's would be the one with the 2,400hp engine that never went into production, isn't?
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    I think poor Luftwaffe logistical planning had a lot to do with it.

    Prior to 1941 there was plenty of fuel. New pilots received thorough training. It was common for pilots in operational units to fly several missions per day. Many historical accounts suggest they flew from dawn to dusk during periods of intense combat. Aircraft landed just long enough for more fuel and ammo. Even a small number of aircraft can produce an impressive number of combat sorties under those conditions.

    By 1942 Luftwaffe pilot training was short of fuel. Fewer replacement pilots and they were less well trained.

    By 1943 even priority missions such as the Kursk offensive had only two thirds of required fuel and German pilot training was in a nose dive for lack of fuel.

    Ironically the Luftwaffe had quite a few aircraft right to the end of the war. But for lack of fuel those aircraft became increasingly less effective. Germany would eventually lose no matter what but I think they would have been a much tougher nut to crack if Goering had built a few more Gelsenberg size hydrogenation plants during the late 1930s.
     
  11. jim

    jim Banned

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    The Fw 190A -8/9 (the ones to be compared with Mw 50 Bf109s) had many positive things as Mr GreqP wrote. However by 1944 was not any more great airsuperiority fighter.Too much weight and no additional power. Bf 109G14, G10, K4 totaly outperformed it at all heights. 109s had better power loading, better wing loading, less drug. In my opinion even Dora was inferior performance wise to K-4 and G-10.
    Tank himself admitted that fw always needed more power than messer to be competitive because of his desicion to be very solid, easy to maintain, and strong for bad airfields operation.On theory that sounds good but as germany ,due to the lack of raw materials ,could not field powerful enouph engines Fw soon was in trouble. The terrorist of 1942 was desperately fighting for survival in 44. Numbers are desapointing. Even using 2000ps for boosted bmw 801,powerloading is mediocre.Above 20000ft it fall further. Wing loading is even worse. Whats the benefit of haevy armament if you can not use it? Or high speed agility if you are in trouble reaching high speeds?
    In my opinion Fw190 airframe was far to heavy for its size. At 4400kgr normal take off weight A-8 was heavier than fighters with much biger wings.
    Bmw 801 was never totaly reliable,always a bad altitude performer, and druggy.Fw 190A9 on 2100 ps reached only 590kmh/h at 0m , La7 claimed 615kml/h on 1850 ps,
    On the other hand late 109s had better power loading even in comparison to f8f.
     
  12. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    Try again with 400 liters for the Bf 109 and 525l for the Fw 190. The Bf 109C/DB had 340l, from the Bf 109E they had a 400l main tank.
     
  13. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    That's why I said the Anton with the 2,400 engine would be the correct to compare. Anyone has estimatives of it's performance?
     
  14. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    seems pretty obvious which had the superior altitude performance and which had the better gun platform considering why several JG's not just Sturmstaffels had their Fw 190A-8's covered a 1000 ft higher by 109G-6/AS machines...........later G-14 AS.
     
  15. Gaston

    Gaston Banned

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    A small dose of Me-109 vs FW-190A reality to supplement the comparison?

    All those misconceptions are in line the current (abyssmal) state of the knowledge, with the notable exception of the more experienced combat pilots of the era whose practical opinion obviously don't count as much as engineering theory in our great "scientific" age...

    Fortunately, I have figured out fully the flight physics behind these anomalies, as they apply to prop fighters only: A simple flight test will settle the issue... I'll bet I am going to have to pay for it...

    Johnny Johnson obviously didn't think the Spitfire Mk V out-turned the FW-190A...:

    http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj284/gaston11_2008/jjohnsononfw1901.jpg

    Quote: "I asked the Spitfire for all she had in the turn, but the enemy pilot hung behind me like a leech-It could only be a question of time..."

    "Vertical Turn" here is vintage slang for "Vertical Bank Turn": If you want to blind yourself otherwise please do so...

    And, unfortunately for what one might assume of his closing comments about the Mk IX, sustained turns was one of the few areas the Mk IX offered no help in turns over the Mk V...: This is an RAE evaluation of the Mk IX vs the Mk V:

    "At 15,000 feet there was little to choose between the two aircrafts although the superior speed and climb of the Spitfire IX enabled it to break off its attack by climbing away and then attacking in a dive. This manoeuvre was assisted by the negative 'G' carburettor, as it was possible to change rapidly from climb to dive without the engine cutting. At 30,000 feet there is still little to choose between the two aircraft in manoeurvrability, but the superiority in speed and climb of the Spitfire IX becomes outstanding."

    Hundreds of combat accounts of the Spitfire Mk IX show an aircraft exclusively used in vertical combat to a remarkable extent (especially compared to the obsessive and successful horizontal turner that was... The P-47D!), and, unlike the P-47D, the Spitfire strenuously avoided any prolonged turn contests (but might have had a very tight initial radius)...

    For good reasons, the P-47D was a feared turn fighter, as the Germans found out in their tests: Quote: "The P-47D (needle prop) out-turns our Bf-109G" Source: "On Special Missions: KG 200"


    A few non-theoretical quotes from the now far away real world...:

    A quote from Hurricane pilot John Weir (click on John Weir link): Page Not Found (HTTP 404) - Veterans Affairs Canada

    "A Hurricane was built like a truck, it took a hell of a lot to knock it down. It was very manoeuvrable, much more manoeuvrable than a Spit, so you could, we could usually outturn a Messerschmitt. They'd, if they tried to turn with us they'd usually flip, go in, at least dive and they couldn't. A Spit was a higher wing loading..."

    "The Hurricane was more manoeuvrable than the Spit and, and the Spit was probably, we (Hurricane pilots) could turn one way tighter than the Germans could on a, on a, on a Messerschmitt, but the Focke Wulf could turn the same as we could and, they kept on catching up, you know."

    Quote from an Oseau demise witness (Jagdwaffe, "Defence of the Reich 1944-45" Eric Forsyth, p.202): "Many times I told Oseau the FW-190A was better than the Bf-109G........ Each turn became tighter and his Bf-109 (Me-109G-6AS) lost speed, more so than his (P-51D) adversaries."

    Osprey "Duel" #39 "La-5/7 vs FW-190", Eastern Front 1942-45:

    P.69 "Enemy (FW-190A/F) pilots never fight on the vertical plane.---The Messerschmitt posessed a greater speed and better maneuverability in a vertical fight"

    P.65 Vladimir Orekov: "An experienced Fw-190A pilot practically never fights in the vertical plane"

    Weirner Steiz: "The 190 was a much better aircraft than the 109: You could curve it"

    Reichlin assessment team report of Dec 10, 1941 (FW-190A-1 vs Me-109F): "In terms of maneuverability, it (FW-190A) completely outclassed the Me-109. The Focke-Wulf could out-turn and out-roll the Messerschmitt at any speed."

    Russian 1943 book:

    "Germans will position their fighters at different altitudes, especially when expecting to encounter our fighters. FW-190 will fly at 1,500-2,500 meters and Me-109G at 3,500-4,000 meters. They interact in the following manner:

    FW-190 will attempt to close with our fighters hoping to get behind them and attack suddenly. If that maneuver is unsuccessful they will even attack head-on relying on their superb firepower. This will also break up our battle formations to allow Me-109Gs to attack our fighters as well. Me-109G will usually perform boom-n-zoom attacks using superior airspeed after their dive.

    FW-190 will commit to the fight even if our battle formation is not broken, preferring left turning fights. There has been cases of such turning fights lasting quite a long time, with multiple planes from both sides involved in each engagement."

    -Squadron Leader Alan Deere, (Osprey Spit MkV aces 1941-45, Ch. 3, p. 2: "Never had I seen the Hun stay and fight it out as these Focke-Wulf pilots were doing... In Me-109s the Hun tactic had always followed the same pattern- a quick pass and away, sound tactics against Spitfires and their SUPERIOR TURNING CIRCLE. Not so these 190 pilots: They were full of confidence... We lost 8 to their one that day..."

    S/L J. B. Prendergast of 414 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 2 May 1945 (Mk XIV vs FW-190A):

    I observed two aircraft which presumably had just taken off the Wismar Airfield as they were at 800/1000 feet flying in a northerly direction and gaining height.-------The other E/A had crossed beneath me and was being attacked by my No. 2, F/O Fuller. I saw my No. 2’s burst hitting the water--------The E/A being attacked by my No. 2 did a steep orbit and my No. 2 being UNABLE TO OVERTAKE IT broke away."

    Gray Stenborg, 23 September 1944 (Spitfire Mk XII): "On looking behind I saw a FW-190 coming up unto me. I went into a terribly steep turn to the left, but the FW-190 seemed quite able to stay behind me. He was firing at 150 yards-I thought "this was it"-when all of a sudden I saw an explosion near the cockpit of the FW-190, upon which it turned on its back."

    Fw 190A-4 at the Soviet AF SRI

    "They also noted the obvious Focke-Wulf advantages: excellent all-round view without object distortion, good HORIZONTAL handling in all speed ranges,"

    A translated Russian article from "Red Fleet" describing Russian aerial tactics against the German FW-190, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 37, November 4, 1943.


    http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/t...bat-fw190.html

    Quote: -"The speed of the FW-190 is slightly higher than that of the Messerschmitt; it also has more powerful armament and is more maneuverable in horizontal flight."

    My favourite quote of all:

    -"the FW-190 will inevitably offer turning battle at a minimum speed."

    Love that "inevitably"

    -"Coming out of a dive, made from 1,500 meters (4,650 ft) and at an angle of 40 to 45 degrees, the FW-190 falls an extra 200 meters (620 ft)."

    The above means it is not great for boom and zooming (shudder)...

    -"Throughout the whole engagement with a FW-190, it is necessary to maintain the highest speed possible. The Lavochkin-5 will then have, when necessary, a good VERTICAL maneuver, and CONSEQUENTLY, the possibility of getting away from an enemy attack"

    -"In fighting the FW-190 our La-5 should force the Germans to fight by using the vertical maneuver."

    -"FW-190 pilots do not like to fight in vertical maneuvers."

    I could go on, but is it not funny how they ALL say the exact same thing?

    Gosh! The conventional wisdom could not actually be wrong now could it? After all, we are all much smarter today than they were back then: Scientific Proof: IQ tests averages have risen 3 points every decade since WWII...

    So these first hand conclusions are all, you know... Delusional... And that they all agree exactly is just, you know... Coincidence... Real sad...

    Gaston
     
  16. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    Gaston,

    When the Fw 190A was introduced, it gave the British a shock, and the Spitfire Mk V was developed into a later model that gave the Fw 190A a nasty shock just a bit later. They traded back and forth for a few mods. This is all well documented. Your Johnnie Johnson link is from a Photobucket album with "Gaston" in the link URL! Get serious. That isn't a source, it is a Gaston article, written by Gaston.

    We had a Spitife Mk V and a SPitfire Mk IX at the Planes of Fame for some time. The Mk IX was better at top speed and at altitude, while the Mk V could climb very slightly better. The turn was almost equal with the Mk V being slightly better by a hair at the same speed. Both could climb almost twice the rate of an Fw 190A model.

    Your quote from the Hurricane pilot is an Error 404 for me - page not found. The Soviet translation does offer some praise for the Fw 190 (which it deserved), but also a some criticism, which you conveniently neglect in your post. Your next link after that is an Error 404, file not found.

    Gaston, All pilots like the fighter they flew in combat ... because they flew it long enough to get to know it, it's strengths and weaknesses, and survived. So, they flew a Spitfire for years and an Fw 190 for one or two flights and prefer the Spitfire, naturally. Or flew the Fw 190 for years and then flew a captured Spitfire for one or two flights and prefer the Fw 190. Nothing surprising about that, is there?

    You seem to want to take a few quotes and make a sweeping judgement. That is not the scientific method and not the way aircraft are evaluated. We can easily find a few quotes the other direction and "prove" the opposite. I know one guy who says the world really is flat. Is his quote any proof of reality?

    The Fw 190A-3 had a wing loading at normal takeoff weight of 43.6 pounds per square foot (8580 pounds) and the Spitfire Mk V had a wing loaidng at normal takeoff weight of 28.0 pounds per square foot (6784 popunds normal takeoff). And you think the Fw 190A coudl out-turn the Spitfire? You really should talk with the people who flew them or go get a pilot's license and fly planes with similar wing loading. You are the only person I ever heard say that the Fw 190 could out-turn a Spitfire, and that includes real, live Fw 190 pilots giving talks at the museum alongside real, live Spitire pilots doing the same thing. That's like saying a Beechcraft Bonanza can out-turn a Cessna 172 (just about the same wing loading fraction). Ain't gonna' happen in the real world ... at least often. Sure, some people see their attacker and start a turn too late and get caught before they can change directions. Happened to both sides.

    Does this have anything to do with your "thrust column" invention from another forum?
     
  17. wuzak

    wuzak Well-Known Member

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    Is it not the case that after tactical trials of a captured Fw190 Spitfire pilots were encouraged to make encounters with Fw190s into turning fights and avoid diving and climbing (ie zoom climbs)?
     
  18. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

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    There are many 'aspects' to manouverabillity. Turning circle can be measured in radious or in degrees per second. The rapid roll rate and well harmonised controls meant the FW 190 had superior 'instantaneous' manouverabillity.

    It's also incorrect to characterise the BMW 801D2 engine as being poor at altitude, it wasn't. It functioned well to 20,000 to 25,000ft.
     
  19. Jenisch

    Jenisch Active Member

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    #19 Jenisch, Mar 20, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
    Hans Lerch, in his biography Luftwaffe test pilot, claims that Allied types such as the Merlin Mustang and the Tempest were only matched in general by the Bf-109 G-10 and K, and the Dora.
     
  20. Siegfried

    Siegfried Banned

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    #20 Siegfried, Mar 20, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
    At what time? Time and dates are the key. So are versions.

    There essentially wasn't a P-51B in service till December 1943. Up untill then the FW 190 was outstanding: it could easily outrun a Spitifre IX at sea level, could match the Griffon Spitifre XII in speed yet outclimb it and out run it at altutude.


    FW 190 A-5 Performance
    And remember these are early FW 190s compared with advanced or late allied fighters opperating at bleeding edge boost settings.

    My impression is that the Luftwaffe lagged around 6-9 months in engine development from early 1943 untill mid to late 1944 when it rapidly caught up. This can perhaps be attributed to fuel issues as much as anything else.
     
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