Spitfire IX v. FW 190A

Discussion in 'Polls' started by Medvedya, Dec 27, 2004.

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Do you agree with the report?

  1. Yes

    71.1%
  2. No

    28.9%
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  1. Medvedya

    Medvedya Active Member

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    In July 1942 a Spitfire IX was flown in a comparative trial against a Focke-Wulf 190A which had fallen into British hands when its pilot landed by mistake at Pembrey RAF base at in Wales. The trial showed that there was a remarkable similarity in performance. The following are extracts from the official report.

    SPITFIRE IX VERSUS FW 190A

    The FW190 was compared with a fully operational Spitfire IX for speed and manoeuvrability at heights up to 25,000 feet [7620 metres].

    At most heights the Spitfire IX is slightly superior in speed to the FW190 -
    the approximate differences in speed are as follows:

    At 2,000 ft [610 m] the FW 190 is 7-8 mph [11-13 km/hr] faster than the Spitfire
    At 5,000 ft [1524 m] the FW 190 and the Spitfire are approximately the same
    At 8,000 ft [2440 m] the Spitfire IX is 8 mph [13 km/hr] faster than the FW 190
    At 15,000 ft [4573 m] the Spitfire IX is 5 mph [8 km/hr] faster than the FW 190
    At 18,000 ft [5488 m] the FW 190 is 3 mph [5 km/hr] faster than the Spitfire IX
    At 21,000 ft [6400 m] the FW 190 and the Spitfire are approximately the same
    At 25,000 ft [7622 m] the Spitfire IX is 5-7 mph [8-11 km/hr] faster than the FW 190


    Climb: During comparative climbs at various heights up to 23,000 feet [7012 metres], with both aircraft flying under maximum continuous climbing conditions, little difference was found between the two aircraft although on the whole the Spitfire was slightly better.

    Above 22,000 feet [6707 m] the climb of the FW 190 is falling off rapidly, whereas the climb of the Spitfire IX is increasing.

    Dive: The FW 190 is faster than the Spitfire IX in a dive, particularly during the initial stage. This superiority is not as marked as with the Spitfire VB.

    Manoeuvrability: The FW 190 is more manoeuvrable than the Spitfire IX except in turning circles.
    The superior rate of roll of the FW 190 enabled it to avoid the Spitfire IX by turning over into a diving turn in the opposite direction.

    The Spitfire IX's worst heights for fighting the FW 190 were between 18,000 and 22,000 feet [5486-6707m] and also below 3,000 feet [914m].

    The initial acceleration of the FW 190 is better than that of the Spitfire IX under all conditions of flight, except in level flight at altitudes where the Spitfire has a speed advantage.

    The general impression of the pilots involved in the trials is that the Spitfire Mark IX compares well with the FW 190. Providing the Spitfire IX has the initiative, it undoubtedly stands a good chance of shooting down the FW 190.
     
  2. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    The good old Spitfire V with Merlin 61, Spit. IX. That is why people still say the Spitfire Mk. IX was the best dogfighter because the Griffon on the Spit. Mk. XIV did reduce some handling characteristics while giving it so much more power.

    You know, the Mk. VIII was definitive Merlin engined Spitfire.
     
  3. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

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    An other comparison of the Spitfire Mk. IX and the FW 190A.

    "The Spitfire was a little faster than the FW 190 at high and medium level. However, the FW 190 was faster at low level. But the difference was only 5 to 10 Km/h at any altitude. The Spitfire Mk. IX was also faster in climb. Over 22,000 feet, the advantage was even more important. In climb from from flight-level or after a dive, the FW 190 was better.

    In a dive, le FW 190 was faster and more manoeuvrable in any cases, except in curves, and excellent for spins. In a sharp turn dive, a spin often allowed a FW 190 to escape a Spitfire. If the Spitfire was flying fast, a FW 190 couldn't successfully attack it. The better acceleration of the FW 190 could make it easyer to attack a Spitfire flying at low speed."
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    The test is valid except:

    1) The FW190A-5 in the test was not in optimal running condition. In particular, spark plug fouling was a serious problem.

    2) MW50 on the FW190A-5 in the test was not operational.

    3) Tests were carried out to the Boscombe Downs standards, which tend to favor the Spitfire since it was developed with these tests in mind.

    In genral, I consider this a very even matchup. But, I think the FW-190A-6 (best of the series for dogfighting, and about the same time frame as the Spit IX) was probably a little superior. In particular, the Spit IX probably had the edge at combat speeds around 250 IAS, but the FW had the edge at combat speeds over 300 IAS. The FW190A-6 was a slightly better energy fighter than the Spitfire IX.

    All FW190A's had problems above 24,000 feet. The flight control computer, which manages fuel mixture, manifold pressure, and prop pitch controls, suffered a "divide by zero" condition when the ambient pressure fell too low, forcing the plane into a "safe mode" providing minimal power. This problem was apparently overcome for the Dora series, either through an improved computer or (more likely I think) by means of a bypass to allow pilot control of the mixture, manifold pressure, and prop pitch.

    =S=

    Lunatic
     
  5. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    I remember Douglas Badder in an interview saying that he passed a FW190 in an all out climb and the FW190 pilot was most disconcerted as he pushed the supercharger to the limit and left him for dead. so as he was a fella that did it for real I can only bow to his knowledge and experience regarding perfomance of the Spite.
     
  6. Schöpfel

    Schöpfel New Member

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    I think that while the test was flawed the results were not far off the mark from how the two adversaries stacked up in summer '42. I've tried to match the speed differential listed above against known early Spit IX and 190 A3 curves without much success. For 1943 the balance definately swung the Spitfire's way with the introduction of the Merlin 66. Witness - Alan Deere, Biggin Hill, Wing Commander Flying (March 1943):

    The Biggin Hill squadrons were using the Spitfire IXBs (Merlin 66), a mark of Spitfire markedly superior in performance to the FW 190 below 27,000 ft. Unlike the Spitfire IXA, with which all other Spitfire IX wings in the Group were equipped, the IXB's supercharger came in at a lower altitude and the aircraft attained its best performance at 21,000 ft, or at roughly the same altitude as the FW 190. At this height it was approximately 30 mph faster, was better in the climb and vastly more manoeuvrable. As an all-around fighter the Spitfire IXB was supreme, and undoubtedly the best mark of Spitfire produced, despite later and more powerful versions.

    I think things were closer to balance with the boost increases in the FW 190 A-8 around autumn 1944. By 1945 the Spit IX was obsolete and wasn't in the same class as the best 190s.

    p.s. RG_Lunatic: Faber's aircraft used in the comparitive trials was a FW 190 A-3.
     
  7. KraziKanuK

    KraziKanuK Banned

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    Not only that, the A-5 did not have MW50.
     
  8. Schöpfel

    Schöpfel New Member

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    Yes, that's my understanding also KraziKanuK ;)
     
  9. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Hmmm.. I thought it was the same A-5 they used in the P-47 comparative tests, and later vs. the F6F and F4U-1.

    =S=

    Lunatic
     
  10. KraziKanuK

    KraziKanuK Banned

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    This Fw190G-3, W.Nr.160057 was also referred to as CE.No.2900. This example was one of two captured at Gerbini in Sicily by the 85th FS of the 79th FG in September 1943. It was shipped to the US in January 1944 where repairs were made and it was flown to NAS Patuxent River in February. (text via War Prizes/Image via Focke-Wulf 190, The Birth of the Butcher Bird 1939-43)

    [​IMG]

    This could be the a/c the Americans ballasted because of the lack of outer wing guns to represent an A-5 for the tests.
     
  11. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    The plane that was tested was ballasted for all guns, but I don't believe this included outer wing cannon - 4 gun ballasts were listed. Supposedly it was an A-5, I believe it was landed by mistake on a British field.

    =S=

    Lunatic
     
  12. KraziKanuK

    KraziKanuK Banned

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    British 190s

    PN999 - Focke-Wulf Fw190A-5/U8 - W.Nr.2596 - "White 6" of I./SKG10 - despatched to unknown destination July 1946

    PM679 - Focke-Wulf Fw190A-4/U8 - W.Nr.5843 - "Red 9" of I./SKG10 - used for spares July 1944

    MP499 - Focke-Wulf Fw190A-3 - W.Nr.313 - single chevron of III./JG2 - SoC September 1943

    PE822 - Focke-Wulf Fw190A-4/U8 - W.Nr.7155 - H+ of II./SKG10 - crashed October 1944

    NF754 - Focke-Wulf Fw190A - W.Nr.unknown - unknown unit - fate unknown

    NF755 - Focke-Wulf Fw190A - W.Nr.unknown - unknown unit - fate unknown

    AM 27 - Focke-Wulf Fw189A-3 - W.Nr.0173 - coded 3X+AA of unknown unit - scrapped 1947

    AM 29 - Focke-Wulf Fw190F-8/U1 - w.Nr.584219 - "Black 38" of unknown unit - static display RAF Museum, Henson

    AM 36 - Focke-Wulf Fw190F-8/U1 - W.Nr.580058 - coded "55" of unknown unit - not delivered to UK

    AM 37 - Focke-Wulf Fw190S-1 - W.Nr.582044 - coded "54" of unknown unit - crashed November 1945

    AM 111 - Focke-Wulf Fw190F-8/R15 - W.Nr.unknown - uncoded - scrapped 1948?

    AM 230 - Focke-Wulf Fw190A-8D/NL - W.Nr.171747 - coded "13" on rudder on ferry flight to JG26 - fate not recorded



    The A-5 carried 4 cannons while the G only carried 2.
     
  13. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    My understanding is all FW190A's, from the A2 on, had positions for up to 4 x 20mm in the wings. On some these were installed, on some not. A-4's in particular had 2 x MG151/20's in the wing roots and 2 x MG-FFM's in the outboard wing positions. Very often the MG-FFM's were removed to make the plane more nimble.

    Certainly it was optional to remove the ouboard cannon on any FW190A that had them. As for the G? I'm not familar with this model (I'd have to look it up - no time right now), but if it was radial powered, how did it fit 3 cannon?

    =S=

    Lunatic
     
  14. KraziKanuK

    KraziKanuK Banned

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    typo, now fixed.

    The F and G only had the inboard cannons fitted. The G carried no cowl mgs as well.
     
  15. KraziKanuK

    KraziKanuK Banned

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    Here is the test. http://mywebpages.comcast.net/markw4/index1.html

    The Americans even got the designation wrong. The /U4 carried cameras and was a recon a/c. The designation /U8 was used by the FB version.

    W.Nr.160057 is from the block for the G-3.

    The other captured Fw190 at Gerbini had external air inlets for the supercharger.
     
  16. Jaws

    Jaws New Member

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    The test above against the Spit Mk IX was done with Faber's FW-190 A3 Not with the A5. The same aircraft was tested against MkV spit, P-38F, Mustang1 and i think a P-47C.

    The so called A5 was a G5 actually and that one was tested against the F-4U, Helcat and I think P-47D with water methanool injection.

    A4 already had more powerfull engine then the A3 they tested so when MkIX with better engine (merlin 66) came in service in numbers with RAF, they were up against A-4's and A5's with better power as well. So the situation did not changed that much.

    One more thing. FW-190 A5 did not have MW50. Not even the A8 had metanol injection. MW-50 was good with the 109's. They used a different boost for the 190's because the 190's use better fuel.
     
  17. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Another dead post, oh well there is nothing wrong with old threads being revived. :lol:

    Um on the fuel thing though, 190s and 109s were all using the same low grade fuel. The Germans did not have anything else late in the war.
     
  18. abhiginimav

    abhiginimav Member

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    needs to have more scientifical accuracy to complete trials.....seems from the report, the test wasnt accurate
     
  19. Hop

    Hop Member

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    It should have had a more powerful engine.

    Faber's A3 was running a derated engine, the limits were:

    1.35 ata, 2450 rpm for 3 minutes
    1.28 ata, 2350 rpm for 30 minutes

    However, the AFDU overboosted it in the tests they carried out, using:

    1.42 ata, 2700 rpm for 3 minutes
    1.35 ata, 2450 rpm for 30 minutes

    As such, before the engine failed, it's not possible to say the actual power output. It was almost certainly putting out a lot more power than when Faber flew it, and probably as much as a fully rated A4.

    Of course, later in the test the engine began to fail, and power was no doubt dropping off by that time.

    The Merlin 66 engined Spitfire IX was about 20 mph faster and had up to 1,000 ft/min better climb rate than the Merlin 61 engined Spitfire IX, below 20,000 ft. That's a very large difference.

    There wasn't that large an improvement in the 190 A series, if you look at the German test documents. Certainly no version of the 190 A series ever approached the climb rate of the Spitfire LF IX.
     
  20. Joseph Parker

    Joseph Parker New Member

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    The Fw190 could outmanouver any other fighter above 350 mi/h, it combined its wunderful handling characteristics, phonominal role rate and its ability to retain energy using them change direction quickly and easily and stay at the high speeds at wich it flew so beautifuly. It also had a great yahing abilities and its initial turn at high speeds was superior to the sitfire. Not only that, but it was 10 mi/h faster below 25,000 ft and generaly could out accelerate the spitfire at most levals. With thick armore, and an air cooled engine as well as elictrical systems which were taugher,more reliable, and lasted longer with less maintence then the short lived flamible hydrolic sysems of most other plains. The Wurger also controled its flight surfaces ith rods which were longer lived then wires which tended to strech over time, the tail plane could be set at diferent angles giving the aircraft many angles of atack.

    The Spitfire ix was a superior climer at almost all levels because it was so much lighter the the flying tank known as the 190 it also had a higher power/ square inch enigine and could out turn the Wurger.

    In all the Wurger is a better fighter but the spitfire had greater numbers, and by 1943 much better pilots on average. Dispite this their fw 190 kill ratio is just .04 meaning for 100 hundered Spifire ix shot down 104 fw 190a were shot down. The Spitfire just could mach the 190 in high speed fights were the 190 would be flying around with ease and the Spitfire pilot would be sweating trying to move his stick, Fw 190s were just so hard to atack and could pull so many more G's then the spitfire as ell as tear it apart in a head on fight. Both planes were wunderfull machines loved by their pilots.
     
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