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Book Review
La-5/7 vs Fw 190
La-5/7 vs Fw 190, Eastern Front 1942-45
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by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]


Originally published on:
AeroScale

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Introduction
The air war over the Eastern Front from 1941 through 1945 saw victories and defeats on both the Soviet and German sides. During the beginning of the conflict in the east the Germans enjoyed early victories over their Soviet enemies partially due to the success of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190. However the Soviets were eventually able to finally met, match and counter their German enemies with their Lavochkin La-5 and the later Lavochkin La-7 fighter aircraft.

Osprey Publications Ltd has released La-5/7 vs Fw 190, Eastern Front 1942-45 as Number 39 in their Duel series. It is a paperback book with 80 pages. Included with the text are black and white and color photographs, color illustrations, information charts, maps and detailed captions. It has a 2011 copyright and the ISBN is 978-1-84908-473-4. As the title states, the book covers the Russian La-5/7 vs the German Fw 190 over the Eastern Front during 1942-45.

THE CONTENTS:

-Introduction
- Chronology
- Design and Development
- Technical Specifications
- The Strategic Situation
- The Combatants
- Combat
- Statistics and Analysis
- Aftermath
- Further reading
- Index


THE TEXT:
The text in the book is well written and contains many excellent details of the Soviet La-5/7 and the German Fw-190 use during World War II. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors as I read through the book. Dmitriy Khazanov and Aleksander Medved have gone to great lengths to research the Soviet La-5/7 and the German Fw-190 use during World War II and provide a very well written and accurate history of them. The text and the accompanying photographs are in a correct chronological order and are well written. The text covers aspects of both aircraft such as the design, development and technical specifications of each. Also covered is the use of the aircraft in combat, their statistics and the analysis after the fact of both aircraft. Anyone interested in the Soviet La-5/7 and the German Fw-190 will find the text very detailed and informative.

THE PHOTOGRAPHS:
There are a total of 57 black and white photographs and 2 color photographs. Most of the photographs are well done, however there are some that have an out of focus look to them and some appear to be too dark which is typical for photographs of that period of time. I do know that several military photographs are actually stills taken from video so that could be one reason. With that said the quality of the photographs is of no fault of the author and take away nothing from the book. One thing that I was appreciative of with the photographs is that a good majority of them are not the same old overused photographs that tend to turn up. It is always nice to see the lesser known photographs.

THE ILLUSTRATIONS:
There are 16 color illustrations by illustrators Jim Laurier, Gareth Hector and Andrey Yurgenson that are very well done, nicely detailed and cover:

- La-7
- Fw 190A-6
- La-5FN cannons
- Fw 190A-5 wing guns
- Fw 190A-5 cowling guns
- Typical engagement of Fw 190s and Soviet La-5s over the Eastern Front, 1942 – 1945.
- La-7 cockpit
- Typical La-5 formation 1943-1945
- Soviet fighter six aircraft formation
- Soviet “binding four” and “striking pair” formation
- Typical Fw-190 fighter formation 1942-43
- Fw 190A-6 cockpit
- Combat between Soviet La-5Fs and German Fw 190s on 28 August 1943.
- Tactical formation of La-7 regiments during the final months of the war.
- La-7 “binding four” and “striking four” formation.
- Engaging the enemy
There are also 2 black and white illustrations from the 1944 German publication “Tally-Ho! A shooting Primer for Fighter Pilots”.

- Cover illustration.
- Illustration of a female nude explaining the principles of “leading a target”.
THE COLOR MAPS:

There are 2 color maps included in this volume.

- Disposition of Soviet (VVS-KA) and Luftwaffe fighter units on the day of the battle of Kursk.
- Frontline 23 June 1944
THE INFORMATIONAL CHARTS:
There are 6 informational charts throughout the book that are very well done, nicely detailed and cover:

- La-5FN and Fw 190A-4 Comparison Specifications
- La-7 and Fw 190D-9 Comparison Specifications
- Leading Fw 190 La-5/7 killers
- Leading La-5/7 Fw 190 killers
- US/Metric conversion table
- German ranks and the Soviet equivalent

INDIVIDUAL PROFILES:

There are 2 individual profiles included that detail and cover Soviet and German Aces:

- Ivan Kozhedub (Soviet)
- Walter Nowotny (German)

THE CAPTIONS:

The captions are well written and are very detailed and explain the accompanying photographs well. I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar errors.
This book was provided to me by Osprey Publishing Ltd. Please be sure to mention that you saw the book reviewed here when you make your purchase.

CONCLUSION:
All in all I am very impressed with the book. It examines the Russian La-5/7 vs the German Fw 190 over the Eastern Front during 1942-45 very well. This publication will not only benefit the aircraft and military enthusiast but the military aircraft modeler as well. I would have no hesitation to add other Osprey titles to my personal library nor would I hesitate to recommend this book to others.


REFERENCES:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavochkin_La-5

http://wio.ru/tacftr/lag.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focke-Wulf_Fw_190

http://www.aviation-history.com/focke-wulf/fw190.html
SUMMARY
Highs: Well researched, written, and detailed text and captionsNicely detailed illustrations
Lows: The quality of some of the photographsMore color photographs would have been nice
Verdict: This is a very nice reference book that is well researched and written and contains many interesting photographs and well detailed captions. This will make a nice addition to anyone’s personal library and will also be a benefit to the aviation and milita
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: ISBN 978-1-84908-473-4
  Suggested Retail: $17.95 US/£12.99 UK/$19.9
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Sep 17, 2011
  NATIONALITY: Russia
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.62%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.20%

Our Thanks to Osprey Publishing!
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About Randy Harvey (HARV)
FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2018 text by Randy Harvey [ HARV ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.


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Comments

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, too. Consider the developmental irony--the Fw 190 entered the war as a radial engine king of the sky, while the LaGG entered as a badly-handling, poorly performing Russian equivalent of the Brewster Buffalo. The Fw became progressively heavier and had to saved by re-engining with an in-line, while the LaGG was improved with a radial, and became the La-5/7. Both the Fw 190D and the La-7 ended the war as top performers.
SEP 18, 2011 - 06:22 PM
The short-nose FW-190s were not "saved" by re-engining to an in-line engine... They remained, including the F, in full production until the end of the war... Contrary to general opinion, the D-9 was considered superior to the As and Fs ONLY in high altitude speed performance, and especially climb rate performance, which did matter considerably in using vertical tactics (for which the FW-190s were probably not that well-suited in high-speed handling, this maybe extending to the D-9 itself)... Vertical fighting itself was not necessarily highly useful in the lower altitude fighting of the late war period, and the high altitude bomber interceptions were not helped by the D-9's lower firepower... The D-9 had, uniquely, 5 mm armored steel skin on the nose, which did make it useful in ground attack, as it added protection to the engine from frontal fire... The D-9 was drastically inferior to the earliers As and Fs in every respect of handling, and could not out-turn Western Allied fighters in prolonged low-speed turns which the earlier short-nosed FW-190s could... This is a 1946 evaluation (second link from top of thread): LINK Quote: "1-The FW-190D-9, although well armored and equipped to carry heavy armament, appears to be much less desirable from a handling standpoint than other models of the FW-190 using the BMW 14 cylinder radial engine." Any advantage this airplane may have in performance over other models of the FW-190 is more than offset by its poor handling characteristics." Gaston
SEP 18, 2011 - 07:20 PM
The radial 190 remained a threat until VE day, yet were "saved" in that they lacked competitive high altitude performance in a war that was climbing increasingly higher; that combined with the increasing weight made the 190 more vulnerable and less formidable against fighters. Even on Freijagd sorties the hunters were becoming the hunted. It took the in-line Jumos to restore the power-to-weight ratio to make the Fw 190D, which in the estimate of many esteemed Allied pilots, was the best German piston engined fighter of the war. Even the great Eric "Winkle" Brown rated it as such, stating it was as good as the Spitfire XIV and P-51D. Bear in mind that as the Fw 190 became heavier, it was relegated to attacking bombers while obsolescent Bf 109s, due to their superior engine at higher altitude, were assigned as top cover to take on the escort fighters. The radial Focke-Wulfs remained dangerous, but only below 20,000 feet. That's why almost all Fw units were withdrawn from Defense of the Reich duties after D-Day, to fight Jabos at low and medium altitudes. Superior performance in the vertical plane was, and has remained, the holy grail of fighter performance. In the 1950s, even when yank-and-bank performance was being marginalized by designers, vertical energy maneuvering was still a primary performance criteria. Two cannon less than most 190As but one cannon more than the Bf 109G... And had the tactical situation been different, the Dora was able to be armed with the Mk 108 3cm cannon. No discounting that every fighter should retain the ability to out-turn the enemy, but to quote a Spitfire Group Captain when told that the Spit V could still outturn the Fw 190A-4, "Turning doesn't win battles!" So true, the Jumos powered 190s were not considered as good as the radial 190 in handling, yet in an arena where 85% of kills were made on the first pass, yanking and banking was not considered as important as the ability to race in, shoot, and keep going. Still, every pilot wanted the ability to outmaneuver any foe, whether to get into position to convert the shot, or to shake the bad guy off one's tail. That in mind, the air war was still going higher, and speed and altitude were becoming more important than flinging the fighter about the sky. An within that criteria, the BMW Focke-Wulf had lost its value and needed saving. The Luftwaffe really did not have any choice -- they really did not have another follow-on fighter ready by summer of '44 (ME 262 not withstanding). And with THAT in mind, that is why Bf 109s, Fw 190As and Fw190Fs (as well as Panzer IVs for the Panzerwaffe) stayed in production -- Germany could not afford to disrupt production -- better to have a continuing supply of second-best weapons today than better weapons (maybe) tomorrow.
SEP 19, 2011 - 08:45 PM
The Spifire could easily pull 6 Gs or more, while the FW-190A likely could hardly exceed 5 Gs or so in turns without going into a tail-down mushing or wing drop that, in the mushing case, might yield 7 "Gs" on the pilot, but on a 5 G, or at best close to 6 G, turn only. This mediocre high-G turn performance should not confuse us into thinking the FW-190A was out-turned by the Spitfire, at least not in the way "out-turning" is usually understood in common WWII speak, which is: Constant speed turning at around 3.5 Gs over several 360°s... In those circumstances, it was no contest, as Johnny Johnson himself describes: LINK If you do not believe the FW-190A out-turned, at low sustained speeds and lower Gs, the Spitfire, consider this quote from the very man you quoted who said, when told by test pilots that the Spitfire out-turned the FW-190A, "Turning does not win battles!" : His name was Alan Deere. Admittedly he did not challenge, in his answer, what the test pilots told him... But that was likely only because he (wrongly) trusted test pilot evaluations above what his own combat experience showed him : -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..." Another pilot's well-considered opinion show just how far behind the Spitfire was compared to the FW-190A, in sustained turns: It is a quote from Hurricane pilot John Weir (click on John Weir link): LINK "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." For whatever reason, the huge difference in "static" wingloading is in reality irrelevant here (something almost all WWII test establishments failed to establish correctly in their testing of various WWII types, except for the Germans who did evaluate correctly the early needle-tip prop P-47D vs the Me-109G because the difference was so obvious: KG 200: "The P-47D out-turns our Bf-109G": Source: On Special Missions: KG 200) As to the notion that turn fighting was "passe" and vertical boom and zoom fighting was the "Holy Grail", this depended very significantly on the types involved: Less than 10% of the combat seen in these 1300 combat reports excludes completely at least one full 360° circle turn: LINK LINK (The P-47 usually beats out the Me-109G in 2 to four 360° turns, while the P-51D goes on in two instances for 15 minutes: 45 consecutive 360° turns to the same side! The P-51 often "loses" the FW-190A, while the P-47D is often out-turned by the FW-190A by some margin. The Me-109G never succeeds once in doing that, unless briefly at high speeds and high Gs, often shedding a wing in doing so...). Number of diving attacks on a lower target not itself diving, followed by a zoom: 0, or very near to that, in 1300 combat reports... On that same site there is also a list of Spit Mk IX combat reports. Surprisingly, NONE of these involve combat of more than one 360° turn. Unlike the P-51 and P-47 endless turning battles, most Spitfire combat involves diving from above on a lower non-diving target and pulling up afterwards(!)... Or sneaking up on an unaware target... The Spitfire seemingly is hardly ever used in turning combat at low speeds... This parallels Russian opinion of the Spitfire: It is unsuitable for prolonged horizontal combat (but can make one very hard turn), and it is excellent at combat on the vertical plane... In "Le Fana de l'Aviation" #496 p. 40: " Les premiers jours furent marqués par des échecs dus à une tactique de combat périmée dans le plan horizontal, alors que le Spitfire était particulièrement adapté au combat dans le plan vertical." Translation: "The Spitfire failed in horizontal fighting, but was particularly adapted to vertical fighting" In that same article, the Soviets even tried to remove the outer guns to improve the Spitfire's turn performance, to no avail... [Two things worth noting in all these combat reports: The unreliability of the P-51 guns in all versions including the D, but truly epidemic on the earlier Bs, and the power of the Spitfire 20 mm guns, which often blew up the FW-190A instantly...] This does seem to indicate that turn fighting was not at all obsolete, even in late 1944, but using it was heavily determined by the perceived abilities of the aircraft... In the case of the P-47, turn fighting seemed a veritable obsession of its pilots, and rightly so against the Me-109G, all the way down to on the deck climbing spirals at 140 MPH(!)... But not very effective against the FW-190A in horizontal turns... The P-51's mediocre turn rate, on the other hand, benefits a lot from reducing the throttle and coarsening the prop pitch at low speeds: LINK The predominant boom and zoom tactics of the Spitfire did surprise me as to how stereotyped tactical choices were depending on aircraft type... Gaston
SEP 19, 2011 - 11:30 PM
..'relegated' to attacking bombers ?... surely that was the prime task of the German fighter units defending the Reich. The Fw 190 A in its later variants 'became heavier' largely because it was specifically equipped for combating bombers at high altitude ! The 109s used for escorting the 'bomber destroyer' variants of the Fw 190 weren't obsolescent either, they were either the G-14 or G-10 or G-6 AS engined variants quite capable of out-climbing and out-turning P-51s... ..quite the opposite in fact. The Fw equipped units fighting Jabos were primarily those Western Front Geschwader that had always been on the Western Front ie JG 2 and JG 26. Virtually the only units on Defence of the Reich duties after D-Day were Fw 190 equipped Gruppen, specifically the Sturmgruppen, which as you rightly point out weren't designed to be flung about the skies but to slowly close en masse from astern on the bomber Pulks before blasting them with their 30mm cannon...the Sturmgruppen were moved to the Eastern Front in late January 1945 to take up ground-attack duties against Soviet troop and tank concentrations and flew their last missions against USAAF bombers over Berlin in March 1945...
SEP 24, 2011 - 02:17 PM
Hi Neil, The Bf 109G was obsolescent by 1943 in that it had peaked in development. It never had the development potential of the Spitfire or P-51, both of which got better without significantly sacrificing handling. Sure, more powerful engines were installed and the Kurfürst had a sizzling top speed but the 109's handling peaked with the Bf 109F. Messerschmitt was never able to correct the Bf 109G's awful rate of roll, terribly harmonized controls, and anemic range and firepower (yes, the MK 108 was a dangerous gun, but its low muzzle velocity made it ineffective against maneuvering fighters, and its small ammo load made landing those devastating rounds on a target iffy) and there really aren't any accounts of 109G's being able to out-turn a P-51 in 'standard' turning engagements; sure, Bud Anderson was initially out-turned by that 109 pilot but that was because he was much faster. Turn rate and turn radius are a factor of speed and G-load. Sure, a skilled 109 pilot could slow way down (about 140 mph IIRC, let those slats pop out, and hold a 4-G turn (until he ran out of gas or blood to the brain) and out-turn almost anything, but then he was drilling around a static patch of sky and vulnerable to successive passes from hit-and-run attacks. Just as Colonel Baseler of the 325th would use his war-weary P-40 to humble new hotshot P-51 pilots, we can all find accounts of specific actions where a 109 out-turned a P-51 or a Spitfire under particular conditions; yet by and large, from just above sea level to 25,000, any Bf 109 in a 1-on-1 against any Merlin P-51 really did not have any chance to survive, aside from climbing. From what I recall of Osprey's P-47 vs Bf 109K DUEL book, the 109K was a 'one-trick-pony' -- go fast, try to get a shot with it's Mk 108 and twin 15mm guns, and try to land before running out of gas. The point I made that initially started these treads is that the European air war was moving higher to counter heavy bomber raids over the Reich. Everything revolved around that. And BMW powered Fw 190s just were not competitive, and that is why the tired 109 had to be continually up-rated and lightened. Really, RLM saw the need to put a high altitude engine in the FW in mid-'42 or early '43. And as far as FW and ME performance down low, in the book JG26 War Diaries I noted an irreversible trend after D-Day that even those "Top Guns of the Luftwaffe" were rarely exchanging 1 for 1, let along returning from sorties with more kills than losses. [/quote] That is counter to Osprey's Fw 190 Defence of the Reich Aces, Aircraft of the Aces 92. However, Sturmgruppen were not a consideration in that book.
SEP 25, 2011 - 01:52 AM
I think Neil is more correct here: By late 1944 the proportion of Western Front single engine fighters was 70% FW-190A vs 30% Me-109G, and increasing... There is no question the FW-190A was undertaking all roles in the West by late 1944, gradually edging out the Me-109G, and heavily used in the air superiority role as demonstrated by the common removal of the outer wing guns on As, and the heavy use of F-8s which similarly tipped the scale lighter because of that... As for the Me-109G having no chance against the P-51 in single combat... The fact that they turned with each other for 15 minutes on end show they were well-matched in their mediocre turning ability... The P-51 could probably cut a much harder turn at high speed but was barely equal to the Me-109G at sustained turn speeds. With the P-51 using "purple passion" 150 Octane fuel and 72" of manifold pressure, it could actually slightly out-climb the standard Me-109G-6, this being especially true for the "B" and "C" models. You would think in June the introduction MW-50 injection on the G-14, with 1800 hp maximum for a full ten minutes over 1500 hp for three minutes previously on the G-6, would give the Me-109G a new edge, but the MW-50 injection could not be used in prolonged dive without risking blowing up the engine, and was subject to oil starvation on steep climbs, so it could only be used safely horizontally where its utility was limited... It also added 300 pounds to the weight... The Me-109G was less expensive to produce than the FW-190A, and its characteristics were actually better suited to combat Soviet fighters on the vertical, so I would say it was slightly obsolete on the Western Front, but fully up to date on the Eastern front, where it outnumbered the Fw-190A. Fighting a P-51D in a Me-109G was far from hopeless, except maybe at altitudes above 7-8 kms, but fighting the P-47D was probably noticeably harder at all altitudes except for climbing away... Gaston
SEP 26, 2011 - 09:13 PM
That sounds right but my point is that, according to Osprey's Fw 190 Defence of the Reich Aces, Aircraft of the Aces 92, after D-Day the non-Sturmgruppen Fw's were withdrawn from Defense of the Reich duties to fight over the invasion fronts. The several comparisons I have read (German and Allied) state that the P-51 could out-anything a 109G at or above 25,000, although around 15,000 and below they were fairly matched. In few cases did a P-51 have trouble out-turning the ME. As for turning with each other for 15 minutes on end: - what was the altitude? - What was the respective fuel load? -How proficient were the pilots? Capt;. Eric Brown wrote, IIRC, that at sea level up to 2,000 m the 109 and P-51 were the same, that it became a battle of the engine. I have browsed through some of the combat reports and other reports you have linked (No way I have time to cull through 1,300 reports) and really have not found any support that standard Fw190s/Bf109s turned as well as standard P-51s/Spitfires in standard encounters as stated in above posts. In fact, the link that goes to WW2 Aircraft Performance has many side comments highlighting how easily Mustangs out-turned everything they met. Very interesting. Thanks for this. Fully up to date on the Eastern front? The Yak 3 and La-5/7 could out-run, out-climb, and out-turn the 109 below 20,000. Recall that after the 14 July 1944 slaughter of Messerschmitts by Yak-3s, Kesselring ordered Jagdfliegers to avoid dogfights. In Messerschmitt Aces by Walter A. Musciano, he wrote, "Despite the enormous size to which the Red air force had grown by 1943, the Jagdwaffe held its own...with a fighter that had outlived its normal service life." My whole original point is that the main German effort by 1944 was trying to stop the bombers, for which the Fw 190 was unsuited because it 's engine lost performance above 20,000. They needed to re-engine it and tried with the Jumos. That made a faster 190, but as we find in all of the documentation, its handling suffered. (By the way, do you have any information on the 'standard' Fw 190A 5 with "exterior air intakes" as reviewed in WW2 aircraft performance? It showed the max. speed as 431 mph (!) although it stated only 250 kits were produced. Any idea what these were [I figure a two-speed two-stage supercharger] and why more were not fitted?) I am sticking to the stories of the operational fighter pilots, the majority who found the P-51 superior to the Bf 109 and Fw 190. While there were easy kills and hard fights, history bears that out.
SEP 27, 2011 - 08:31 PM
I agree with most of what you say about the Me-109G vs the P-51. The altitudes for the two 15 minutes continuous turning combats was on the deck, which prevented diving and thus offered a fair comparison. The show "dogfight" has one P-51 pilot narrate his own continuous turning combat with a Me-109G, always the same turn, for 30 minutes (about 90 turns!). I agree the P-51 often seems to out-turn the Me-109G easily in combat, but that is usually at a fairly high speed or at very high Gs, leading to a quick gain, or forcing the Me-109G to turn into a downward spiral, as diving helped the turn performance. In level sustained speed turns, they were likely close, but the P-51 still sometimes had the edge. Since the nose could not be pointed up steeply while turning, accepting a downward spiral meant the leading plane was below, in the spiral, and that was usually only delaying its inevitable defeat when the ground was reached: Exactly what happened in most cases... If given a choice, the turning will be kept as close to level as possible, by the lead aircraft, to at least keep a chance of pointing the nose at the enemy... If the tailing pilot goes above the sustained 3.5 G to try to gain lead, that will force the other pilot to spiral down to beat the turn without slowing down too much... Level turning may or may not resume after that, but the ground will force it eventually... When speed became sustained and on the deck, the P-51 often had trouble "closing the deal" on the Me-109G... Unless reducing its throttle and coarsening the prop pitch, a very peculiar low-speed "trick" I have pointed to in the Hanseman combat report (but several other similar reports point to this "trick" being taught unofficially at unit level). LINK Note coarse prop pitch at low speed is the exact opposite use to the intended design use of the feature... (Practice beats theory in this case) I have a (complex) theory for why the nose length leverage of the prop makes it beneficial to reduce the throttle from low speed: FW-190A, P-51, Me-109G pilots all report using reduced throttle continuously to make slower but tighter turns that are slower, but so much tighter that the rate of turn is actually faster (contrary to engineering assumption: See Hanseman report ). The reason why the P-51 and the Spitfire sometime seem to turn tighter than the FW-190A is that they use high G turns (above 4 Gs) or turn at high speeds, where FW-190A's handling is very poor. It is probably true they can beat the Me-109G in turns in almost all circumstances, but not the FW-190A.... IF the pilot is not afraid of its stall... (Of interest here is that P-51 pilots often describe FW-190A pilot as being "afraid to reef it in", suggesting the aircraft could do better in turns than the pilot was willing to pull: Given the higher weight and small wings, it is easy to see why inexperienced pilots thought: If it can't do it at high speed, why should it be any better at low speeds?) One FW-190A Western ace described the FW-190A as far better turning than the Me-109G, and described his tactics as follows when engaging P-51s or any other Allied fighter, including the Spitfire: Reduce throttle, open flaps partially and use horizontal turning tactics exclusively, and at slow speeds, accepting repeated head-to-heads if the enemy did not slow down or turn. He described that the choice was offered on the FW-190A for three different types of aileron chords: He always chose the widest chord, and widened it further by using field-mounted "spacer" hinges which increased aileron bite at low speed: This was crucial for low-speed turn performance, as it allowed more "bite" for the aileron to catch the stall in low speed turning (at the cost of lesser high speed roll performance). Catching the stall was done by relaxing the pull-back on the stick slightly, and simultaneously using the ailerons to prevent the wing drop. He also mentionned the broader wood prop was a major advantage in low-speed turns, as it seemed to have more "bite" while near the stall. He described being on the deck in a FW-190A-8, at low speed, and reversing a tailing P-51D and shooting it down in a mere two 360°s, the P-51 almost stalling as it tried to out-turn him. This is such a large disparity of turn rate it illustrates well the advantage of low throttle at low speeds: The disparity could never be so large if the P-51D had ALSO reduced throttle at low speed as he did himself, as the P-51 benefitted a lot from doing that: Read the Hanseman report above... Karhila himself mentions the Me-109G's optimum sustained turn speed as a very low 160 MPH.... And he heavily stresses the use of continuous reduced throttle in sustained turns, while other pilots wrongly used full power he implies ... I am convinced there is something fundamental about this use of reduced throttle that shows the physics of powerful nose-pulled single engine fighters is not properly understood at all. All in-line engined fighters changed to radials benefitted enormously from the shorter nose (despite being heavier in both the Ki-100 and La-5 cases), while the FW-190D-9 was inferior in turns and handling to its predecessor... The Ki-100 was such a huge improvement over the Ki-61 that the Ki-100, in Japanese tests, could take on, alone, 3 Ki-84s and win, exchange pilots and then repeat the feat again... One on one, the Ki-84 was considered to have no chance at all against the slower Ki-100 if combat was starting from equal altitude... Even from below the Ki-100 could win... On "paper", the Ki-100 is barely any better than a regular Ki-61, and no better than a Ki-61-II. Clearly there is something not understood about these flight dynamics... There seems to be something about sorter noses and a more rearward weight distribution that makes a big difference. The Ki-100 was even 200 lbs heavier than the regular Ki-61... Gaston
SEP 28, 2011 - 01:03 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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