Fw 190A-3 versus spitfire vb
rae comparative report
Climb: The climb of the Fw 190 is superior to that of the Spitfire Vb at all heights.the best speeds for climbing are approximately the same, but the angle of the Fw 190 is considerably steeper. Under maximum continuous climbing conditions the climb of the Fw 190 is about 450ft/min better up to 25,000ft. With both aircraft flying at high cruising speed and then pulling up into a climb, the superior climb of the Fw 190 is even more marked. When both aircraft are pulled into a climb from a dive, the Fw 190 draws away very rapidly and the pilot of the Spitfire has no hope of catching it.
Dive: Comparative dives between the two aircraft have shown that the Fw 190 can leave the Spitfire with ease, particularly during the initial stages.
manoeuvrability: The manoeuvrability of the Fw 190 is better than that of the Spitfire Vb except in turning circles, when the Spitfire can quite easily out-turn it.the Fw 190 has better acceleration under all conditions of flight and this must obviously be useful during combat. When the Fw 190 was in a turn and was attacked by the Spitfire, the superior rate of roll enabled it to flick into a diving turn in the opposite direction.the pilot of the Spitfire found great difficulty in following this manoeuvre and even when prepared for it was seldom able to allow the correct deflection. A dive from this manoeuvre enabled the Fw 190 to draw away from the Spitfire which was then forced to break off the attack. Several flights were carried out to ascertain the best evasive manoeuvres to adopt if ‘bounced’. It was found that if the Spitfire was cruising at low speed and was ‘bounced’ by the Fw 190, it was easily caught even if the Fw 190 was sighted when well out of range, and the Spitfire was then forced to take avoiding action by using its superiority in turning circles. If on the other hand the Spitfire was flying at maximum continuous cruising and was ‘bounced’ under the same conditions, it has a reasonable chance of avoiding being caught by opening the throttle and going into a shallow dive, provided the Fw 190 was seen in time.this forced the Fw 190 into a stern chase and although it eventually caught the Spitfire, it took some time and as a result was drawn a considerable distance away from its base. This is a particularly useful method of evasion for the Spitfire if it is ‘bounced’ when returning from a sweep.this manoeuvre has been carried out during recent operations and has been successful on several occasions. If the Spitfire Vb is ‘bounced’ it is thought unwise to evade by diving steeply, as the Fw 190 will have little difficulty in catching up owing to its superiority in the dive. The above trials have shown that the Spitfire Vb must cruise at high speed when in an area where enemy fighters can be expected. It will, then, in addition to lessening the chances of being successfully ‘bounced’, have a better chance of catching the Fw 190, particularly if it has the advantage of surprise.