Fw 190A-3 ver­sus spit­fire vb

Aviation Classics - - AVIATION - (RAE) – Royal Air­craft Estab­lish­ment

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.

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