Fw 190A-3 ver­sus mus­tang 1A (p-51a)

Aviation Classics - - AVIATION -

rae com­par­a­tive re­port

Climb: The climb of the Fw 190 is su­pe­rior to that of the Mus­tang 1A at all heights. The best climb­ing speed for the Mus­tang is ap­prox­i­mately 10mph slower than that for the Fw 190; the an­gle is not nearly so steep and the rate of climb is con­sid­er­ably in­fe­rior. When both air­craft are pulled up into a climb af­ter a fast dive, the in­fe­ri­or­ity in the ini­tial stage of the climb is not so marked, but if the climb is con­tin­ued the Fw 190 draws away rapidly.

Dive: Com­par­a­tive dives have shown that there is lit­tle to choose be­tween the two air­craft and if any­thing the Mus­tang is slightly faster in a pro­longed dive. ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity: The ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity of the Fw 190 is bet­ter than that of the Mus­tang ex­cept in turn­ing cir­cles where the Mus­tang is su­pe­rior. In the rolling plane at high speed the Mus­tang com­pares more favourably with the Fw 190 than does the Spit­fire. The ac­cel­er­a­tion of the Fw 190 un­der all con­di­tions of flight is slightly bet­ter than that of the Mus­tang and this be­comes more marked when both air­craft are cruis­ing at low speed. When the Fw 190 was at­tacked by the Mus­tang in a turn, the usual ma­noeu­vre of flick­ing into a div­ing turn in the op­po­site di­rec­tion was not so ef­fec­tive against the Mus­tang as against the Spit­fire, par­tic­u­larly if the air­craft were fly­ing at high speed. The fact that the en­gine of the Mus­tang does not cut dur­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion of neg­a­tive G proved a great as­set and gave the Mus­tang a rea­son­able chance of fol­low­ing the Fw 190 and shoot­ing it down. It must be ap­pre­ci­ated, how­ever, that much de­pends on which air­craft

has the ini­tia­tive and that ob­vi­ously the Fw 190 can es­cape if the Mus­tang is seen well out of range. The Fw 190 in this case will al­most cer­tainly utilise its su­pe­rior climb. Tri­als were car­ried out to as­cer­tain the best ma­noeu­vre to adopt when ‘bounced’. If the Mus­tang was cruis­ing at high speed and saw the Fw 190 about 2000 yards away, it usu­ally man­aged to avoid it by open­ing up to full throt­tle and div­ing away, and once speed had been built up it was al­most im­pos­si­ble for the Fw 190 to catch it. When the Mus­tang was ‘bounced’ by the Fw 190 when fly­ing slowly, it was un­able to get away by div­ing and was forced to evade by means of a quick turn as the Fw 190 came into fir­ing range. When the Fw 190 was ‘bounced’ by the Mus­tang, it could evade by us­ing its su­pe­ri­or­ity in the rolling plane and then pull up vi­o­lently from the re­sul­tant dive into a steep climb which left the Mus­tang be­hind. If the Mus­tang is not seen un­til it is fairly close, it will get the chance of a short burst be­fore it is out climbed. Against the Fw 190 the worst heights for the Mus­tang 1A were above 20,000ft and be­low 3000ft where the Fw 190 is slightly su­pe­rior in speed. The best height for the Mus­tang was found to be be­tween 5000ft and 15,000ft.

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