Fw 190a-3 versus Four cannon Hawker typhoon
rae comparative report
Owing to the unsatisfactory condition of the engine of the Fw 190 which caused the trials to be abandoned, only brief tests could be carried out against the Typhoon. Arrangements have been made with the RAE Farnborough to complete the trials as soon as the engine of the Fw 190 has been overhauled and passed fit for further flights. Trials were carried out against two operationally equipped Typhoons, one from a squadron and the other from the Hawker Aircraft Company. Both aircraft were flown by experienced pilots.the Fw 190 was compared with the Typhoon for speed and all-round manoeuvrability at 2000ft and in addition a partial climb was carried out between 12,000 and 17,000ft. At 2000ft there was little to choose between the two aircraft, the Typhoon being slightly faster.the runs were made from cruising speed at full throttle for a period of two minutes and this did not give the Typhoon time to build up to its maximum speed. From the knowledge of both aircraft it can be safely assumed that the Typhoon will be faster than the Fw 190 at all heights.
Climb: During the partial climb, the Typhoon was out-climbed by the Fw 190 quite easily.the best climbing speed of the Typhoon is considerably higher than of the Fw 190 and the angle not nearly so steep, the rate of climb at all heights being inferior.the difference in a comparative climb after a dive is unlikely to be so great.
Dive: It is thought that the Typhoon will out-dive the Fw 190, but the Fw 190 is likely to be slightly better in the initial stage.the controls of the Typhoon, although good in a dive, are not so light and responsive as those of the Fw 190.
manoeuvrability: The manoeuvrability of the Fw 190 and the Typhoon was compared during one flight at 2000ft, the Typhoon being flown by a very experienced test pilot from Hawkers, and it appeared that there was little to choose between the two aircraft in turning circles. The opinion of both pilots was that it was doubtful whether either aircraft would be able to hold its sights on sufficiently long for accurate sighting. It should be borne in mind, however, that the pilot of the Fw 190 was reluctant at the time to risk stalling the aircraft in the turn at such a low height, and it is therefore possible that the turn could have been made tighter.the Typhoon was unable to follow the Fw 190 from a turn in one direction into a diving turn in the opposite direction due to the Fw 190’s superiority in the rolling plane. The initial acceleration of the Typhoon, particularly from slow speed, is much slower although the difference in acceleration when flying at high speed is not so great. It is considered that the Fw 190 would have the greatest difficulty in ‘bouncing’ providing the Typhoon was flying at high speed.the Typhoon, however, should have a good chance of ‘bouncing’ the Fw 190 provided it has a slight height advantage.
the rae’s Conclusions
The Fw 190 is undoubtedly a formidable low and medium altitude fighter. Its designer has obviously given much thought to the pilot. The cockpit is extremely well laid out and the absence of large levers and unnecessary gadgets most noticeable. The pilot is given a comfortable seating position, and is well protected by armour. The simplicity of the aircraft as a whole is an excellent feature, and enables new pilots to be thoroughly conversant with all controls in a very brief period. The rough running of the engine is much disliked by all pilots and must be a great disadvantage, as lack of confidence in an engine makes flying over bad country or water most unpleasant. The armament is good and well positioned, and the ammunition capacity should be sufficient for any normal fighter operation. The sighting view is approximately half a ring better than that from the Spitfire. The allround search view is the best that has yet been seen from any aircraft flown by this unit. The flying characteristics are exceptional and a pilot new to the type feels at home within the first few minutes of flight. The controls are light and wellharmonised and all manoeuvres can be carried out without difficulty at all speeds. The fact that the Fw 190 does not require re-trimming under all conditions of flight is a particularly good point. The initial acceleration is very good and is particularly noticeable in the initial stages of a climb or dive. Perhaps one of the most outstanding qualities of this aircraft is the remarkable aileron control. It is possible to change from a turn in one direction to a turn in the opposite direction with incredible speed, and when viewed from another aircraft the change appears just as if a flick half-roll has been made. It is considered that night flying would be unpleasant, particularly for landing and takeoff, due to the exhaust glare and the fact that the canopy canopy cannot be opened in flight. The engine is easy to start but requires running up for a considerable time, even when warm, before the oil temperature reaches the safety level for take-off, and this coupled with the fact that the aircraft is not easy to taxi makes the Fw 190 inferior to our aircraft for quick take-offs. The main conclusion gained from the tactical trials of the Fw 190 is that our fighter aircraft must fly at high speed when in an area where the Fw 190 is likely to be met. This will give our pilots the chance of ‘bouncing’ and catching the Fw 190 and, if ‘bounced’ themselves, the best chance of avoiding being shot down. The all-round search view from the Fw 190 being exceptionally good makes it rather difficult to achieve the element of surprise. Here again, however, the advantage of our aircraft flying at high speed must not be overlooked, as they may, even if seen by the pilot of the Fw 190, catch it before it has time to dive away.