Fw 190a-3 ver­sus Four can­non Hawker ty­phoon

Aviation Classics - - AVIATION -

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.

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