Design, Development, & HistoryEdit
One of the best fighters of the time, the Fw 190 was widely used during the Second World War. A total of over 20,000 were produced, including some 6,000 fighter-bomber variants. The 190 remained in production from 1941 until the end of the war, going through multiple redesigns. The Fw.190 made a name for itself as a true Luftwaffe workhorse and was used in a wide variety of roles, including a high-altitude interceptor (especially the Fw.190D), escort fighter, fighter-bomber and night fighter.
When the Fw 190 started flying operationally over France in August 1941, it quickly proved itself to be superior in all but turn radius to the Royal Air Force's main front-line fighter, the Spitfire Mk. V. The 190 wrested air superiority away from the RAF until the introduction of the vastly improved Spitfire Mk. IX in July 1942 restored qualitative parity. The Fw 190 made its air combat debut on the Eastern Front in November/December 1942; though Soviet pilots considered the Bf 109 the greater threat, the Fw 190 made a significant impact. The fighter and its pilots proved just as capable as the Bf 109 in aerial combat, and in the opinion of German pilots who flew both, provided increased firepower and maneuverability at low to medium altitude.
The Fw 190 became the backbone of the Jagdwaffe (Fighter Force), along with the Bf 109. On the Eastern Front, the Fw 190 was versatile enough to use in Schlachtgeschwader (Battle Wings or Strike Wings), specialised ground attack units which achieved much success against Soviet ground forces. As an interceptor, the Fw 190 underwent improvements to make it effective at high altitude, enabling it to maintain relative parity with its Allied opponents. The Fw 190A series' performance decreased at high altitudes (usually 6,000 m (20,000 ft) and above), which reduced its effectiveness as a high-altitude interceptor, but this problem was mostly rectified in later models, particularly in the Junkers Jumo 213 inline-engine Focke-Wulf Fw 190D series, which was introduced in September 1944. In spite of its successes, it never entirely replaced the Bf 109.
The Fw 190 A-5 was developed after it was determined that the Fw 190 could easily carry more ordnance. The D-2 engine was moved forward another 15 cm (6 in) as had been tried out earlier on the service test A-3/U1 aircraft, moving the center of gravity forward to allow more weight to be carried aft. Some A-5s were tested with the MW 50 installation: this was a mix of 50% methyl alcohol and 50% water, which could be injected into the engine to produce a short-term power boost to 2,000 PS (1,973 hp, 1,471 kW), but this system was not adopted for serial production. New radio gear, including FuG 25a Erstling IFF, and an electric artificial horizon found their way into the A-5. The A-5 retained the same basic armament as the A-4.
The A-5 too, saw several Umrüst-Bausätze kits. The U2 was designed as a night Jabo-Rei and featured anti-reflective fittings and exhaust flame dampeners. A centre-line ETC 501 rack typically held a 250 kg (550 lb) bomb, and wing-mounted racks mounted 300 L drop tanks. A EK16 gun camera, as well as landing lights, were fitted to the wing leading edge. The U3 was a Jabo fighter fitted with ETC 501s for drop tanks and bombs; it too featured only two MG 151s for armament.
1,752 A-5s were built from November 1942 to June 1943.
A-6 White 1 of Mjr Hans-Gunther von Kornatzki 1st Attack Squadron Dortmund 1994: Shoot down 100 players
A-4 II/JG 2 of Cpt Adolf Dickfield Tunisia 1943: Shoot down 120 players
A-8 12/JG 301 White 6 of Sgt Willi Reschke Stendal 1944: Shoot down 120 players
A-4 6/JG 2 Yellow 1 Lft Erich Rudorffer Kairouan Tunisia 1943: Shoot down 170 players
II/JG 2 Black 1 of Lft Horst Hanning Triqueville 1943: Shoot down 200 players
A-4 II/JG 54 Black 2 of Cpl Helmut Brandt Krasnogvardeisk 1943: Shoot down 220 players
Eastern Front 1943: Shoot down 280 players
1/JG 1 France February 1943: Shoot down 300 players
A-8/R8 Blue 13 Mjr Walter Dahl JG300 Illesheim 1944: Shoot down 330 players
I/JG 1 Holland July 1943: Shoot down 360 players