PERFORMANCE AND HANDLING
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FW-190 AIRPLANE
AAF NO. EB-104
Performance and handling tests have been conducted at Wright Field on the Focke-Wulf 190, German fighter type airplane, AAF No. EB-104. These tests were made to obtain a quick check on the high speed, maximum rate of climb, and handling characteristics of this airplane. From 25 March 1944 to 15 April 1944 approximately 15 hours were flown on this airplane by Major G. E. Lundquist. Handling tests were also made by several other Flight Section pilots.
The German Focke-Wulf 190, EB-104 is a single place, low wing all metal monoplane, powered with a 1750 bhp BMW 801-D fourteen cylinder two row radial engine equipped with a two speed internal supercharger. Tests were conducted at a take-off gross weight of 8535 pounds. The airplane is well armed and has provision for carrying heavy armament. It compares favorably with standard AAF fighter types in maneuverability, speed and climb at low and medium altitudes, but is definitely weaker in performance at altitudes over 28,000 ft. Stability was satisfactory at the weight and c.g. at which the airplane was tested and the controls are excellent at all speeds up to 400 MPH indicated airspeed where the elevator tends to become quite heavy and noticeable buffeting and vibration of the airplane occurs.
III Condition of the Aircraft Relative to Tests
A. The gross weight of the airplane was 8535 lbs. with the c.g. 27.75” aft of the main wheels. This loading consisted of the pilot, 138 gallons of gas, 15 gallon of oil and 325 lbs. of ballast for 550 rds. of 20 mm. ammunition for the two 20 mm. cannon mounted in the wing roots.
B. All radio equipment was installed and the gun ports in the leading edge of the wing were covered. The airplane was finished with service camouflage and was not polished in any way.
C. The FW-190, EB-104 is the fighter bomber version of this type and is equipped with an automatic rudder control which may be set to maintain a straight path in a dive when dive bombing. This airplane was equipped with only two 20 mm. cannon but it had provisions for two 7.9 mm. machine guns in the nose and two 20 mm. cannon in the outboard wing leading edges; however, these guns are usually left off the fighter bomber version.
IV Flight Characteristics
A. Cockpit Layout
Access to the cockpit is good and sufficient steps and handles are provided. The seat is adjustable in height on the ground only. Head and shoulder room is somewhat limited. Rudder pedal adjustment is provided but it is difficult to operate.
Instrument arrangement is good and all controls are well located and within easy reach of the pilot. The push button controls for flaps, landing gear, battery, generator, fuel pump booster pumps, etc., add to the neatness of the cockpit layout.
The engine control which automatically selects the correct propeller pitch and fuel mixture for any power setting is a desirable feature since the pilot need concern himself only with the throttle setting.
B. Taxiing and Ground Handling
The airplane is easy to taxi but vision is somewhat restricted. Brakes operate by toe pressure and are readily applied for all positions of the rudder. The tail wheel is freely pivoting but can be locked by holding the control column back as on the P-51B.
C. Take-off and Initial Climb
Take-off run is short and the airplane has no tendency to swing sideways. An intermediate flap position of 15 degrees is recommended for take-off but does not appreciably shorten the ground run. Initial climb is good. The landing gear retracts rapidly effecting very little change in the trim of the airplane.
The airplane has a steep climb and vision is good. Although no rudder trim is provided, the torque effect is negligible.
E. Handling and Control at Various Speeds
The controls are highly effective at most speeds and forces are moderate giving good control feel. However, at speeds over 400 MPH indicated airspeed, the elevator tends to become quite heavy and noticeable buffeting and vibration of the airplane occurs.
F. Trim and Stability
Longitudinal trim of the airplane is accomplished by changing the incidence angle of the stabilizer rather than by trim tabs on the elevator. Ground adjustable tabs are only provided for rudder and aileron but are adequate since rudder and aileron trim changes for most flight conditions are very slight.
The elevator trim control is electrically operated and is controlled by a toggle switch. This control arrangement operates too slowly for maneuvers, requiring a rapid change in elevator trim.
Stability was satisfactory at this weight and C.G. location.
G. Stalls and Stall Warning
The airplane has a gentle stall and controls remain effective up to the stall. Adequate warning of the stall is given by shaking of the airplane and controls.
H. Maneuverability and Aerobatics
The outstanding maneuverability feature of this airplane is it extremely high rate of roll. The radius of turn, however, is poor and it is only slightly improved by using the maneuvering flap position of 15 degrees. If pulled fast, the airplane tends to stall out abruptly with little warning. Elevator control forces are very heavy in a tight turn, requiring constant use of the elevator trim control.
The airplane responds to the controls satisfactory in performing rolls, loops, Immelmanns and other aerobatics.
I. Change in Trim when Operating Landing Gear, Flaps, etc.
Changes in trim resulting from the operation of landing gear, flaps, etc., are slight and can be readily corrected by use of controls or elevator trim control.
J. Noise and Vibration
Engine operation appeared a little rough during the entire flight causing a slight vibration at all times in the entire airplane. The noise level in the cockpit is very low.
Vibration and buffeting of the airplane noticeably increases in high speed dives over 400 MPH indicated airspeed.
Except for a slight lack of head and shoulder room the cockpit is comfortable. Ventilation is adequate and no fumes were noticed when entering the cockpit.
Vision forward is poor in take-off and climb, but is good for other flight attitudes. Side and rear vision is good at all times.
M. Approach and Landing
The airplane has a normal glide angle and vision during the approach is good. A three-point landing is easily made with this airplane and is shows no tendency to ground loop.
N. General Functioning
a. Power plant and Associated Equipment
The airplane is powered with a BMW 801-D engine, fourteen cylinder, twin row radial engine equipped with a two speed internal supercharger. Propeller pitch and fuel mixture are automatically controlled by the throttle setting and require no attention from the pilot. 140 grade fuel was used for all tests since this grade fuel corresponds to the fuel used by the Germans; 140 grade fuel is superior to standard 100 octane (130 grade) fuel.
b. Emergency Systems
An emergency system for jettisoning the canopy is provided and is operated by pressing a lever located near the canopy crank handle.
In case of failure of the electrical system, the landing gear is extended by pulling the up-lock release handle located in the cockpit which allows the gear to extend by gravity alone.
V Shipboard Tests
VI Performance Tests
A. The airspeed calibration and location of the airspeed head is given in Figure 1.
B. High speed vs altitude curves are given in Figure 2. The maximum speed was 415 MPH at high blower critical altitude of 22,000 ft. at 2700 RPM and 41.1” Hg. manifold pressure (military power). High speed at rated pwer of 2400 RPM and 38” was 395 MPH at 20,000 ft. critical altitude in high blower.
C. Climb data is given in Figure 3. The maximum rate of climb is 4000 ft/min. at military power of 2700 RPM and 41.1” Hg. manifold pressure. Minimum time to climb to 20,000 ft. is 7.3 minutes.
D. Power data corresponding to speed and climb data given in Figure 2 and Figure 3 is given in Figure 4. BHP values given are estimated from curves obtained from the British and from the Power Plant Laboratory.
Fig. 1 Airspeed Calibration
1. The FW-190, AAF No. EB-104, is a well armored fighter airplane with provisions for carrying heavy armament and it compares favorably with standard AAF types of the same date in maneuverability, speed, and climb at low and medium altitudes. However, the performance is definitely weaker than standard AAF fighters at altitudes above 28,000 feet.
1. It is recommended that all flight testing of foreign aircraft be held to the minimum performance and handling tests as conducted on the FW-190 because of the difficulty in obtaining parts and maintaining foreign aircraft for more comprehensive tests.
X General Dimensions and Photographs
A. General Dimensions
1. Span – 34.5 ft.