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Thoughts on the FW-190s in comparison to BF-109s


Belphe

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Hi,

 

As far as I know (from reading the forums), Bf109 F4 is considered the most manoeuvrable Messerschmidt in Il-2, with the Bf109 G2 following closely (with higher climb rates and dive speeds but smaller turn rate).

 

How do the FW190 A3 & A5 fare with the new FM (which totally messed up my understanding of the "Il-2 Aircraft Usefulness Ladder")? I always thought that being the most modern Luftwaffe fighter aircraft in the game they would outclass any of the Bf109 family planes. They do so when armament is concerned but can they really compete in the "Best Fighter" race against the Bf's?

 

Someone once told me: " If you want to take someone out of the sky use the Bf, if you want to do this wearing white gloves go for the FW".. That made me think that the Focke-Wulf was superior. Faster rolls, more power, more ata, stronger guns etc. However, reading some posts here and on other sites I see many people criticising the 190 and preferring the 109. I personally hate the barely-telegraphed pre-stall and lack of frontal visibility but overall I'd stay with the FW.

 

Could you tell me what your thoughts on this subject are and how potent you think the FW190 is in dogfighting compared to the 109.

 

Thanks for reading!

Edited by Belphe
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Etherlight

There is no correct answer to this, because everything depends on the scenario you're talking about. In a 1on1 where both opponents are aware of the other's presence and at similar/the same energy state? The 109 wins hands down, because it is a better dogfighter. It has the ability to win a dogfight straight up, it can build up an energy advantage in close situations and is generally good at slower to medium speeds maneuvering-wise. The 190 is not. It rolls well, especially at high speeds, it turns well at high speeds, but it's just not good at low to medium speeds. In a knife-fight the Russian will simply win. What it does exceptionally well is teamfights and attacks at an energy advantage, because of it's superb speed, good armament and superior diving capabilities. People can talk about rolling scissors and making the enemy overshoot in the 190 all day, but that simply does not work against an opponent who is worth his salt as a fighter. As soon as I see a 190 engaging in barrel rolls or scissors, I immediately lower my throttle, because I know that he knows that me overshooting is his only chance if he cannot run away. As long as I don't do that, he's fucked.

 

Overall, if we're looking at all the situations one tends to get on a run of the mill MP server, I'd definitely say the 109 is the superior fighter, because it's an allrounder. It does everything very well you need in most situations. True, the 190 is better at certain things, but worse in many others. Many others that are imperative in dogfights. So I suppose it all depends on your personal playstyle. If you have friends to wing up with, don't have a problem with climbing and/or running away a lot, then sure, go for it. For the general multi-purpose fighter jock however, the 109 is simply the better choice in my opinion.

 

That said, you'll probably hear everything ranging from "Pff, 190 is crap, 109 all the way." to "The 190 is way better, it outclasses almost everything!!!" depending on who you ask. Like I said, highly depends on your personal playstyle and tolerance for flying straight for prolonged times.

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InProgress

I like 190 as quick strike and run style of flying. You dive at +700km/h on enemy, shoot and run away. They wont catch you, and repeat :P I menaged to shot down 4 enemy fighers (4vs1) in single player doing this, quite fun :P

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PatrickAWlson

They coexisted for so long because they were different. 

 

The 190 was tougher, a little faster, and better armed.  Better roll, much better high speed handling, and great instantaneous turn.  In general it outperformed the 109 under 18K feet.  Above that the radial started gasping.  Pretty poor sustained turn,so you didn't fight in it by keeping the stick pulled into your gut.  You came in fast, used the instantaneous turn and all of those guns to try to score a hit, then you exited fast and repeated. 

 

The value of the 109 in the west was high altitude performance.  The 190 was a much better bomber killer but its performance dropped where the heavies flew.  The 109 would be used as top cover while the 190s went for the bombers.

 

In the east I really have no idea why the 109 remained the dominant fighter through the war.  Altitude was lower where the 190 performed best and fields were rougher, making the 190 better suited for operations.  To me the whole setting screams 190 and not 109.  I would be curious as to thoughts on why the 109 was so heavily used in the east throughout the war.

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 I would be curious as to thoughts on why the 109 was so heavily used in the east throughout the war.

 

It's a guess but I presume that manufacturing was geared up for the bf 109 and the fw 190 was harder to make and in shorter supply. Also, they wanted their best equipment in the West to deter the RAF and USAAF.

Again, a guess so I expect to be corrected,

 

Edited by Lensman
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Thank you very much for your answers - they are very informative. It all makes sense - there is no "Jack of All Trades"! The way the War in the air was fought changed over the years and no single airframe could suit all the needs.

 

I still have a few questions if you don't mind:

In the old Il-2 Sturmovik I simply adored the FW-190 A8. I was never an ace but I could kill anything and everything with a bit of luck and patience. Do you think the upcoming A8 could flip the charts and establish itself as a "BF Successor"?

 

On the other hand we will also be getting a BF109 K4. Unfortunately, all I remember from the good-old Il-2 was that is was heavy... How do you rate it's chances in the upcoming Update?

 

Last but not least is the Dora... Am I right in thinking that she was the ultimate Queen of the high-altitude BnZ? Or was the Kurfurst in her way as well? The DCS Dora left me with a bit of a "is that it?" kind of feeling. Perhaps it was only due to the damage model and lack of a proper map (now available). Either way, I'm hoping for more and wonder if the ultimate dogfighter is among the upcoming aircraft.

 

You must admit that if after Bodenplatte we are still calling upon Freidrichs and Gustavs to face the Mustangs there is something wrong here.. ;)

Edited by Belphe
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CUJO_1970

If I want to fight online I take a 109 G2.

 

If I want to kill online I take a FW 190.

 

If I want to really have fun I will fly with a wing man in either aircraft.

 

So, for each aircraft beginning with the 109: It is a better 1v1 fighter because of its superb climb rate and it's relative stability at low speeds. It's power/weight ratio is rather good, so it regains energy better than FW. The center line cannon is more accurate albeit less powerful than the 2-4 cannons of the 190. The 109 is an outstanding vertical fighter. I understand why so many allied players lobbied for it to be nerfed - unfortunately this lead to an overcompensation in 2.012, where someone apparently didn't realize that the controls of other aircraft might also get heavy at high speeds - so you have to work around that.

 

For the 190 - it is perfectly capable of dog fighting in short, lethal bursts at high speeds  - I've killed many VVS fighters 1v1 this way - it is much more maneuverable than the 109 at high speeds. It really comes into it's own with high-speed slashing attacks (BnZ) and in a team environment it is simply unmatched. Be careful about using BnZ tactics online though - a growing cadre of allied flyers are becoming irate about it.

 

A 109 and a 190 working together online in pairs is a joy to behold as they compliment one another quite well.

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CUJO_1970
In the east I really have no idea why the 109 remained the dominant fighter through the war.  Altitude was lower where the 190 performed best and fields were rougher, making the 190 better suited for operations.  To me the whole setting screams 190 and not 109.  I would be curious as to thoughts on why the 109 was so heavily used in the east throughout the war.

 

2 reasons - the 109 was in abundant supply and doing a good job against the VVS aircraft it faced in the East - but also, to put it succinctly - there was an almost insatiable demand for the FW 190 in the West.

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Max_Damage

They coexisted for so long because they were different. 

 

The 190 was tougher, a little faster, and better armed.  Better roll, much better high speed handling, and great instantaneous turn.  In general it outperformed the 109 under 18K feet.  Above that the radial started gasping.  Pretty poor sustained turn,so you didn't fight in it by keeping the stick pulled into your gut.  You came in fast, used the instantaneous turn and all of those guns to try to score a hit, then you exited fast and repeated. 

 

The value of the 109 in the west was high altitude performance.  The 190 was a much better bomber killer but its performance dropped where the heavies flew.  The 109 would be used as top cover while the 190s went for the bombers.

 

In the east I really have no idea why the 109 remained the dominant fighter through the war.  Altitude was lower where the 190 performed best and fields were rougher, making the 190 better suited for operations.  To me the whole setting screams 190 and not 109.  I would be curious as to thoughts on why the 109 was so heavily used in the east throughout the war.

it wasnt dominant, the me109 was pretty much replaced with fw190a8 in 1944-1945. But me109 remained to have more experienced pilots.

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thebusdriver

 

 

I would be curious as to thoughts on why the 109 was so heavily used in the east throughout the war.

 

Experienced Russian pilots didn't fear the 190 much, because their fighters were better able to counter the 190's advantages.

 

Once you take away a 190's speed, it has very few options.  It can't out-turn its opponents, it can't out-climb, and while it can roll better, that is only buying time - it's not a defence that works in the long run and you cannot reverse with pure rolls.

 

Unfortunately for the 190, most Russian planes from the mid-war onwards, were capable of running down the 190 on the deck, and could turn better, and usually climb better.  Yak-3, La-5FN, La-7 - they could all catch a 190.

 

Now you could still engage in prolonged drag-and-bag tactics, but this works both ways.  Your wingman is catching your tail, but his wingman could be on your wingman.

 

The 109 had capabilities to the end of the war that Russian fighters couldn't quite match.  Its mid-high altitude performance, climb rate, and ability to turn caused serious problems.

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fjacobsen

Especially after Stalingrad, where new German pilot's became less skilled due to short and inadequate training, the FW-190 was easier to fly well than the BF-109. More pilots where killed or injured in operational accidents than in combat.

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SeaSerpent

Lately I've been enjoying flying in a group of 3 or 4 190's when we get the chance, and one of the guys has said "It feels like I'm the Grim Reaper when flying the 190".  That pretty much captures my feeling as well. 

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Experienced Russian pilots didn't fear the 190 much, because their fighters were better able to counter the 190's advantages.

 

Is that really true? I dont think so! In my book the russians didnt encounter the 190s as fighters often. The 190 replaced the stuka at some point and were used as fighterbombers with bombs and heavy armor which reduced its speed, maneuverability and overall aircombat capability. A job that the 109 couldnt do so well and thats why the 109 was the main fighterplane in the east and not the 190. Im not 100% sure but the few pure 190 fighter squadrons in the east were pretty successful in the fighter role.

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SCG_Fenris_Wolf

FW190 was more robust and better armed, hence needed in the west, where Allied bombers were bombing German city centers and civilians. For the Luftwaffe, this was the most dire scenario at the time.

 

 

Now, the Messerschmidt and Focke Wulf fly and fight different, as we all know. I am terrible in the Messerschmidt, but the Focke Wulf is a different story. I don't really dogfight in it, but slash-attack, keep my energy, extend to friendly territory, shallow climb. If anyone followed me, I will proceed with an Immelmann (Aufschwung), and go head-on. The engine and armored glass protects me, and I have 4x 20mm, chances are on my side. If he breaks, I deflection shoot him (easy, line up in frontal side window, hold trigger, 4x 20mm stream of death), if he breaks and maneuvers like crazy burning his energy, I go up and come back down, to deliver another another hail of bullets.

 

It's easy to fly for me, if I follow this scheme.

 

 

Barrel rolling is harder, scissoring and getting enemy to overshoot easy if somebody followed you in a dive, but extremely risky because you will burn all your energy using the instantanious turnrate, and you just got one try, then you die. Flying in VR makes it even harder than with coolie hat/TiR, because you must look backwards (still worth it).

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I think we always have to remember that we aren't ever going to be in a position to really comment on the relative merits of the two real world aircraft, on the basis of what we have in the game.  I'm not necessarily saying there is or isn't bias of some sort, just that what we have is always going to be someones 'interpretation' of the various aircraft, based on selected information.  And of course, what we have tends to change over time although, at each step along the way, we're encouraged to believe that what we have is essentially right and true.  I point this out because some people have a tendency to use sim performance as if it were a measure of reality.  It isn't.  Some stuff will be right and some stuff will be wrong.

 

If  you were to compare the AFDU report on the respective merits of the A-3 and the Spit 5B, for example, with what we have in the game, you might be a bit surprised.  With the exception of a modest differential in straight line speed and differences in roll and turn, the two in-game aircraft appear pretty evenly matched.  The winner in the online contest would typically be the one with the tactical advantage.  Now, as it turns out, that was the RAF's opinion of the match-up between the 190 A-3 and the Spit 9 but it certainly wasn't their assessment of the relative merits of the Mk 5 and the A-3.  So of course, one can but speculate as to why this might be the case. 

 

As for as the relative merits of the two in-game models, the 109 appears the more capable of the two, although not by a particularly wide margin, although this depends on the circumstances of the engagement.  There appear to be very few situations where a 190 is likely to prevail if it encounters an enemy (almost any enemy) in an equal or superior energy state.  In such circumstances the 109 appears to have a significantly better chance.  However, in circumstances where the 190 has a higher energy state (and by that I typically mean an alt advantage) it probably has a reasonably good chance of being victorious, but that said, the 109 is still probably the better bet.  

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indiaciki

I think the FW only works with wingmen. I only shot 3 planes down flying a Yak1 two of them were FW190. Easy kills.

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I think the FW only works with wingmen. I only shot 3 planes down flying a Yak1 two of them were FW190. Easy kills.

 

 

Yeah ... I think I remember you  :huh:

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I prefer the 190 in this game. You have a shotgun of 20mm cannons for the one pass. And you realy notice the difference in maneuvering at high speeds compared to the 109.

But if you go slow, under 350kmt your basicly a brick falling in the sky. and the rear view is realy bad. Also you can go full combat power much longer than the 109 that can only take 1min before breakdown,

in the fw190 you can go at least 5min full throttle, and 15min at 90%

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VeryOldMan

Experienced Russian pilots didn't fear the 190 much, because their fighters were better able to counter the 190's advantages.

 

Once you take away a 190's speed, it has very few options.  It can't out-turn its opponents, it can't out-climb, and while it can roll better, that is only buying time - it's not a defence that works in the long run and you cannot reverse with pure rolls.

 

Unfortunately for the 190, most Russian planes from the mid-war onwards, were capable of running down the 190 on the deck, and could turn better, and usually climb better.  Yak-3, La-5FN, La-7 - they could all catch a 190.

 

Now you could still engage in prolonged drag-and-bag tactics, but this works both ways.  Your wingman is catching your tail, but his wingman could be on your wingman.

 

The 109 had capabilities to the end of the war that Russian fighters couldn't quite match.  Its mid-high altitude performance, climb rate, and ability to turn caused serious problems.

 

 

I would nto call LA7 and Yak 3  mid war (44 onwards is late  war)

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If  you were to compare the AFDU report on the respective merits of the A-3 and the Spit 5B, for example, with what we have in the game, you might be a bit surprised.  With the exception of a modest differential in straight line speed and differences in roll and turn, the two in-game aircraft appear pretty evenly matched.  The winner in the online contest would typically be the one with the tactical advantage.  Now, as it turns out, that was the RAF's opinion of the match-up between the 190 A-3 and the Spit 9 but it certainly wasn't their assessment of the relative merits of the Mk 5 and the A-3.  So of course, one can but speculate as to why this might be the case.

Even the early Spit Mk. IX beats the Mk. Vs by about 60 kph. It has over 100hp more powerful engine, as well as a better two-stage supercharger. It also has a better power-to-weight ratio. It was a very significant upgrade on engine power.

 

 

Edited by ElPerk
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Even the early Spit Mk. IX beats the Mk. Vs by about 60 kph. It has over 100hp more powerful engine, as well as a better two-stage supercharger. It also has a better power-to-weight ratio. It was a very significant upgrade on engine power.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not suggesting the Mk 9 Spit isn't better than a Mk 5 Spit.  Of course it is.  I'm saying that straight line speed notwithstanding, the in-game Mk 5 (i.e. the Mk 5 we have) appears to me to be more or less on a par with the FW 190 A-3, in a fight.  If that is indeed the case, that isn't what the AFDU concluded about the Mk 5.  They believed the A-3 wiped the floor with the Mk 5.  On the other hand, they also believed the Mk 9 and the A-3 were essentially about equal in a fight. 

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thebusdriver

I'm not suggesting the Mk 9 Spit isn't better than a Mk 5 Spit.  Of course it is.  I'm saying that straight line speed notwithstanding, the in-game Mk 5 (i.e. the Mk 5 we have) appears to me to be more or less on a par with the FW 190 A-3, in a fight.  If that is indeed the case, that isn't what the AFDU concluded about the Mk 5.  They believed the A-3 wiped the floor with the Mk 5.  On the other hand, they also believed the Mk 9 and the A-3 were essentially about equal in a fight. 

The 190 is not a dogfighter.  The fact that it can give the Spit5 trouble in a fight is a testament to how much it outclasses the Spit.

 

There are only two ways to fly the 190:

 

1.  If you're playing solo, you're not a fighter.  You're a murderer.  You have zero interest in anything resembling an equal fight.  You come in with enough altitude, you dive on somebody, and you try to murder them.  If you miss and nobody else is in the area, you get into a gentle zoom climb, turn around, and try again.  But with every pass, unlike the 109 or La-5, you lose a lot of energy, while your opponent can potentially gain some.  In multiplayer, my rule is one pass and then haul ass, unless I'm absolutely certain no one else is in the area.

2.  If you have wingmen, you take turns.  It (almost) doesn't matter how many opponents there are, as long as both of you have the speed and energy to get away.  One of you dives in first for a pass, and as he's approaching the target, the other goes in for the second pass maybe 10-15 seconds later.  If the lead starts dragging, the tail bags.  If the tail ends up dragging, the lead goes for some altitude and then comes back with that energy to bag his wingman's drag.  You could be outnumbered 10:2 by Spit5s and they're all but helpless against you and your wingman, if you guys play safe and smart.  They can't catch up and even if they climb above you, they can't maneuver well enough at high speed to land shots.

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I'm not suggesting the Mk 9 Spit isn't better than a Mk 5 Spit.  Of course it is.  I'm saying that straight line speed notwithstanding, the in-game Mk 5 (i.e. the Mk 5 we have) appears to me to be more or less on a par with the FW 190 A-3, in a fight.  If that is indeed the case, that isn't what the AFDU concluded about the Mk 5.  They believed the A-3 wiped the floor with the Mk 5.  On the other hand, they also believed the Mk 9 and the A-3 were essentially about equal in a fight. 

Oh. OK! I have actually no idea of the relative in-game performance vs. the RL performance of those two.

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1_Robert_

But with every pass, unlike the 109 or La-5, you lose a lot of energy, while your opponent can potentially gain some. 

 

I'm curious what you mean by this. I'm not questioning it, I genuinely was hoping you can elaborate as I'd like to better understand this aircraft. I've been enjoying the 109 but haven't had much success in the 190. 

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I'm curious what you mean by this. I'm not questioning it, I genuinely was hoping you can elaborate as I'd like to better understand this aircraft. I've been enjoying the 109 but haven't had much success in the 190.

 

In the situation he posits a few examples of net energy loss would include activities such as reaching a top dive speed as you no longer gain a benefit from trading altitude for speed you lose potential energy(E) and will not be able to reclaim it. Alternatively your target spots your attack and breaks hard - if you follow to bring guns on this turn will cost you considerable E. Basically performing anything other than a flawless bounce carries with it the potential to shed E. In the 190 you do not reclaim lost E better than any of your opposition so losing too much E can leave you in a sticky situation. By contrast the 109 reclaims E much better than a 190 and as such you can afford to energy fight with an opponent because you should be able to maintain or even grow your E advantage.

 

von Luck

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1_Robert_

In the situation ...the 109 reclaims E much better than a 190 and as such you can afford to energy fight with an opponent because you should be able to maintain or even grow your E advantage.

 

von Luck

 

Ok thanks, I understand.

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The 190 is not a dogfighter.  The fact that it can give the Spit5 trouble in a fight is a testament to how much it outclasses the Spit.

 

There are only two ways to fly the 190:

 

1.  If you're playing solo, you're not a fighter.  You're a murderer.  You have zero interest in anything resembling an equal fight.  You come in with enough altitude, you dive on somebody, and you try to murder them.  If you miss and nobody else is in the area, you get into a gentle zoom climb, turn around, and try again.  But with every pass, unlike the 109 or La-5, you lose a lot of energy, while your opponent can potentially gain some.  In multiplayer, my rule is one pass and then haul ass, unless I'm absolutely certain no one else is in the area.

2.  If you have wingmen, you take turns.  It (almost) doesn't matter how many opponents there are, as long as both of you have the speed and energy to get away.  One of you dives in first for a pass, and as he's approaching the target, the other goes in for the second pass maybe 10-15 seconds later.  If the lead starts dragging, the tail bags.  If the tail ends up dragging, the lead goes for some altitude and then comes back with that energy to bag his wingman's drag.  You could be outnumbered 10:2 by Spit5s and they're all but helpless against you and your wingman, if you guys play safe and smart.  They can't catch up and even if they climb above you, they can't maneuver well enough at high speed to land shots.

 

 You're basing your understanding of reality- i.e. what you think happened in 1941-42, on what you observe in the game.  Yes, you can do all of the things you describe, in the game, but in 1942 Fighter Command actually got chased out of France by the 190.  They were forced to suspend fighter sweeps for a time because they were losing so many guys.

 

I haven't seen anything in the game that would justify such behaviour.  If you engage A-3s on even terms in a Spit 5 (i.e. from or above their altitude) the Spit 5 will likely win the engagement.  Do we think Fighter Command, who had been fighting the Luftwaffe since 1939, couldn't work that one out?

 

And for the record, guys like Eric Brown, who flew the 190  as a test pilot, actually describe it as  ... "a dog fighter".

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SeaSerpent

Wulf, if I'm not mistaken, TheBusDriver is like an F-15 pilot or something. 

 

I don't know what you're seeing in the game, but TheBusDriver's analysis of the 190 certainly matches in every way what me and a lot of other players see.  His advice on how to best use the 190 is spot on.

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US63_SpadLivesMatter

Wulf, if I'm not mistaken, TheBusDriver is like an F-15 pilot or something.

 

I don't know what you're seeing in the game, but TheBusDriver's analysis of the 190 certainly matches in every way what me and a lot of other players see. His advice on how to best use the 190 is spot on.

Blah blah blah: But has he ever drawn a sky penis?

 

:D

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And for the record, guys like Eric Brown, who flew the 190  as a test pilot, actually describe it as  ... "a dog fighter".

It's not as though power to weight and wing loading are a nebulous mystery. The bird you see in game is probably a pretty decent representation of what it was like. Dogfighting typically implies turning and the 190 is not a great turn fighter. That's a fact not because of how a game chooses to portray this aircraft but instead anchored upon the basic facts of its airframe. If you have poor power to weight you gain E more slowely. If you have high wing loading you need to increase your AoA to compensate - and if you increase AoA more than say your opponent you lose E faster in the turn. I spoke with a P47 pilot who swore he lifted turrets off of Tigers when straffing them. Testimonials are the least accurate means of understanding past events. They can provide important context but should not be treated as reverent sources of divine truth.

 

von Luck

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PatrickAWlson

Can you energy fight in a 190 online - i.e. keep the speed up  and make passes?  I don't do online (plus I am a terrible pilot)  so I have no idea how the 190 works against actual thinking people. 

 

I have read enough to know how real German pilots thought it worked.  Start at high speed, attack, make a vertical maneuver and use the dive to regain speed, attack again.  Between good speed, good acceleration, great high speed handling, great roll rate, very good instantaneous turn rate, and the ability to throw up a wall of lead, you should be able to stay in a fight with slashing attacks.  Does this work online?

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Can you energy fight in a 190 online ...  Does this work online?

Simply put yes. Good pilots will prove to be more difficult targets but you can still carry the day.

 

von Luck

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