FW190 flight model progress

Today’s 1CGS IL-2 developer update was a fair short one but it was packed with content on the progress towards an improved FW190 flight model.

The background

The FW190 has always been a difficult aircraft to get right. High wingloading, small compact design, speed and firepower emphasis over tight turning, a rapid roll rate, unique pilot seating, integrated armored glass, and more make the FW190 a fairly unique and somewhat difficult aircraft to model. To date, there isn’t a single flight sim I’ve flown or been part of a community where there wasn’t long debates on the merits and foibles of the FW190 series of fighters. IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad was not immune either.

Closer to the end of the year, it was announced that the FW190A-3 would be receiving a flight model update. We also learned that the FW190A-3 flight model would be updated alongside the arrival of the FW190A-5 for Battle of Kursk. It stood to reason that the team’s flight model specialist would be able to more efficiently work on both an A-3 update and the similar A-5 model at the same time rather than taking time away from other projects at the time (the Ju52, Bf109G-4 and Yak-1B Series 127 being the three in the pipe).

fw190-firing

Updates on the changes

In a Developer Diary update today, we learned more about the changes coming to the FW190A-3 and a small glimpse at what the A-5 will be able to offer.

So, what will be changed in Fw 190 A-3 soon:

  • Wing twist has been changed. The wing root had 2 degrees angle of incidence that was steadily reduced to 0 degrees at two thirds of the wing span. Because of this, stall at high angles of attack will begin near the wing root and not on the entire wing surface at once, resulting in ‘softer stalling’;
  • Aircraft center of mass position has been corrected (it was shifted forward by several centimeters);
  • Critical angle of attack and maximum lift coefficient increased. Stall speed of the aircraft decreased to 175 km/h;
  • Drag at high angles of attack decreased thanks to lift/drag curve data of a trophy aircraft tests in VVS Research Institute;
  • Propeller thrust decreased somewhat. Takeoff run of the aircraft with standard loadout is roughly 500 meters and takes 18 seconds, which corresponds to historical data.

In summary… the FW190A-3 we’ll be getting will have a “softer stall”, more stable flight, more accurate critical angle of attack and a lower stall speed. This should all contribute to a somewhat easier to handle FW190A-3 and one that looses a little less speed in maneuvers.

One interesting note is the decrease in propeller thrust. What effect that will have beyond the takeoff run is something I’m still curious about.

One other interesting note came out in the today’s diary:

Meanwhile, we continue work on Fw 190 A-5. While being very similar to Fw 190 А-3 visually, it will have significantly different features and pecularities in loadouts and handling.
The FW190A-3 and A-5 are similar with the same wing, fuselage, default armament, and with minor changes to the cockpit (and radio unit). The front nose section was extended slightly changing the centre of gravity mostly to accommodate the bombloads on fighter-bomber operations. What different features and peculiarities are being talked about are still a bit of a mystery. We’ll know in March sometime!
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