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Friday, June 15, 2018

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This week's Aviation Feature

 Andrew Knighton


Many consider the Focke-Wulf Fw190 to be the best Luftwaffe fighter plane of the Second World War. It was rightly one of the most famous and feared aircraft of the war.

Just in Time for War

The Fw190 was designed just as war was about to break out. The first flight by one of these fighters took place on the 1st of June 1939, three months before the German invasion of Poland triggered the war in Europe. It would go on to become a vital part of the Luftwaffe, Germany’s air force.

Entering the Fray

The Fw190 first appeared in combat in September 1941. Launched into the fighting in the skies above France, it provided a shock to the Allied airmen facing it.

A German Focke-Wulf Fw 190.

Challenging the Spitfire

The Royal Air Force (RAF) Spitfire V had dominated aerial combat since it first entered the fighting in February 1941. With its speed and maneuverability, it had become a menace that the Luftwaffe could not match.

Supermarine Spitfire Mk V

The arrival of the Fw190 turned things around. The Fw190 was faster than the Spitfire V and more maneuverable in every way except its turning circle. Fw190s shot down three Spitfires during their first appearance, transforming the dynamic of the air war. They continued to dominate until June 1942, when the Mark IX Spitfire arrived, once again tipping the balance in the RAF’s favor.

Radial Engine

Fighters of the era were powered by two types of engines – air-cooled radials and in-line engines. Radials were generally simpler, more reliable, and less vulnerable to overheating caused by battle damage. But they suffered from greater drag and struggled to reach the same power output as in-lines while being more likely to obstruct a pilot’s view.

Focke-Wulf Fw 190, 1942. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

The Fw190 had an air-cooled radial engine. It proved that, in the right plane, such an engine could still outperform in-lines despite its drawbacks.

Arrival of the Model A

In February 1942, the second version of the Fw190 entered service – the Fw190A.

Fw 190A-3 in the Netherlands, summer 1942. By Bundesarchiv – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

The Fw190A’s first task was the defense of a naval battlegroup retreating to German ports. The battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prince Eugen made a dash up the Channel, pursued by Britain’s Royal Navy and the RAF. Hundreds of bombers targeted the ships as Britain tried to destroy them.
Fw190As played an important part in the fighting. In one engagement, they destroyed a group of six Fairey Swordfish torpedo planes. The confrontation ended with the German ships returning to port, battered but still afloat.

Fighting at Dieppe

On the 19th of August 1942, the Allies launched a raid on the occupied French port of Dieppe. One of the purposes of this raid was to draw out the Luftwaffe based in northern France and do it significant damage.

Ariel view of the Dieppe raid.

Fw190s played a major part in the aerial battle over Dieppe. Their performance ensured that the RAF didn’t get its victory. While the amphibious landings turned into a disaster, the fighting in the air became an indecisive confrontation with disputed results, despite huge Allied efforts.
Fw190 pilots claimed 97 kills that day.

Dozens of Variants

Many different versions of the Fw190 were produced – over 30 of the Fw190A alone. These varied from torpedo carriers to night fighters.

Focke-Wulf Fw 190G fighter-bomber.

Home Defense

The Fw190 became the standard fighter defending Germany in the later years of the war. Some of these home defense fighters were fitted with rockets that could be used to inflict serious damage on defensive formations of enemy planes. This made them especially effective against the Allied bomber fleets.
One example of this took place on the 17th of August 1943. A force of over 300 Fw190As confronted a massive US bomber force. The Fw190As destroyed 60 bombers and damaged another 100.

Night Fighting

In June 1943, the Luftwaffe created a force of Fw190A night fighters. They weren’t fitted with radar, as the more advanced night fighters of the time were. Instead, they relied on attacking bombers as they reached their targets. There, the searchlights, flares, and fires on the ground would make the enemy visible even in the depths of night. The unit destroyed over 200 RAF heavy bombers in this way.

Giving the Game Away

Focke Wulf Fw 190A-3, Werk Nr. 313, at RAF Pembrey, Carmarthenshire, after being mistakenly landed there by its German pilot, Oberleutnant Armin Faber, the Gruppenadjutant of III/JG2, on 23 June 1942. IWM

In June 1942, a Fw190A-3 accidentally landed in the United Kingdom. This allowed British scientists and engineers to examine the plane, telling them everything they needed to know about the plane and so to counter it.

D for Dora

During 1943, it became apparent that Germany faced a problem with high-altitude Allied bombers. Most current fighters weren’t up to the task of reaching and destroying these aircraft.
In response, Focke-Wulf developed a new version of the Fw190 – the Fw190D, known as Dora. This long-nosed plane was the first Fw190 to feature a liquid-cooled rather than an air-cooled engine.

DAYTON, Ohio — Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-9 at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The Dora was an excellent interceptor that could match the Spitfire Mark XIV and reach heights well beyond the limits of the Fw190A.

Dora Goes to War

Fw 190 D-13/R11, Champlin Fighter Museum, Phoenix, Arizona.

The Fw190D went into production in the summer of 1944 and the first models reached fighting units in August that year. 3/JG 54 became the first Luftwaffe group to convert to the Dora. Its first mission was providing cover for new jet fighters during their vulnerable take-off.

Diverse Weapons

The weaponry of a Fw190 varied with its role, but it was capable of packing quite a punch. The Fw190D, the first D model to enter the war, carried two 13mm machine guns, two 20mm cannons, and a 500kg bomb.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Members' Page

Member's Activities:-

June 3rd 2018
Can't say we are a fan of 3 D flying but this demonstration is totally awesome.

January 10th 2018
Was a perfect day for watching Youtube videos.

We learned that people who fly wooden jets should resist the temptation to show off.

November 24th

Was a perfect Autumn day for a Winter building project.

Tell us about your Winter project ( so it can be shared here.
We started off with some repair work on the victim of our most dramatic crash of the past flying season. Later when we get back from down South, it will be time to do some work on a Pica WACO biplane that has been sitting around half finished for far too long.

A Show and Tell video on our latest repair work.

October 21 th

Was a perfect summer day in the Autumn, a day without a cloud in the sky and very little of wind.

Finally success  after it was grounded for more than a year due to a software screw up that set the maximum motor speed to 50 when the correct value should be 1000. I worked on finding a solution far too long, then Andre applied his technical skills during a marathon session one evening and voila, he came up with the magic key. Just one of the risks of  using web based services like Mission Planner to update your drone's parameters. Another lesson learned, if it is working leave it alone.

July 30th

Was a perfect summer day without a cloud in the sky and barely a breath of wind. A very good turnout of flyers and electrics seem to steal the show. Cal was there with a Mini Avanti  that flew and sounded so great that we all thought it was powered by a mini turbine. I want one!

July 23th

Was an overcast day 5/8 to 7/8 at 6000 feet , winds 040 True at 4 knots.  We met Mike at the top of the drive, he was just leaving after a successful session of electric flying.

After a couple of flights with my Electric Beaver we tried setting up the 120 size Zero.  The Enya 120 4C started instantly and ran smoothly without any need for  further adjustments.

 First time I used this setup structure and I must say that I am loving it.

Take off 
On downwind landing leg the Zero's luck suddenly ran out and she was last seen in a terminal vertical dive. 
A recce flight with the Beaver  failed to locate the wreckage but after inspecting the video we have a better idea of where she might be located.
 July 6th

We spent the day at the field and were surprised to find that the water has dried up nicely after all the rain that we have been having lately.

June 28th

We spent the day at the field mainly checking our equipment but did managed a takeoff with a light weight PT 20 with large balloon tires. The field was a little soggy in places and that was before 3 days of continuous rain.

March 21st

Canada Bans Drones??

I was just wondering what our members think about the latest rules (Laws) that our Transport Minister has come up with concerning the the use of RC flying in Canada?
Here is what others are saying:
From RC Forum
It appears that Canada has gone full retard. The new law, which applies to any drone (but worded so that it actually applies to ALL RC) that weighs more than 250 grams (so basically all of them but the cheapest toy grades) and bans: Flying within 9 km of any airport (so pretty much no flying in or around any city ever) Flying within 9 km of anyplace else a manned aircraft could theoretically land (which would include any empty field that a helicopter could fit in) Flying more than 90 meters high (no more flying over trees or hills) Flying within 75 meters of ANY structure, vehicle, vessel, person (including presumably yourself or your own home or vehicle) or ANIMAL ( and it makes no distinction what kind so it would include squirrels and birds) Flying more than 500 meters away At night In clouds, or anywhere they think you can't see it Over any forest fire, "emergency response scene (undefined)," or controlled airspace And you must put your entire name, address, and phone number on the drone So basically they have banned flying any RC aircraft wieghing more than 250 grams anywhere in Canada except at "approved fields." Hope you like high resolution footage of an empty field, because that is all you are allowed to get now if you fly in Canada.  

October 17th
Hank is also enjoying the beautiful weather, flying his big Norseman from the beach up on Georgian Bay. Sent this picture by our new Facebook drop-box. Anyone with a Facebook account can join; just send a request to us at Dunrobin RC Flyers Photo and Video Dropbox

October 7th

The beautiful weather never seems to end for me; it must be what they call "The Endless Summer".  The great flying with 20 C temperatures and 5 K winds gave me an unexpected opportunity to put a couple of old birds into the air that have been with me far too long (one for more than 50 years). I have been making changes to them over the years and just wanted to give them one more chance at flight.