Fw 190 A-1
|This page is about the German fighter Fw 190 A-1. For other versions, see Fw 190 (Family).|
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 Würger (Shrike) was a single-seat, single-engine monoplane fighter used by the Luftwaffe in WWII. One of the best fighters of the time, it was widely used during the Second World War. A total of over 20,000 were produced, including some 6,000 fighter-bomber variants. The Fw 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 high-altitude interception (especially the Fw 190 D), escort, fighter-bombing and night fighting. The officially designated nickname "Würger" denotes a kind of carnivorous bird (a shrike), but can also be translated as choker, or strangler. In that regard, it fits the contemporary English designation well, too: "Butcher-bird".
Introduced in Update 1.39, the Fw 190 A-1, as all the planes in this line, are some of the best Boom and Zoomers in the game and should be flown exclusively in this style. The performance at high speeds is excellent, as are their dive and zoom characteristics. Do not ever engage in a turnfight as a "furball" with superior turners such as the A6M2 will end badly. Instead, fight mainly in the vertical. Try to have an altitude, or speed, advantage over your opponents (by climbing to the side at the start of the battle and then enter the highest battle you see). It is still possible to subdue your opponent with the A-1 due to the fantastic roll rate of the "Würger".
Unlike the later 190 line (A-8 and up), the A-1 through A-5 all possess higher turn capabilities than the rest of the line. The A-1 can, in general, out turn less manoeuvrable planes such as the LaGG-3. However, it is still not recommended to get into turnfights, as the A-1 will be placed with many better-manoeuvring fighters like the Spitfire.
Your control surfaces become noticeably less responsive at low speeds so keep up to speed.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,500 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 420||< 300||< 550||> 320|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|468 m||1,512 hp||1,633 hp|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|4,283 m||1,468 hp||1,585 hp|
Survivability and armour
- 57 mm Bulletproof glass in front of pilot.
- 8 & 12 mm Steel plates on pilot's seat.
- 3 & 5 mm Steel plates in front of oil cooling system.
Modifications and economy
While the Focke-Wulf retains it dive abilities even without all upgrades, getting to a vantage point to utilize this strength can prove difficult. Therefore, unlocks in the category "flight performance" are a must, especially those which grant increased climb rate (e.g. "Engine", "Compressor"). New 20 mm belts are also a good choice, as the "Air targets" belt improves the damage significantly. "Stealth" belt for the 20 mm is also favourable due to the composition of the belt, consisting of 3/5 Minengeschoß, and the lack of tracers make aiming easier by not notifying your enemy of your shots, keeping them calm. The 20 mm cannon upgrade is hardly worth though, it tends to run out of ammo before it can overheat, but they can reduce cannon spread. Different story for the 7.92 mm MGs, though. They should be a tertiary priority because of jamming and accuracy.
The Fw 190 A-1 is armed with:
- 2 x 20 mm MG FF/M cannons, wing-mounted (90 rpg = 180 total)
- 2 x 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns, nose-mounted (900 rpg = 1,800 total)
- 2 x 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns, wing-mounted (1,000 rpg = 2,000 total)
Unlike the He 112 B-0 with 2 x MG FF cannons, the Fw 190 has 2 x MG FF/M cannons, which are identical except for the re-engineered shells and barrel for the MG FF/M. The "M" variant has access to the deadly Minengeschoß shells (mine shells) that can wreak havoc on most planes at the rank. However, keep in mind the brutally low velocity of the MG FF/M shells. Fire when within 400 m of your quarry for best results.
The 7.92 mm MG 17 MGs are not effective against most planes. However, when equipped with Stealth belts these MGs can turn into powerful anti-ground destroyers. Armoured cars and AAA are great targets for the MGs.
Watch your ammo count: the Fw 190 A-1 has only 90 rounds per gun. The lower rate of fire on the 20 mm MG FF/M cannons can work in your favour, however.
Usage in battles
When engaging enemy fighters, do it on your terms by climbing first to gain an altitude and energy advantage. Perform boom and zoom attacks by flying over your target, gaining speed by diving towards and taking them out before they can evade, but watch your speed and altitude as the Fw 190's elevators are quite unresponsive and take some time to get used to. You can then climb back quickly at a secure altitude before any opposition tries to catch up. In Arcade, you can go bomber hunting, as you are not limited by ammo count and the Minengeschoß will make short work of the bombers. Finally, you can also perform ground attack on soft targets. Remember to maintain speed when ground-pounding, as an enemy fighter can blow you out of the air if you have no energy.
When attacked, you can often just dive away from planes, such as Spitfires and La-5s, but you need to be at a decent altitude to gain top speed, so do not be too quick to dive after an enemy if they fly below your plane. Unless you are higher than everybody else, or alone. Just be sure then to have the time to regain the lost altitude. The Fw 190 A-1's superb roll rate also allows for going on a horizontal evasive manoeuvre, allowing to skew the aim of an enemy by rolling back and forth, either forcing them to waste ammo by overshooting or trying to get closer. In a dive, the Fw 190 can pull quite the stunts to either distance the hunter, or even make him lose his own wings.
In ground RB, you will most likely not be flying this plane to hit ground targets, because of the lack of external armament. The cannons may be a bit effective against open-topped vehicles like most SPAAGs or some SPGs, but it can be effective at taking out other strike aircraft that could be dive-bombing your ally's tanks on the ground. In general, try to pick different air vehicles to go with your tanks in ground RB.
Sharp rolling scissors can be effective. This is a favourable strategy against La-5, Yak-9 & Spitfire fighters who have, due their low wing loading (and partly wooden wings for the Soviets), less resistance against high G manoeuvres. Again, be sure to regain your energy by a zoom-climb. Just look out while doing so, many pilots die as they do not notice a second enemy aircraft approaching. German proverb:" Wenn Zwei sich streiten, freut sich der Dritte." ~ "When two quarrel, the third will reap the success." Of course, this could also be you.
- Specific enemies worth noting
When flying this plane, a common foe will be Spitfires due to the fact that they can climb higher than you and also outturn you by a significant margin. However, as they have weaker wings, a dive with rolls to change direction will allow you to evade them. If you can manage to hit a Spitfire with your 20 mm cannons, it will most likely lose its wing or engine.
Manual Engine Control
|Not controllable|| Controllable
Auto control available
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
|Combined|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Plenty of MG 17 ammo
- Great energy retention
- Great top speed & zoom-climbs
- Agile plane
- Great high-speed manoeuvrability
- Great roll rate
- Decent steady climb rate
- Excellent flaps
- Cannons are more than enough against all fighters with Air targets belts
- Poor stall control
- Poor turn rate
- Elevator is not too responsive, takes time to get used to it
- Low ammo count for 20 mm cannons
- No external payload for use against ground forces
- MG FF/M cannons have a low damage output
The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 was a highly advanced aircraft for its time and was given the nickname 'Würger' (Shrike), it was nicknamed "The Butcher Bird" because of its killing ability. The aircraft had speed and durability as its main strengths. The aircraft was all metal with a stressed all-duralumin skin.
The Fw 190 was conceived in 1937, the first prototype flew in June 1939. The undercarriage was wide-tracked, which gave the Fw 190 much greater stability compared to the Bf 109 and allowed it to take off and land on runways that other German fighters such as the Bf 109 found difficult. The first tests of the aircraft were in 1940 and few problems were discovered. Focke-Wulf completed 102 190 A-1s at the Bremen and Marienburg factories between June and October 1941. The previous A-0 was a production test run and saw no front-line fighting.
The A-1 series was the first of the Fw 190s to be used in active combat sorties. It first went into battle in the summer of 1941. The first combat model had a top speed of 624 km/h (388 mph) from its 1,600 hp engine. The first record of combat was with Spitfires in June 1941 where the Fw 190 performed well, though the pilots complained of a lack of firepower. This criticism led to the A-2 version, which had two wing-mounted synchronised 20 mm cannons and two MG 17 guns. The A-2 version had a top speed of 615 km/h (382 mph). This armament and speed made it a match for the Mk V Spitfire that was in service then.
Over the Channel and after the battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe faced harassment in the form of "Circus Operations". Continuous attacks by daylight bombers (Bristol Blenheim), heavily guarded by fighter squadrons flying Spitfire V. These were not strategical, or even tactical assaults, but distractions, to keep German forces bound to the Western front, giving the Eastern front a little more freedom. They were however ineffective and required only little countermeasures.
The same tactics used by the British six months earlier were now adopted by the Germans.
One of these squadrons facing this flying circus was Jagdgeschwader 26 equipped with Bf 109 F-4 and the new Fw 190 A-1.
In July 1941, parts of JG26 were moved to Le Bourget. Here they were the first to be trained on the Focke-Wulf 190 A-1. Following August, the 6. Staffel of Gruppe II was equipped entirely with the new fighter, and until September, the entire group was refitted. Still Bf 109 F-4 remained in service with them and ultimately the Messerschmitt would stick as the unit's fighter type. They remained at the Channel coast until the end of year. With 79 aerial victories, but only 24 total losses, the Fw 190 gained its first prestige.
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Official data sheet - more details about the performance (Russian Forum)
- [Special] Flight of the "Butcher Bird"
- [Wikipedia] Focke-Wulf Fw 190
|Focke-Wulf Aircraft Corporation (Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau Aktiengesellschaft)|
|Fighters||Fw 190 A-1 · Fw 190 A-4 · Fw 190 A-5 · Fw 190 A-5/U2 · Fw 190 A-5/U12 · Fw 190 A-5/U14 · Fw 190 A-8|
|Fw 190 C|
|Fw 190 D-9 · Fw 190 D-12 · Fw 190 D-13|
|Fw 190 F-8|
|Ta 152 C-3* · Ta 152 H-1* · Ta 154 A-1*|
|Bombers||Fw 189 A-1 · Fw 200 C-1|
|Export||▅Fw 190 A-5|
|Captured||▃Fw 190 A-8 · ▂Fw 190 D-9|
|* In 1944, the Germany Air Ministry changed new fighter aircraft designation to that of the chief designer. Kurt Tank was the chief designer at Focke-Wulf and later aircraft he designed were given the prefix of Ta.|
|He 51||He 51 A-1 · He 51 B-1 · He 51 B-2/H · He 51 C-1 · He 51 C-1/L|
|He 100||He 100 D-1|
|He 112||He 112 A-0 · He 112 B-0 · He 112 B-1/U2 · He 112 B-2/U2 · He 112 V-5|
|Bf 109 (Jumo)||Flegel's Bf 109 A · Bf 109 B-1|
|Bf 109 (DB-601)||Bf 109 E-1 · Bf 109 E-3 · Bf 109 E-4 · Bf 109 E-7/U2 · Bf 109 F-1 · Bf 109 F-2 · Bf 109 F-4 · Bf 109 F-4/trop|
|Bf 109 (DB-605)||Bf 109 G-2/trop · Bf 109 G-2 · Bf 109 G-6 · Bf 109 G-10 · Bf 109 G-14 · Bf 109 K-4|
|Fw 190 (early)||Fw 190 A-1 · Fw 190 A-4 · Fw 190 A-5 · Fw 190 A-5 · Fw 190 A-5/U2 · Fw 190 A-5/U14 · Fw 190 A-8 · Fw 190 C|
|Fw 190 (late)||Fw 190 D-9 · Fw 190 D-12 · Fw 190 D-13|
|Ta 152||Ta 152 C-3 · Ta 152 H-1|
|Blohm & Voss|
|BV 155||BV 155 B-1|
|USA||▀P-47D-16-RE · ▀P-47D|
|USSR||▀La-5FN · ▀Yak-1B|
|Britain||▀Tempest Mk V|
|Italy||▀CR.42 · ▀Marcolin's C.R.42 CN · ▀G.50 serie 2 · ▀G.50 AS serie 7 · ▀C. 200 serie 3 · ▀C. 200 serie 7 · ▀C. 202|