Fw 190 A-4
|This page is about the German fighter Fw 190 A-4. 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 Fw 190 A-4 is a rank III German fighter with a battle rating of 4.3 (AB/RB) and 4.0 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.43.
"Würger" is the German nickname of this beast of a plane, or in English, Shrike. It can also be translated as slayer, choker, or strangler. In that regard fits the English designation well too: "Butcher-bird"
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 5,800 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|
|1,500 m||1,520 hp||1,727 hp|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|5,300 m||1,420 hp||1,613 hp|
Survivability and armour
- 3 mm Steel - Fore engine cowling
- 5 mm Steel - Secondary engine cowling
- 6 mm Steel - Lower engine plate
- 8 mm Steel - Lower cockpit/fuel tank plate
- 5 mm Steel - Rear fuel tank plate
- 6 mm Steel - Pilot seat back (first plate)
- 8 mm Steel - Pilot seat back (second plate)
- 12 mm Steel - Headrest
- 57 mm Bulletproof glass
- Self-sealing fuel tanks (1 underneath pilot's feet, 1 below and behind pilot)
Modifications and economy
The Fw 190 A-4 is armed with:
- 2 x 20 mm MG 151 cannons, wing-mounted (250 rpg = 500 total)
- 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)
Pilots who are really experienced with the aiming and hitting of the MG151/20 might want to use stealth belts on the MGs and cannons, to avoid being spotted by tracers. Using stealth belts on the machine guns only is also useful for aiming the cannon more easily without the distraction provided by the light machine gun tracers.
The best belts for the 7.92 mm MG 17, depending on your intended target:
- Air targets: Universal (AP-T/AP/AI/AP-I)
- Ground targets: Tracer (AP-T)
The best ammunition available for use with machine guns is Universal. Universal utilizes armour-piercing tracer rounds, armour-piercing rounds, adjustment incendiary rounds, and armour-piercing incendiary rounds.
The best belts for the 20 mm MG 151, depending on your intended target are:
- Air targets: Air targets (AP-I/HEI/HEI/HEI/HEI/IT) - Consisting of 2/3 Minengeschoß rounds, this belt is very effective against any aircraft.
- Ground targets: Armoured targets (APHE/APHE/APHE/IT)
The best ammo to use for both cannons is the Air Target belts. They will destroy fighters and bombers faster than tracers. They are different for both cannons, however. For the MG 151s they have a high explosive incendiary shell, armour-piercing shell, and incendiary tracer shell. The MG FF/Ms have high explosive incendiary shell, Fragmentation incendiary tracer shell (self-destroying) and armour piercing high explosive shell.
The best belts for the 20 mm MG FF/M are:
- Air Targets (FI-T*/HEI/HEI/FI-T*/HEI/HEI/APHE)
- Stealth (APHE/HEI/HEI/HEI/AP-I)
The Minengeschoß (HEI) round is the star performer for this gun, so the belts that maximize that round are usually the best.
In the Modifications menu, both cannon are only listed as "Offensive 20 mm"; the MG 151 is on the left and the MG FF/M is on the right.
Usage in battles
The A-4 is a punishing Boom & Zoom fighter. The armament is fantastic and dive speed/top-speed is very good. Use this to your advantage. As should be familiar now with the previous Focke-Wulf (and future models), the turning capabilities of this plane are very poor. Dogfighting is not recommended with the Fw 190.
This should not discourage you from seizing opportunities, however. A Fw 190 A-4 in a balanced furball can be devastating when acting as a wingman, keeping other fighters from attacking your teammates. These opponents are less focused on evading you, as they are busy trying to attack your allies, giving you the time to line up the shot. As soon as the fight begins to tip in the enemies' favour, it's time for you to make a quick disappearance, as enemies actively trying to get on your tail will almost always succeed.
The 190-A4's weapon set is fantastic, too. Four 20 mm cannons are more than enough to rip any plane to shreds and the backup MGs, while not particularly damaging against other fighters at this tier, are great for strafing light ground targets like AA guns. Your firepower is only rivalled by the Airacobras and the twin-engine heavy fighters.
The Fw 190 A-4, as all the planes in this line, are some of the best Boom & Zoomers in the game and should be flown exclusively in this style. But like the Fw 190 A-1, it is one of the more manoeuvrable Focke-Wulfs. The performance at high speeds is excellent, as is it's dive and climb characteristics. Do not ever engage this aircraft in a turn fight as this will usually end badly. Instead, fight primarily in the vertical. Always try to have an altitude or speed advantage over your opponents (climb off to the side at the start of the battle and then enter the highest battle you come across).
In the defensive, as in the previous plane, you can often just dive away from most planes at high speed. In a dive, the 190 can, due to its short wings, pull quite some stunts to lose your attacker or even cause him to lose his wings! Again, be sure to regain your energy and altitude after a fight.
The best tactic for this plane is Boom and Zoom tactics, although careful energy-fighting works well too at higher speeds. There are generally two types of Boom & Zoom strategies: Tailing Boom & Zoom or Burst Boom & Zoom:
A Tailing Boom & Zoom is when the pilot sweeps in behind a target and follows (or "tails") him for a few seconds before breaking away. The benefit of doing this is that the attacker has a longer time to aim and take down the target. This comes at the cost of having less energy to climb back up afterwards, and you are a fairly easy target for other nearby enemies.
If you remain behind your target for too long, you will lose too much energy and won't be able to climb back up to safety. Any turning involved makes your situation worse, though remember that smart foes in more agile planes will often try to counter this tactic by baiting you into a turn. Keeping their plane just out of your sights entices you to keep following them for just another second more until they've drained your speed and then you will be a slow, easy target.
Burst Boom & Zoom is when a pilot dives down directly onto an enemy, fires a 1-2 second burst at close range, and immediately zooms back up to a safe altitude. The benefits of this tactic, as opposed to the former, is you have far more speed to climb back up and you will be safer from return fire, as you will have spent less time in the enemy's "zone". The problem with this is that you have far less time to shoot, and may not even damage the enemy if your aim is off even by a little.
Specific enemies worth noting
Some planes, you might see which are very deadly opponents are the: Spitfires, Typhoons, Beaufighters, Mustangs, Yakovlevs, B-17s, XP-50s and the Wellingtons These planes should not be underestimated, they can all fight this aircraft extremely well.
Manual Engine Control
|Not controllable|| Controllable
Auto control available
| Not controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Combined|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Excellent firepower
- Excellent roll rate for defensive manoeuvres
- Great energy retention and great acceleration in dives
- Good climb rate
- Good top speed
- Good supply of cannon ammo for MG 151
- Engine almost never overheats even on WEP
- Excellent flaps
- Good frontal protection for the pilot
- Loses power above 5,000 m (16,400 ft) steadily
- Stalls quickly, and is difficult to control once stalled
- Very bad turn rate, as a trade-off for the high dive speed
- Terrible stock grind
- Only 90 rounds per gun for MG FF/M
- Sluggish at lower speeds (around <350 km/h)
- Engine is prone to catch fire in head-ons
After shortcomings of the A-1 were identified, the Fw 190 was continuously improved. This led to the following variants:
- Fw 190 A-2: first introduced in October 1941, it saw the introduction of the improved engine BMW 801 C-2 and two 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons replacing both wing-mounted 7.92 mm MGs,
- Fw 190 A-3: it saw an increase in power to 1,700 PS with the BMW 801 D-2 engine. It retained the same weaponry as the A-2. The FuG 7 HF radio was switched to the FuG 16 VHF radio, giving it a longer range.
- Fw 190 A-4: introduced in July 1942, the A-4 was the same aircraft as the A-3. The main improvement was the water-methanol power boost system "MW 50" for the BMW 801 engine. The system injected for a short period of time a water-methanol mix into the cylinders to raise the engine's power limit. The methanol was intended as anti-freeze. The Fw 190 A-4 went into production in late 1942 and 975 units were produced in 1942 and 1943.
The Fw 190 A-4 saw combat extensively on all fronts:
- It was the first Fw 190 to see combat on the Eastern front in 1942 thanks to its water-methanol power boost system.
- The tropical variant of the A-4 was sent in Libya to support the Afrika Korps in 1942.
- The first unit created to intercept USAF and RAF bomber formations in 1943 was equipped with Fw 190 A-4s.
- Fighter squadrons stationed in France also received the A-4 in 1943 and used its dual role as fighter-bomber to harass English coastal towns.
- Related development
- Official data sheet - more details about the performance (Russian Forum)
- [Wikipedia] Focke-Wulf Fw 190
- [Air Vectors] The 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|
|Tank Fighters||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 · NC.900|
|* 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|