What if FW190C instead of D?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by wiking, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. wiking Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focke-Wulf_Fw_190#High-altitude_developments
    Also:
    So basically the FW190C would have been the equivalent performance of the FW190D only over 1 year earlier.
    The only problem was the lack of sufficient DB603s, which were selected as the engine for the ME410.
    So perhaps if Daimler-Benz had gotten an upgrade in production capability like Jumo did pre-war there would be sufficient capacity for DB603s.
    Or if the Volkswagen plant at Wolfsburg, which never reached capacity and was heavily underutilized until 1944 and then only to 50% capacity, was tasked with aero-engine construction it could have produced Daimler engines.

    Hypothetically if sufficient engines were available and the FW190C was in production from March 1943 to give Germany a higher performance fighter capable of operating with performance comparable to the P51D, but a year earlier than the Mustang and more than a year earlier than the historical FW190D, what would the effect be on the air war?

    In 1943 Germany still had relative control over her skies during the day and sufficient numbers of experienced pilots to get the full benefit of such a high performance aircraft and no comparable Allied aircraft to escort bombers deep into Germany.

    The FW190C had much heavier firepower than the Me109G and could replace the BF110s and Ju88s operating as bomber-killers, which means more aircraft for night fighter forces. It also saves the vulnerable Me410s from daylight bomber-killer service where their slow speed meant they were decimated; they could also then operate as intended as bombers and night fighters/intruders.

    The FW190C would have much greater survivability as a fighter at higher altitudes because of its speed, which was much higher than the Me109 models from 1942 on. It would be more dangerous for US bombers to operate during the day and because of the freeing up of BF110s and Ju88s there would be more dangers for the RAF at night. Plus if the ME410s are not used during the day they couple operate in Russia or also at night to fight the RAF.

    Plus by the time the P51D shows up in early 1944 the Luftwaffe would have plenty of experience with the model, so Big Week in February and the first half of 1944 wouldn't be nearly as costly for the Luftwaffe. The lack of attrition of the remaining fighter pilots would prevent the collapse of the Luftwaffe by mid-year.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_the_Reich#Turn_of_the_tide_.281944.29
     
  2. Just Leo Curmudgeon with a heart of gold

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  3. wiking Member

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    After 1942? I don't know of any and if you have other information that we didn't know before when we talked about an earlier DB603, which is NOT what I am suggesting here, I'm happy to hear it. By 1943 there was especially nothing wrong with the DB603 because it was in full production and service, but there wasn't enough of them for both the FW190 AND the ME410 plus other minor projects. By 1942 though the BD603 was in serial production and was solely hampered by the lack of sufficient Daimler factories, which with a POD pre-war would fix the problem and get us the FW190C without another POD.
     
  4. Mostlyharmless Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that the turbosuperchargers of the Fw190C had the same problem as the jets and the Jumo 004A in particular in that they needed nickel, cobalt or chromium to withstand the high temperature exhaust gasses.

    What was possible was a Fw190 powered by a mechanically supercharged DB 603. It might have had significantly better performance than the Fw190A at the altitude of the American bombers but would not have matched the Fw190C and might not have matched the Fw190D. The RLM probably favoured the Fw190D project but the problem delaying the Fw190D was that the Jumo 213 was very unreliable up to very late in 1943 when the firing order was changed to the Rechlin order http://www.enginehistory.org/fo/FO.htm (you have to select Jumo 213).

    We don't need a pre-war POD for enough DB 603s to be available. We could imagine a decision to retool the FMO-Flugmotorenwerke Ost from the Jumo 222 to the DB 603 and to fit four to the He 177.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  5. wiking Member

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    The found it for the FW190D, so the materials were there. I don't know where they would come from in 1944 that wasn't there in 1942-3.
     
  6. AdA Well-Known Member

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    Operational need

    In 1942 the critical need for more capable high altitude fighters was not anticipated by the LW. The FW190A was at the time arguably the best fighter in the world, and the Bf109G was expected to hold its own. By the time the threat from the P51 and the griffon powered spitfires, as well as the P47 was apreciated, the oportunity had been lost and the D was selected. What would be need to speed up an introduction of the C would be an earlier understanding of what was about to come.
    The shortcut you propose, cancelling the Me410 and using most DB603 production on Fw190C, would be a logical move, if hindsight had been avaiable.
    As a footnote, in 43 some people in the LW wanted to adopt the Fiat G56, but the type, apart from being Italian, was very labour intensive to make.
     
  7. SactoMan101 Well-Known Member

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    If the Fw-190C had become operational by fall 1943 with about 400-500 planes in service by early 1944, the Allies would have a MUCH harder time gaining air superiority over Germany, since the Fw-190C would have easily kept up with the P-51B/C models even at altitude.

    People forget that the Luftwaffe suffered heavy losses in their fighter corps in the first half of 1944 because the Fw 190A series lacked the altitude performance to combat the P-51B/C at higher altitudes, and the Bf 109G-6 (the most common model of the Bf 109G at the time) topped out only at 387 mph, well below the top speed of the P-51B/C.
     
  8. wiking Member

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    Which is exactly the reason I'm posting this thread. The Luftwaffe apparently realized there was a need for high altitude FW190s because they ordered three different versions:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focke-Wulf_Fw_190#High-altitude_developments
    The problem was with the engines, as the RLM had earmarked the limited engines to the 'too big to fail' ME410 program that had sucked up so many resources and was now a pet project, rather than the serious focus of what was going on. Goering was still to blame, as he was ignoring the reports of escort fighters reaching deeper into Germany, P47s using drop tanks, and the inadequacy of the Me109 for fighting the coming Allied escorts.
    Galland writes about how they knew the problem was coming, but Goering wouldn't listen until it was too late.
    I realize the Me410 was meant as a bomber destroyer, but with the FW190C there could have been two bomber-killers for every DB603 engine, rather than 1 aircraft per 2 engines. If the engines were already available in two few numbers, why not make the most of the limited supply?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daimler-Benz_DB_603
    http://www.fockewulf190.net/uk/fockewu/equipuk/db603u.htm
    According to this link Daimler was wary about ramping production of this engine up too much because they were constantly afraid the RLM would cancel it again, as they had in 1937, only to reactivate the project in 1940.

    http://www.fockewulf190.net/uk/fockewu/develuk/fwcuk.htm
    It looks like ceiling of about 40200 feet was not enough in the minds of the RLM, so they increased the service ceiling to 45000 feet, which resulted in downgraded performance. I don't know why they couldn't accept the excellent performance that was offered between 20k and 40k feet, which would have blunted the losses of 1944, especially if there were over a thousand built, like that of the FW190D.

    My reply is all of the above posting.

    Edit:
    I'm looking at my copy of Green's "War planes of the third reich" and it looks like the RLM was playing favorite with the Jumo 213, so wanted that to work, but once the FW190D came into service they changes their tune and ordered the DB603E installed in some FW190Ds for testing again. The DB603 had better performance than the Jumo, so the plan was that the D14 and D15 FW190s would be re-engined with the DB603 from now on. The bombing got in the way of production plans, but it seems that the Jumo was the inferior engine.
    Even the FW team developing the FW190C and D thought that the DB603 was the superior altitude engine with greater development potential, but were overruled by the RLM that wanted to favor Jumo, which at this point was a state-owned institution.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  9. HMS Warspite Well-Known Member

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    The change of the FW from a radial BMW engine to the more powerful and higher performing Jumo inline engine was a masterstroke, as it created propably one of the finest piston engined fighters ever to take the sky. The new FW-190-D was intended to operate at high altitudes, which the radial engines could not give it, so the choice was logical to move to an engine that could do the job. The radial enigned FW-190 was primarily to be a fighter-bomber and to cooperate side by side with the pure fighters as the Bf-109 and FW-190-D.
     
  10. wiking Member

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    Not really, because the Dora didn't appear until it was too late. The Masterstroke would have been to use the DB603 which was the favored engine of the Focke-Wulf development team and later the RLM finally decided to revert to the DB603 in late 1944-early 1945 after its performance was proven to be much better than the Jumo 213, despite being available over a year before the Jumo 213.

    Having the DB603 engined FW190, the C-series, would have been the smartest choice, as it was ready to enter production in early spring 1943. By early 1944 when it was really needed, it could have had more than 1000 units in service, which would completely negate the advantages of the P51 series. Potentially with that year of development and combat experience it could also surpass the P51 in performance.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  11. cortz#9 Obrltnt of Kampfgruppe Seelöw

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    The Focke Wulf V18 This photo shows off nicely the Four bladed prop, turbocharger piping and the air intake intercooler.

    Fw190C_fshfhsfhhh.png
     
  12. AdA Well-Known Member

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    Operational requirements

    The LW demanded extra height performance, sending Kurt Tank back to the drawing board, because it saw the FW190C as a specialised high altitude interceptor rather than as a air superiority fighter, wich placed it in direct competition with the Bf109H. The Jumo 213 was arguably superior to the DB603 as a fighter engine, and the lack of urgency in the request for a Bf109G6 replacement allowed for the lost time btw concept and operational use in the D version.
     
  13. Just Leo Curmudgeon with a heart of gold

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    The Me-410 used nothing but DB-603A engines. All higher powered models suffered an extremely short service life or catastrophic failure due to lubrication and con-rod bearing failures. It was a big engine, with big problems. These problems were being dealt with to an extent deemed acceptable sometime in 1944, just about when Ta-152s started using them. Any reference to an FW using anything but the DB-603A in Luftwaffe service in 1942 is fantasy. The later engines first had to pass the type test, and they hadn't studied.
     
  14. HMS Warspite Well-Known Member

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    That might be true at lower to medium altitudes, but the engine was not very well for high altitudes, which necessated the inline engine, which had the better cooling at such levels, also indicating why the Ta-152 was so equipped and not with a lesser radial engine. Anyway, the FW-190-D was the best the germans had in the OTL in the later waryears, although there were never enough of them, as well as skilled pilots to fly them.

    The missionprofile for the FW-190-D was to take out the day bombers of the US 8th Airforce, as well as the escorting fighters, which were mainly flying high up in the stratosphere, needing to counter it with high altitude fighters and interceptors, capable of getting higher than the bombers still, diving on to them form above, not from below. This alone asked for (in piston engined fighters at least) inline engined machines, as the radials could not perform at such high altitudes. (Jets and rocket propulsion was even better, but still somewhat experimental.)
     
  15. wiking Member

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    Do you have some sourcing on that, I'd like to read more. You didn't give any in the last thread.

    Neither the DB603 nor Jumo 213 that the FW190D used were inline engines, they were both inverted V12s. They needed liquid cooling at higher altitudes, which is something the DB603 was better for than the Jumo 213 according to the Focke-Wulf design team working on the high altitude version of the FW190 AND the RLM in late 1944. The limitation of the German radials was obvious from 1941.


    How high though? The FW190C performed well up to 40,000 feet in 1942 during testing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  16. AdA Well-Known Member

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    The C worked well up to 12200m when tested in 42. Then the LW asked for 13700m, and Tank had to rework the aircraft. By the time he was done the D made more sense, since the Ta152 would be the definitive fighter.
    http://fockewulf190.net/fr/fockewf/develfr/fwcfr.htm
     
  17. wiking Member

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    There is no reason the DB603 wouldn't have made more sense, as it had more development potential according to Focke-Wulf. The Dora with the Jumo 213 was pushed because the state had a controlling interest in Jumo and Daimler didn't bribe officials to get contracts. As it was the Dora 14 and 15 were converted back to the DB603 and the RLM finally admitted the DB603 was superior to the Jumo 213 up to 40,000 feet, as the link suggested (I posted the english version earlier).

    For the >40,000 feet version the later developments of the DB603 were just as good as the Jumo 213E that the TA152 used, but simply was not selected for the role, despite having similar or better performance.
     
  18. AdA Well-Known Member

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    When I said it made more sense, I meant that Tank regarded the D as a stop gap version, while he worked in the definitive Ta152. The Ta152C, with the DB603, is the final version of what the doctor was planning when he pushed the Fw190C forward in 42. The H E and B version of the Ta152 were meant for Jumo engines, so each engine must of had its merits. In 1944 whatever could be built faster and work would get built. I'd suspect the D got built because FW could get Jumo213 engines easier than DB603.
    On the DB603 vs Jumo 213, opinions are varied. didn't you start a thread specifically on the DB603 being avaiable earlier a while back? This thread will probably be a bit of a rerun of some aspects of that one.
    Do you have Joachim Dressel and Manfred Greihl book on German fighters and bombers? Seems just like your kind of book.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  19. wiking Member

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    Okay, I get what you are saying now. Yes, having the earlier FW190C and then TA152 derivative is what I am proposing, as it was available much earlier than the Dora. The TA152 would have been available earlier then too.

    I did, but it didn't seem to get very far:
    http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=256515&highlight=db603

    Also JustLeo didn't provide sourcing for the claims about the DB603 problems, which I haven't found confirmed anywhere online so far.

    Edit:
    the German version of the wiki-entry about the DB603 mentions almost verbatim JustLeo's claim about the DB603, but it is totally unsourced and there is virtually no sourcing for the entire article.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  20. AdA Well-Known Member

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    The DB603A was being used in the production version of the Me410 from January 43. But the numbers built were not that great, and DB might not be able to supply the engine in large numbers. At the time they were massively comited to building the DB605. All in all only 1160 Me410 were built until the end of the war, a pretty small number. In that same period they built something like 20 times that number of Bf109, all with DB605 engines...
    The ideal would have been for the FW190C to replace the Bf109G. The LW would have the FW190A as a tactical fighter, and the C as a air superiority fighter. Later the Ta152C and H would take over. If the Bf109 was axed after the F series, engine production could be adjusted accordingly and DB concentrate on the 603.