Fw 190 D-9 Dora
Much like the (historically) earlier Fw 190 A-8 “Anton” model, the Dora exists in the shadow of the Bf 109, simply by not being connected to as many famous battles and campaigns. Nevertheless, it represents a significant upgrade over not just the iconic “Messerschmitt” but also over the Anton design, and came as a nasty end-of-war surprise to the allies. The timing of the introduction and the ever-increasing pressure from the allied air incursions deeper and deeper into occupied Europe meant that the older fighters had to be used until the end alongside it, and by this time, the the introduction of this high-altitude version of the 190 was not nearly enough to stem the tide.
As with the A-8 model that preceded it, the fact that the Fw 190 D-9 is an upgrade, through and through, is evident even at first glance. Not only are earlier flight (and ground) dynamic kinds gone, but the cockpit interface is modern and user-friendly in a way that even Korean-era fighters fail to achieve.
The Fw 190 D-9 improves on the pilot's life by having:
- A very user-friendly cockpit layout, including colour-coding of dials to quickly find the right read-out in a hurry, even further improved over the A-8 Anton.
- An equally user-friendly wide stance on the ground, for good stability and steering at all speeds.
- The MW-50 water-methanol booster system to get more emergency power out of the engine.
- 2× 13mm machine guns and 2× 20mm cannons for making holes in things.
- Multiple bombs and rockets to make bigger holes in bigger things (the rockets being mainly intended for bombers).
- Only elevator trims, still.
Comes with the built-in Fw 190D-9 Challenge campaign.
Flying the Fw 190 D-9
The Fw 190 D-9 is very similar to the A-8 in how it handles, with the main difference being one of performance at higher altitudes. It has none of the snap-roll, back-flip tendencies of the 109 on take-off, and also offers easy ground handling in how the tail wheel is locked and in how the landing gear in general is set up. The wider gear arrangement makes both take-offs and landings less wobbly over all. In the air, the design focus is still one of on reliability, visibility, and manoeuvrability, like the earlier A-8 variant. It is still not exactly slow, especially since it sports the MW-50 engine boost system, but it is rather a more balanced approach than one that pushes itself into high-speed stalls and compressibility issues. In particular — since that was the one of the main design goals — it drastically improves high-altitude performance to tangle with bombers and escort fighters.
Getting into the air
The user-friednliness of the Fw 190 D-9 starts… well, at the very start. To get it into the air you have to:
- Flip open the circuit breaker panel on the right and turn everything on there.
- Turn on oxygen, and check the fuel tanks so you haven't forgotten to fuel up.
- Move the fuel tank selector to “AUF”.
- Turn on the fuel pumps using the remaining CB:s on the right.
- Flip the magneto selector to M1+M2.
- Move throttle to “ANLASSEN” (Start/Idle).
- Flip open the final cover on the right to reveal the starter switch, and push and hold it up for ~25s to crank up the starter flywheel.
- Now push and hold the starter switch in the other direction to start the engine.
- Run the engine at 2000 RPM to warm it up, while adjusting up the cowling flaps.
(The knob is hidden behind a console lip, just above the bank of fluid dials and will require some digging around.)
- Close the canopy and make your way to the runway — use the toe brakes to turn and pull back on the stick to lock the tail wheel to stay straight.
- Set flaps to START position.
- Push the throttle forward slowly to accelerate down the runway, and use rudder rather than brakes to go straight.
- As you pick up speed, the tail will start to rise — keep it under control and the aircraft will lift itself off the ground. Do not let it do its own thing or you might tip over too far and have the propeller cosplay as a high-speed plough.
- Gear up, flaps up, onwards and upwards!
Getting the Fw 190 D-9 ready for combat is a quick procedure:
- Power up your gyro sight (a knob on the right side of the sight).
- Dial in the wingspan of your target, per the table on the sight.
- Use the throttle rotary to dial in the range — 600m allows for optimal convergence of the guns.
- Flip up the Master Arm switch.
- When the wings of the targets fit within the sight, you are at the correct range — fire.
If you brought along anti-air rockets:
- Arm the rockets by moving the left “SICHERHEITSSCHA. GERÄT 21” switch on the weapons panel to “EIN”.
- Aim as normal.
- Press the weapon-release button to fire.
Links and files
- Vehicle Size Chart for sight adjustments.
- Chuck's Fw190D-9 Dora guide at Mudspike.
- DCS: Fw 190 D-9 Dora in the DCS shop.
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190 on wikpedia.
- Bunyap's Test Flight - DCS: Fw 190 D-9 Dora video series.
- Taming taildraggers — an essay, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.