Focke-Wulf 190 D-9 by Academy

1/72 scale
Kit No. 1660
Cost: $10.00
Decals: 3 versions
Comments: Engraved panel lines, excellent cockpit detail, the same for landing gear and wheel wells

History

The Fw 190, one of Germany’s best fighter designs of World War II, made its first flight on June 1, 1939. It appeared in action over northwestern France in September 1941 and rapidly proved its superiority over the Mark V Spitfire, Great Britain’s best fighter of the period and the fighter it was specifically designed to counter.

The “Dora”
Most Fw 190’s were of the “A” series, powered by a BMW radial engine, but in the autumn of 1944, the “D” series appeared, answering the Luftwaffe’s need for a medium altitude, high-speed interceptor that would improve upon the performance of its predecessor. Although originally a Daimler Benz DB 603 engine was fitted, production models of the D-9 were powered by the Junkers Jumo 213A.

This liquid-cooled, 1726 hp in-line engine featured a methanol-water injection system sprayed directly into the supercharger, which increased boost pressure, the rate of air intake, and overall performance, increasing top speed to 425 mph. This made the D-9 faster than the A series, but the long-nosed Dora lacked its predecessor’s tight turning capability and impressive rate of roll. Still, the D-9 had excellent acceleration, but its performance fell away at altitudes below 20,000 feet. The in-line engine required a longer nose, so to maintain the center of gravity a 20-inch section was added to the fuselage just forward of the tail.

While it was intended to intercept U.S. bombers in the skies over Europe, by the time the D-9 came on the scene in late 1944 the most pressing need had shifted to fighter-on-fighter combat and ground support missions, as Germany’s fortunes in the war waned. Methanol was in short supply when the D-9 entered service in September 1944, and many of the first batch of Doras assigned to III/JG54 lacked the MW50 injection system, capable of attaining top speeds of only 360 mph. But when fitted with MW50, the D-9 had superior climb and diving speed than both its predecessors and many of its Allied adversaries. It also had a tighter turning radius than any Allied fighter, save for the Spitfire.

Ultimately, the Fw 190 D saw further development to improve its high altitude performance; these production models bore the designation Ta152, to acknowledge the contributions of designer Kurt Tank. The Ta 152 differed from the Fw 190 D-9 in having a pressurized cockpit, a broader wing span, and a more powerful Jumo 213E engine.

Specifications

Wingspan: 34 ft. 5 1/3 in.
Length: 33 ft. 5 1/4 in.
Height: 11 ft. 1/4 in.
Armament: Two wing-mounted MG 151 20mm cannon, two MG 131 13mm cannon in nose (the outer wing cannon of earlier Fw 190’s were dropped)
Powerplant: Junkers Jumo 213 of 2, 240 hp with methanol-water injection
Maximum speed: 425 mph
Cruising speed: 280 mph
Range: 520 miles
Service ceiling: 40,000 ft.

The Kit

Academy’s Focke-Wulf 190D is molded in grey and consists of 39 injection molded plastic parts. The kit has engraved panel lines, flush rivets, boxed-in, detailed wheel wells and a detailed cockpit. There is also a choice of canopies, with one version having more Plexiglas to the rear of the pilot for better visibility. There is raised detail on all four instrument panels (two main panels and two within the cockpit tub) and a realistic, canted control stick for the cockpit. The main wheels are detailed with engraved radial tread, making aftermarket replacements unnecessary, complemented by a realistic, slight curvature to the main landing gear doors to closely track the shape of the underside of the wing. The ailerons and elevator flaps, while not separately molded, bear above average engraved detail that offers interesting weathering possibilities. Highly recommended.

%d bloggers like this: