The Fw 190D-9 in Aces High II
The 190 D-9 was an inline powered 190 version, easily distinguishable by the longer nose. The D-9 is consistently the most popular 190 version, and for good reason. It offers all the positives of the other 190 versions, includes a solid level of firepower, while adding a lot of speed to make it very competitive against other mid-late war rides. While 190's like the A-5, A-8 and F-8 are a little lacking in speed, the 190 D-9 certainly is not. I consider the 190 D-9 as the best non-perk German ride in the game, and typically the stats tell the same tale after each tour, with the D-9 ranking very highly. Still, the techniques to extract the maximum out of a 190 D-9 tend to be more advanced, so it tends to find more success to those with a little more experience.
The engine is of course an inline vs. the radials of previous 190's and in some ways it just feels different. The 190 D-9 has a sea-level speed of 375mph (WEP) / 346mph (no-WEP) which is very respectable. You'll notice though that where most planes get roughly a 10-15mph boost from WEP, the D-9 gets 29mph and that's very important because 346mph is nothing special but 375mph certainly is. A good low cruise altitude is about 10K with the D-9 turning about 380mph, high altitude cruise (420mph at 22K) tends to be low for many high altitude fighters which typically operate best around 26-28K. 22K really is the ceiling for most D-9 operations too as too many other fighters continue to gain performance at altitudes higher than that while I've always felt 190's simply get worse. Getting a 190 D-9 to 30K or more can actually be a struggle. Acceleration is very brisk at almost any altitude and climb rate is steady at 4,100ft/minute, dropping to 3,600ft/minute at 15K. This makes it one of the consistently fastest climbing aircraft through 15K. WEP time is wonderful, over 9 minutes, as in other 190's (and most LW planes). Use of WEP is more a fuel burning issue and it is rare that you will run out of WEP unless you took too little fuel or have been flying with it constantly engaged. Fuel range is a tiny bit better than other 190's, 32 minutes on full internal plus 18 minute if taking a center drop tank. Again, the drop tank is recommended for climb-out and transit to the fight where it will be dropped to lighten up. The fuel burn order is controversial where people argue the aft tank should be burned before the fwd one, which I tend to agree since it appears to help with balancing of the aircraft for combat. though you will have to switch it manually. I typically will burn the AFT tank down to 25% and then revert to automatic tank selection, leaving me a reserve which I can use to return to base.
Aces High II Performance Charts
Firepower is good with twin MG 151/20 cannons in the wings and a pair of closely mounted 13mm machineguns in the cowling of the nose. Ammunition is very generous for both cannons and machineguns, similar to other 190's, giving a good combat persistance and the ability get a lot of kills without having to reload. The cannons are really the killers when you land hits although the cowl guns can be quite effective at closer ranges or against easy targets. The cannons are wing mounted, though not terribly far off centerline, but you should still set your convergence on them to a reasonable range. The cowl weapons shoud have the convergence set out to D650, giving the ability to take long range shots, while in not hurting close range opportunities.I tend to use the cowl guns for ranging and to keep planes honest if they try and fly in straight lines outside of what I think I can hit with my cannons. No option exists to increase cannon firepower although typically none is required. Cannon accuracy at longer ranges is not all that great if you are used to flying hispano or planes with .50's, so you may find you want to adjust your firing habits to get a little closer to your target. I find D350 to be a nice distance where I know I can aim my cannons with little difficulty. Outside of that range, your cowl guns have two important advantages, better ballistics, and a close mounting that makes convergence a non-issue, so use those and hope to land hits that may damage or scare an opponent. I do find the lengthened cowl, because of the inline engine, tends to be a bit of an issue when taking shots at targets that cross from under your nose. You may want to roll slightly and look along the side of your aircraft to help anticipate when to pull the trigger on crossing style shots.
Most people mistakenly consider maneuverability as turn-rate, which would have to be described as generally poor in the 190 D-9 . At high speed, it turns pretty well, able to pull the maximum 5-6G's that really limits turn rate anyway, with little trouble. At low speeds, the turn-rate is poor, amongst the worst, so maneuvering to maximize your turn rate is important and flat-turns simply aren't going to get the job done. Maneuvering isn't all about turn rate though, it's about a number of other things, one of which is roll, at which the 190 D-9 excels. I don't even know if the word excel does the roll rate justice, it literally dominates anything in roll rate at almost every speed. This is not a lie, but a 190 that is missing one whole aileron to damage can still out-roll 90% of the aircraft in the game at any speed. Unfortunately, roll rate is a characteristic best utilized by veterans, while new to intermediate pilots often struggle to extract the maximum gain from rolling. Stall characteristics of the 190 D-9 are also a little harsh with an abrupt stall and snap-roll, though recovery is usually easy by easing back pressure on the controls. I would ensure that you attempt to fight with the 190 D-9 while light on fuel, and balanced, as described in the engine section, as this makes it a much more capable aircraft.
Flap speeds are 180, 160, and 140 IAS, with the last notch of flap being a whole half of the flaps' range.
Fighting in the Fw 190D-9
I likely consider the 190 D-9 the premier BnZ fighter in the game, or at least in the top 3. It's combination of responsive high speed handling, stellar speed, good climb, and compact firepower, give it the right combination of tools to come in fast, line up easily, take a devestating snapshot, and then escape. Fight with the 190 D-9 almost purely in the vertical, or use slashing style attacks to keep your enemy responding your you and off-balance. The roll rate allows you to change direction exceptionally quickly in the vertical, plus aids in fine tuning your lead on crossing shots. Try and arrive to the fight at medium altitudes, or at least a little higher than most of the enemy contacts, and then start BnZing back and forth, never slowing down or commiting to a turn-fight. If you can time your approaches and get close, your cannons can destroy almost any aircraft in one pass even in the briefest of snapshots. If you do need to follow a turn, use a lag style and maintain your speed and turn-rate. The 190 can never get a good small radius on a turn, but it can give a good turn rate a higher speeds (325mph+).
Defensively, the 190 D-9 should try and retain speed, making it all but impossible for anything save a handful of the fastest fighters to initiate a chase. You can use the D-9 like other 190's in a scissors type defense where it's acceleration and top speed will easily differentiate it from even other 190's. The D-9 also has the pure running option as there are few planes who can easily catch you at most low'ish altitudes. Even the vaunted La-7 only has a 5mph advantage at sea-level so any chase by one of those is likely to be fairly long. The D-9 is second fastest non-perk plane at sea-level with WEP (the duration of which is at least tied with any other aircraft). You should be able to escape from anyone on the deck not in an La-7 (the fastest) if you get enough of a jump on the situation and they don't catch you with some initial big speed advantage. Most of the close planes in this sort of drag race (Typhoon, P-51) don't have 9 minutes of WEP either, you are likely to leave them in the dust once their WEP runs out. Just make sure you extend outside of icon range before deciding to turn around and come back into the fight, don't get impatient. The most dangerous opponent to you if you stay fast is the La-7, so try and watch for those or take care of them first. If there are no La-7's around then you know you have the best deck speed and should be able to dive away and then extend.
I tend to be a big stats junky too, and the 190 D-9 offers some pretty astounding ones in performance and score. The D-9 usually rules all other non-perk planes in K/D ratio in the main arena. The D-9 is 4th fastest climber to 15K, behind only 109 versions (G-2, G-6, and G-10). The D-9 is second fastest as sea-level, 5th at 5K, 5th at 10K, and 4th at 15K. This just gives you some ideas on how fast it is and how it can be put to good use.
Fighting against the Fw 190D-9
All 190's are tough targets and the D-9 is no exception. The typical defense of the 190 is to use superior roll rate to get your out of phase and then it will dart away while you are still trying to roll to get into the same plane of direction. This makes the 190's frustratingly difficult to follow in many cases. This tends to lead to a lot of overshoots, or situations where you have to break off your attack and reposition, only to have the 190 D-9 put some distance between you that you may not be able to overcome.
Your basically going to want to find a speed advantage that you can use to get into position for a quick shot. For some reason the D-9, and all 190's come to think of it, have a relatively weak engine and any pings to the front quarter seem to knock it out pretty easily. The D-9 doesn't have long on a damaged engine either, tending to overheat quickly before it can get back to base. Try and come in fast with a small altitude advantage and then use that to dive in gently to catch up to a D-9. 190's tend to flee quickly too, and dive to the deck at high speeds to escape. Often this includes a split-S and several rolls to get you out of phase. If in doubt, level and regain lost altitude and wait for the 190 to stop rolling long enough to get back into phase. Just be careful not to overshoot because a 190 D-9 can quickly make you pay for an error like that. Almost everything that is nearly as fast, La7, Typhoon, P-51, can all out-turn the 190 D-9 , sustained. You therefore want to saddle up, force him to turn to avoid your shots, and slowly drift into a sustained turn-fight. Once in a fight like that the 190 is likely to try and scissor and build up energy through short sprints, but this is a vulnerable time for him. If you can land hits on his reversals you may may damage him and will at least spook him into being more aggressive in his defense. This can lead to a 190 overcontrolling and stalling, opening the door for you to get in a free shot on a relatively helpless target. One note of caution though, don't over-lead a scissors style defense and get greedy about the shot, this is the first mistake in what usually ends up as an overshoot and reversal of situation (ie, you are in deep trouble).
Defensively, don't plan on running away from a 190 D-9 since it is unlikely to happen in the long term if he is determined to track you down. The major weakness of the 190 is going to be in sustained turn rate at lower speeds. A spiral climb, if you can maintain a reasonable climb rate and reasonably tight circle, is likely to pull the 190 into a poor rate of turn as speeds decrease. It is unlikely the 190 will continue this turn and will most likely reverse or try and dive away. A 190 that is driven away will come back but at least this gives you the option to extend yourself, or gain more altitude and wait for him to come back. The D-9 has such great energy building characteristics that given half a chance it will build energy and quickly match your level, or exceed it, so you are unlikely to win an energy game unless you can continue the pressure. If you can get a 190 to sustain it's turning while chasing you, you can bleed it slow where it is less able to prevent you from gaining position for a firing opportunity. Good turners should turn aggressively to face the 190 at every opportunity though Head-Ons are not recommended except as a last resort. Once a 190's speed is gone it is a far easier target. One final note, if you are going to start using break-turns against a 190 D-9 , don't do them level (ie, don't just turn to the left or right), instead, throw in some vertical component to the turn, or use a little rudder to change your heading slightly. A simply break turn is easily adjusted for in a 190 D-9 and he's going to take his crossing snap-shot on you if you make it easy for him.
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