The Ta 152H in Aces High II
The Ta 152 has a rather bad reputation in AH, for what's supposed to be an ENY 5 and former perk model. Something that's supposed to compete with the Hawker Tempest. A very late war German design, it was based on the 190 series with an increased wing span and upgraded firepower which made it possibly the ulitmate high altitude interceptor. Unfortunately, combat altitudes in AH tend to be below even the mid-teens and encounters up above 25K, where the Ta 152 starts to shine, are extraordinarily rare. The Ta152 also suffers from some handling gremlins that make it pretty inaccessible for less experienced players.
The Ta 152's engine, itself, is top tier. Producing 1,750 HP and 2,050 HP at military and WEP settings, respectively, it could compare favorably in practical performance with most of the rest of the fastest and best accelerating planes in Aces High, if not for the mass it's tasked with propelling: roughly eleven thousand pounds on average (the 80gal. drop tank adds 500lbs, which totals 12klbs at 100% fuel loadout).
By comparison, the Tempest V weighs just about the same, but, with four hundred more horsepower, is the punchiest prop fighter over the 300+ MPH range in the Aces High planeset.
Sea level speed is a little over 330 MPH at military power, and a little over 360 MPH at WEP, with or without the drop tank rack. This is a few dozen MPH too slow to compete in level races with the other perked and unperked later war fighters. True airspeed increases at a rate of a bit more than 4 MPH per 1,000 feet of altitude, with two flat spots from about 6 to 10 kft and 16 to 24 kft depending on power settings, and tops out at about 475 MPH around 41,000 feet, soon after which it quickly tapers off.
Acceleration is slow, by late war or even mid-war standards, at all altitudes. At 41,000 feet, its optimal altitude for level speed, it takes over fifteen minutes to go from about 160 MPH IAS (the optimal climb speed) to maximum speed, using WEP.
However, the aerodynamics (it seems) are quite clean, and although (like most, if not all, late war models) it can't compare with light planes such as the A6Ms and Spit XVI in slow speed zooms, high speed retention is doubtlessly among the best. A shallow dive from more than 300 MPH will keep the Ta 152 on pace with almost any other fighter. This characteristic is one of the aircraft's main assets, and key in succesfully flying the Ta 152 against both similar planes and disimilar ones (including level bombers).
One redeeming quality of the engine is the duration of WEP, which is among the longest in the game, if not tied with a few others (such as some Me 109s) as longest. It lasts ten minutes, and only takes five minutes to 'regenerate'. That's plenty of time to last all but the most drawn-out fights. Any engagement of this length will most likely have moments where military power is enough, which easily equates to more or less 15 minutes of alternate MIL/WEP power before the engine temperature reaches its maximum.
Managing WEP like this is valuable for the Ta 152 in Aces High, as described in the combat sections below.
Fifty percent of internal fuel will cover most furballing needs in the Main Arenas, where fuel burn is twice the historical rate of consumption. That's good for about 20 minutes at military power, or six 25 mile sectors on the standard MA maps, at military power and sea level. You can squeeze enough flight time out of 25% fuel loadout (which really makes a big difference in agility) to dogfight at low altitude near your home base, but you then most likely have to fly on economical engine settings anytime possible, and that means very slow speeds between combat segments. If more range is needed, using 75% or 100% will last about 10 or 15 sectors' distance at 20,000 feet, and adding a drop tank on top of the maximum internal fuel will last more than thirty sectors' worth at 30,000 feet, also at military power.
WEP power consumes almost one and a half times as much fuel as military power at sea level and about one fifth more at 40,000 feet, with a linear trend between the two heights.
So range isn't ever a problem for this plane, but as described below, the range allowed by its fuselage and wing tanks' capacity is offset by considerably reduced agility when carrying so much fuel.
Aces High II Performance Charts
|In Game Test Data
|Clean w/25% fuel at sea level
|Sustained turn radius
|Sustained turn rate
|Turn rate at CV
|Full flaps w/25% fuel at sea level
|Sustained turn radius
|Sustained turn rate
|From 150 mph to 200 mph
|From 150 mph to 250 mph
|From 200 mph to 250 mph
|From 150 mph to 300 mph
|From 300 mph to 350 mph
|how to edit
The Ta 152 carries two types of guns: a 30mm MK108 cannon firing through the propeller hub, and two 20mm MG151/20 cannons firing from the wingroots. The MK 108 has 90 rounds of ammunition, and the two 151/20s each have 175. These give 10 and 15 seconds of continuous fire, respectively. There are two main aspects to this arrangement:
1) Good firepower: Hitting with a burst of one round from each gun is enough to all but garantee a kill on any fighter, and these guns fire from the centerline or near it, concentrating the stream of bullets.
2) Relative difficulty: The ballistics are mixed (one of them a notoriously hard one to hit with), fed with only a relatively small amount of ammunition, at an effectively low volume of fire, and have a short effective range. Additionaly, the nose of the Ta 152 is very near the mushy, wobbly end of the responsiveness spectrum, almost as bad as the Yak's in slow vertical maneuvers, and opposite the P38's razor sharp nose.
The 20mm guns should generaly not be set much further out than about 400 yards, past which the bullets disperse beyond effectiveness. Any more specific guidelines will depend on the habits and intentions of the player, but in most cases, setting the 20mm's convergence to less than 300 yards will greatly reduce the ability to score hits from 400-650 yards (not a negligible ability considering all of the Ta 152's handicaps) for the merely accessory benefit of landing 20mm hits within the 30mm's range.
The 30mm's convergence is a matter of player preference, since its convergence only alters vertical angle. Some players prefer to set it short and adjust for the ballistic drop themselves (and have less vertical bias to deal with when shooting at high speed), while others prefer the 30mm rounds to land where the gunsight point at normal speeds, and compensate themselves for the reduced drop when shooting at high speeds.
Because of these characteristics, successful gunnery in the Ta 152 requires care in both aim and planning.
The Ta 152 feels big, and that's appropriate considering the 47ft wing span and 11,000+ lbs weight. It has one of the best energy retentions under maneuvering, has excellent maximum speed E retention in vertical zooms, and if handled right, is very flexible (for a Fw190 anyway, which the plane is based on) at and past departure, provided you avoid its few quirks (detailed below). Turn rate isn't spectacular at most altitudes, though with the large wings it is possible to turn at even high altitudes where most of the other Luftwaffe models have lost most of their useful lift. Nevertheless, care must be taken at those altitudes, as the Ta152's unaided acceleration is lethargic and said quirks are still present. Roll rate is reasonable though not nearly as quick as other 190s' (again the larger wings are probably the issue), and the Ta152 in general feels dampened compared to the other 190s' near instantaneous response. At lower altitudes the wings are the most effective of all Fw190s by far, but don't permit sustained turning that's truly competitive with Spitfires and the like. The wings are still relatively fragile relative to the flight envelope's full range, but in the current version of the game are still very sturdy under normal flight regimes. Easily more durable than Spitfire wings, under maneuvering stress or under fire, so that if you know how to manage maneuvering at high speeds in the Me262, you're safe from all but freak accidents in the Ta152.
The Ta152's handling isn't without quirks, though. The easiest one to notice is the prominent yaw when rolling. Next, the tail seems to often be blanked by the fuselage during combat maneuvers, once past a certain yaw angle of attack. These two are the ingredients to the majority of the stalls that players encounter in the Ta152. Keeping the tail in check and draining the AFT tank as soon as possible are therefore imperative,
and losing your rudder is certainly bad news. Luckily, preventing spins isn't the only reason for keeping good tail control in the Ta152. The area near the limits of the flight envelope are extremely useful, both defensively and offensively, mostly thanks to that same tail-end instability. It allows you to point the nose towards relatively large angles, and keep it there for relatively long lengths of time. In practice this, combined with the Ta152's other attributes, allows you to, for example, turn tight enough with a Spitfire (while keeping much of your speed) to fly to an angle (relative to the target) from which you can push and hold the nose towards a solution, while never actually flying as tight a turn as the target.
The usefulness of the tail's flexbility varies with airspeed. At low enough speeds, you can safely fly the Ta152 further sideways (and back) than arguably any plane in the whole plane set.
At higher speeds, the rudder is still one of the strongest in the game (still an excellent help to airbrake, for example), but is sluggish enough that you must plan ahead.
At the top of a vertical reverse (in a rope
, slow barrel roll, or yoyo
), there's often more effective authority in the rudder than in the elevators, meaning that you will often reverse the Ta152 quickest with the rudder more than the elevator. The tail's instability can also be exploited to airbrake, in a sort of fishtail maneuver that airbrakes the plane fast enough to cause an overshoot, when done at the right place and time.
A more minor but still useful trait of the Ta152's maneuverability is its aileron authority past the rest of the wings' stall. This is characteristically different from the rest of the Fw190s.
On the ground, the Ta152's heavy tail and weak gears makes landing and taxiing as prone to accident as the F4U. The same procedures apply (flare, full flaps, lock tailwheel by pulling back on the stick), with for only difference the landing gears that easily collapse under the Ta152's mass. Flaring to touchdown with the gear brakes on will neutralize most of the initial tail wag.
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 Ta 152H
A couple of pilots have really found some success with the Ta 152 though they tend adapt to the style in the arena as best they can. Against bombers, the warning tends to be so short that climbing to altitude is better done in something like a 109K4, which also carries a 30mm gun for hitting big planes. The Ta 152 is an excellent BNZer, despite its increased sluggishness at very high speeds. The Ta 152 is really an interceptor though, and above 25K can be used in slashing attacks effectively, if you can find anyone up that high.
Defensively, the Ta 152 had better hope speed can get the job done. Always keep at top speed and have an altitude advantage so you don't have to rely on maneuvering in a defense. Durability is about on par with other Fw190s, although there's higher chances of being hit, consequent to its larger surface area. Don't dive excessively as you can only afford to gently pull out at the bottom for fear of damaging the plane or blacking out extensively.
Fighting against the Ta 152H
The Ta 152 is a pretty rare plane to see and most people who are up in one are actually taking it out for the first time and don't understand it. They use it like a La7 or Spit near the ground thinking the big wings will give a great turn rate while the engine will give La7 speed. I think they are imagining a Spitfire that can do 390mph or something, but that's simply wrong. The Ta 152 is an interceptor and quite easily beaten under these conditions. But be careful, some pilots, like m00t, and some others, have experience levels in the Ta 152 so great that they are extremely hard to beat.
You want to land hits on the Ta 152 at every opporuntity, but don't accept any Head-On's since those are certain to be fatal to you. I think that shouldn't be necessary against a Ta 152 under most conditions. Being above a Ta 152 is a good place to start any engagement since you are unlikely to be able to gain energy quickly enough to match a superior Ta 152. Usually 152s are so high though that you may only see them as dots racing around looking for high altitude bombers. The larger wings on the Ta 152 hamper the roll rate and add little to maneuverability. If you can drive a Ta 152 down you are probably winning more than you can imagine. The Ta 152 doesn't like to fight under 20K since it really is mostly average down there.
Defensively, make hard maneuvers or try to suck the Ta 152 into overspeed conditions. The Ta 152 is just as likely to not be able to follow a sharp, high-speed, turn for a number of reasons. The turn rate really isn't that good under those conditions, and the roll rate is such that it is not nearly as crisp as with the other 190's. This leads to problems in getting proper aiming angles. The structure of the Ta 152 is not overly strong either so it is easy for an enemy to pull the wings off or quickly black out at a key firing time. You never want to let them in close though to knock you down with the big cannons they pack.
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