Osprey's Tempest V vs FW-190D-9


Robert Forsyth


Osprey Publishing


$22.00 MSRP


Scott Van Aken

Notes: 80 pages, 7 x 9 inches, softcover
ISBN: 978-1-4728-2925-2

This edition of Duel puts forth a pair of fairly similar late war developments. Both aircraft are based on previous models. Both had fairly long (for the times) gestation periods. Both have new engines. With the Tempest V, it was a matter of taking the Typhoon as a basis, adding a new engine, new wing, and modifying the fuselage. With the FW-190D-9, it was simpler in that the fuselage was lengthened to keep the center of gravity, and it had a liquid cooled in-line engine to replace the radial on the FW-190A-8.

With the Tempest having the new wing, it made a great deal of difference in the aircraft's handling and performance. For the 190, the new engine just gave it better altitude performance and did not do that much to improve the airplane's handling. Post war testing of the two against each other showed the Tempest was superior in everything but roll rate. The shorter 190A wings were a bit of a handicap for the D model as the heavier airframe increased the wing loading. However, as if often the case, it was the pilot that determines the outcome of battle as much as anything else. Here the Tempest pilot had a significant edge. Late war Luftwaffe pilots were often young, poorly trained and so frequently an easy kill. When a veteran had controls of the D-9, the outcome was often quite different.

As is the norm with this series, the author provides a bit of background history to the two types as well as a look at how the crews were trained and how these aircraft were used in combat against each other.  As mentioned, frequently the outcome of combat was more determined by factors outside the specs of the aircraft itself. Part of this volume includes combat reports from pilots of both sides regarding their experiences flying the types. While they did not meet each other all that often, it was pilot skill and the ease of handling that put the Tempest in the plus column in most engagements. Add to all this some great period photos and superbly done art work and you'll have an excellent book that is well worth picking up. 

July 2019

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