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Ta152 Automatic Flight-Stabilisation Systems and Fw190/variants Engine-Management systems......

xylstra

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On another forum I recently came across a TA-152 pilot's handbook which immediately piqued my interest and I eagerly scanned the pages using my mediocre grasp of technical German in search of details that would describe the Automatic Flight Stabilising system with which the TA152 was equipped and any additional mention of the throttle/propeller-pitch/engine-boost automatic controller as was used with the FW90 radial-engined marks.
"Damn!" Couldn't find any useful descriptions.... disappointing, to put it mildly!
Knowing the considerable interest such specialised points of tecnical innovation - and especially when associated with these iconic Focke-Wulf fighters - then I am sure I am not alone in wanting some drill-down, blow-by-blow technical descriptions of these 'Gerat'.
Indeed, in the majority of reference books printed on these subject aircraft the majority omit any mention of them. On the rare occasion that they are mentioned this usually consists of one sentence at best and bereft of any detail at that.
Kurt Tank was a qualified Electrical Engineer and his first foray into the nascent beginnings of electric 'fly-by-wire'for aircraft was the prototype FW191 in which heavy dependance was placed on the innovative use of electrically remote controlled and directed gun barbettes. It was a fiasco! The concept was a winner but the implementation was sabotaged by poor quality and low reliability of the electical components employed. It was never fixed and the idea shelved.
When it came to the FW190 he was mildly obsessed with wanting to reduce the pilot's workload in the midst of combat by the elimination of distractions arising from the need for 'control-juggling' to obtain optimal coordination of propeller-pitch and throttle/boost settings so that the pilot could keep both hands on the stick and concentrate on achieving the kill. So to this end he eagerly embraced the BMW-801 equipped with the "KommandoGerat" installed in the radial-engined FW190 with what was effectively an early form of electro-mechanical engine management system. Not sure whether this was ever copied/investigated by Junkers (or Daimler-Benz, for that matter) and carried over to the 'Dora' (can anyone confirm?).
Evolving the 'Dora' into the TA152 he went further and added an automatic flight stabiliser, which I believe was made by SIEMENS. The rationale was simply that in order to produce the 'knock-out punch' by keeping his fighter design ahead of the opposing and ever-improving allied fighters faced by the Luftwaffe he essentially had to build a 'Hot-Rod': cram an over-powerful engine into small airframe weighed down with multiple large-calibre cannon and just add NOx boost and you're good to go! Trouble was the resulting aircraft had become almost unflyable: far too much torque available far too quickly by just breathing on the throttle and all under the hand of ever younger and inexperienced pilots. A recipe for disaster!
He was adamant that his oversight control solution would keep his fighter designs on the leading-edge of the technology curve. In the case of the TA152 he was so convinced of it's utility he was prepared to suffer the weight-penalty of armouring the battery box - an indication of how important he regarded it.
All these complex systems weren't plucked out of thin air. They must have been developed over a long period and would have been a monumental research effort. This story has never been told and I for one, am curious to know more about how this was undertaken.
Can anyone full in the details?
More broadly, can anyone provide as much information (i.e. schematics, pictures, blueprints, technical and development narratives, etc) on the various systems, and their auxiliaries I have referred to?
Interestingly, Tank and Sydney Camm met aftet war, the latter taking an instant dislike to Tank whom he regarded as arrogant (probably true). Camm eschewed the very notion of automated flight control systems but only likely because he couldn't see past his bloated ego. History of course, was to prove Tank correct. His primitive systems having evolved into the complex fly-by-wire autonomous aircraft control systems we take for granted today and for which no modern aircraft is designed without. Testifies to Tank's future-focussed vision.
Before I forget: the TA152 was also equipped with the Askania EZ.42 lead-computing gyro-gunsight although many of these installations were of a permanently experimental nature as it had been placed into production before it had been fully developed whilst in the meantime Askania continued to hone and fettle the design so it is uncertain which version of sight went into the last TA152 before production ceased ( Does anyone know?). A most interesting post-war B.I.O.S. report has emerged fully describing these and other German weapons developments:- BIOS-67.pdf

On a separate note but may as well deal with while I'm at it: German WW2 flare identification systems. If you study closely some of the period TA152 photographs you'll just be able to pick out a verical column of 5 black dots in the rear fuselage.
Curious?
........ I'll put you out of your misery. They're the barrel ends of flare projectors. The German airfield flak crews had become 'trigger-happy' due to frequent strafing sweeps by allied fighters that they frequently shot down their own! There was insufficient time to relay an urgent message to them via the control tower so German aircraft came to be equipped with installed flare signal dispensers as standard equipment.
Can anyone provide further details?
 

newsdeskdan

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As a brief aside, it's worth noting that Kurt Tank was Focke-Wulf's Betriebsfuehrer (sort of a chief executive) as well as its Technische Leiter. This meant he had very little to do with the design of Focke-Wulf's aircraft during the war years. He certainly received copies of most technical papers, broadly set the direction in which development was to take place and advocated individual types during RLM development committee meetings when he was asked to attend (usually with technical assistance from someone like Willy Kaether, director of Focke-Wulf's technical development staff) - but he didn't really 'design' anything. He spent most of his time in the board room dealing with factory and management issues or on business trips to make arrangements for outsourced production etc.
Camm, on the over hand (and whatever your view on his personal qualities), did directly oversee Hawker's design staff.
 

Wurger

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Xylstra, I enjoyed very much your post. I could not find in my limited sources the automatic flight stabilisation applied to the Ta 152, only on the Hs 129, Fw 190 and the Me 262. It was the work of engineer Karl Doetsch, within the DVL.
 

xylstra

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Xylstra, I enjoyed very much your post. I could not find in my limited sources the automatic flight stabilisation applied to the Ta 152, only on the Hs 129, Fw 190 and the Me 262. It was the work of engineer Karl Doetsch, within the DVL.
Keep looking Wurger, you've got a great track record for coming up with the 'goods' (your reputation is on the line!). I suspect there will be quite a few forum members besides myself who will be interested. Cheers, Xylstra.
 
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