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The Planes of IL-2 - Part II

by Jim "Twitch" Tittle

Article Type: Military History
Article Date: August 27, 2001
Back To Part I

German Side - Flyable

Focke Wulf
The FW 190A-4 was ascendant over many of its contemporaries. By the A-4 model it was growing into an excellent fighter. It had a 34.5’ wingspan and was 29.3’ long with a loaded weight of usually 9,600 lbs. A 14-cylinder 1,700 HP BMW 801D-2 with MW-50 methanol-water injection gave 2,100 HP during boost and was enough for 416 MPH at 20,600 ft. Not much above 24,000 ft. performance began to decline but a ceiling of 37,400 ft. could be attained. Climb was 3,450 FPM. Range was 643 miles and a drop tank could increase it.

FW 190

Twin 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns sat in the upper cowl with 500 RPG while a quartet of 20 mm Mg 151s were housed in the wings. The Inner pair had 250 RPG and outer 200 RPG. 1,918 A-4s were produced out of a total run of 20,051 FW 190s of all types.

There are several MEs the fist being the Bf 109F-4 of 1942. It had a 32.5’ wingspan and was 29.0’ long weighing only 6,054 lbs. loaded. The Daimler-Benz DB 601E-1 had 1,300 HP in inverted V-12 configuration good for 390 MPH at 21,324 ft. Ceiling was 37,000 ft. and initial climb was a healthy 4,350 FPM. Range was 440 miles and with external fuel 589 miles.

Armament was meager. This plane was made for pilots with a shooter’s eye. Two 7.92 mm MG 17s with 500 RPG were placed in the upper cowl while a high velocity MG 151 15 mm cannon with 200 rounds fired from the D-B hollow block through the prop hub. Later production F-4s had 20 mm MG 151s with 150 rounds.

A 109 F & G

The Bf 109G-2 was originally intended for a recon role but was used as a fighter-bomber generally. Gs debuted later in 1942 with near identical dimensions as the Fs but were heavier at 6,950 lbs. normal loaded. The 1,475 HP DB 605A-1 had GM-1 nitrous oxide overboost injection that gave a couple hundred horsepower extra and about 400 MPH at 23,000 ft. All other performance and weaponry parallel the late F-4s.

The Bf 109G-6 was built in greatest numbers and a bewildering array of sub-models that used several D-B power plants and a huge variation of armament that was increased yet further by numerous armourers’ field modifications.

With Rüstsätze (Field Conversion Sets) the G-6 was a modular airplane swapping and adding standard assemblies of equipment groups easily. The G-6’s 1,475 HP DB 605A-1 could change to the 605AM with the MW-50 methanol-water overboost. The MG 151 20 mm with 150 rounds could be exchanged for the MK 108 30 mm with 80 rounds. Wing gondola packages could add pairs of 20 or 30 mms.

One of the most often seen semi-standard setups on the G-6 was a plane that weighed 6,950 lbs. loaded using the DB 605A-1, which could hit 387 MPH at 22,970 ft. and a 39,750 ft. ceiling. Climb was 3,350 FPM with range being 450 miles on internal and 620 miles with external fuel.

Two 13 mm MG 131s sat in the upper cowl with 300 RPG and a 20 mm MG 151 fired from the prop hub with 150 rounds. A pair of 20 mms in wing gondolas had 120 RPG. But make no mistake, any variation of guns could be seen. Additional pairs of 20 and 30 mm weapons could mount beneath the wings or in belly trays for a seven-gun layout! Even the “normal” pair of 20 mms under the wings hampered maneuverability though.

This adaptability continued through the G-14 that will appear in IL-2 Sturmovik. They used DB 605A, AM, AS, ASB, ASM or ASD engines. All else is generally similar to the G-6. Of the 31,898 Bf 109s built 6,418 were Gs.

Flyable 3rd Party Downloadable German Side

The Bf 109E will be a good addition for early war flying. With a 32.3’ wingspan and a 28.3’ length weighing 5,523 lbs. loaded, it was ahead of most competitors of its era. If the downloadable model is the E-4, which will be seen under A.I. control as well, it will have a virtual DB 601Aa with 1,150 HP and a top speed of 357 MPH at 12,300 ft. Ceiling was 36,000 ft. and the plane could climb at 3,100 FPM and possessed a range of 412 miles.

Bf 109Es

Two 7.92 mm MG17s in the cowl had 1,000 RPG and the two slow-firing MG FF 20 mms in the wings had 60 RPG. Though they had a 3rd 20 mm in the nose hub, vibrations upon firing prompted many crew chiefs to remove them.

Of course the venerable Stuka will add in nicely. What would a flight sim be without this baby? If the Ju 87G is modeled we’ll have the anti-tank bird with the 37 mm A/T weapon pods containing 15 rounds each. Two 7.9mm MG 17s with 500 RPG in the wing gave the pilot an aim point for the 37s.

Gotta Have The Stuka

The Ju 87G-1 had a Junker Jumo 211P V-12 of 1,500 HP engine. Even without the gun pods speed was only 248 MPH at 14,100 ft. with a climb rate of just 1,000 FPM. A maximum clean range was 954 miles but normal operational range with ordnance was 510 miles. With a maximum 3,968 lb. short-range bomb load the ceiling was 15,520 ft. and without it was 23,950 ft. Empty weight was 8,683 lbs. and at the max it weighed 14,565 lbs. Normal loaded weight was 12,600 lbs. The ungainly wing measured 45.25’ and the length was 37.7’. Production exceeded 5,000 examples built.

Nonflyable German Side

I guess the world needs the Buffalo used by Finland. Why not! This is a third party downloadable add on. The F2A-1s were received by Finland in 1939 as the B-239. The ungainly, un-maneuverable planes had 35.0’ wingspans and were 26.0’ long weighing 5,055 lbs. loaded. Power from the 940 HP Wright XR-1820-34 9-cylinder radial produced only 301 MPH at 17,000 ft. A ceiling of 33,000 ft. could be attained and initial climb was pretty good at 3,060 FPM. Range was good at 1,095 miles.

Finnish Buffalo: Why Not?

Two .50 caliber Colts in the wings with two more in the upper cowl was the armament. I’ve never found and exact RPG figure in my research but guess it to be probably about 300 RPG. 507 of all types were built.


Arado Floatplane

One of the most famous floatplanes was the widely used Arado Ar 196. As of 1939 the two-seat type with its 40' wingspan was seen on the Bismark, Graf Spee and all German battleships. Though the 970 hp BMW 132K 9-cylinder radial only provided a speed of 193 mph at 13,120 feet, the armament of two 20mm MG FFs and a 7.9mm MG-17 firing forward with an MG-17 in the rear was quite adequate. Climb rate was a modest 985 fpm with a range of 670 miles and a ceiling of 23,000 ft. The Ar 196 could carry 220 lbs. of bombs. Though only 493 machines were built, it was seen in every locale used in reconnoiter, anti-submarine, coastal patrol and light vessel attack roles. This is third party downloadable.

The Avia B 534 biplane of Czechoslovakia is certainly a rare plane never modeled before. This is also a third party download plane.

Avia Is New In Sims

The B 534.IV was the culmination of a line of fighters begun in 1932 with the B 34. It had a 30.9’ wingspan and was 26.9’ long. The wings and part of the fuselage were fabric-covered. It weighed 4,365 lbs. loaded. A relatively large Avia-built Hispano-Suiza 12Ydrs V-12 of 850 HP gave a top speed of 252 MPH at 14,435 ft. and a ceiling of 34,875 ft. Initial climb was good at 2,950 FPM. Four 7.7 mm MGs fired, two per side, from the fuselage.

The Do 217 is rather unique in sims but welcome as a 3rd party download. The 217levolved from the slim-fuselage Do 17 line. It’s not known what sub model we’ll be able to download. Since there were too many we can guess it may be the 217E-2, which is fairly representative having a 62.3’ wingspan and 59.75’ length. A normal loaded weight was 33,070 lbs. A pair of BMW 801ML 14-cylinder radials with 1,580 HP each propelled the bomber to 320 MPH at 17,060 ft. and gave a ceiling of 29,530 ft. without a bomb load. With a 5,550 lb. internal bomb load it climbed at 710 FPM. With external ordnance 8,818 lbs. could be delivered.

Do 217E

Besides the fixed-forward-firing 15 mm MG 151, two 13 mm MG 131(1 in a dorsal turret), three 7.92 mm MG 15s in flexible positions, there were four 7.92 mm MG 81s in the tail cone were remotely fired. Total production for all Do 217 variants was 1,366 as bombers and 364 heavily-weaponed as night fighters.


Has Even The Iron Annie

The Ju 52/3M equaled the C-47's 95' wingspan but was much more modest in all other specifications when it entered Luftwaffe service in 1934. It had three BMW 123H radials of 770 hp each allowing a typical cruise of 154 mph with a top end of 185 mph. The ceiling was 18,000 feet and range was 995 miles maximum for the loaded 24,000 lb. plane. Close to 5,000 were built through war's end.

Three A.I. controlled Ju 87s will be seen—the B-2, D-3, G-1. See the specs on the G-1 above for a general idea of the others performance.

Ju 88

The Ju 88 will appear but no specific model is yet stated so we’ll show info on the much-used A-4/R with its 65.9’ wing and 47.1’ length. It weighed 26,700 lbs. normal loaded. Two Junkers Jumo 211J inverted V-12 of 1,400 HP each produced a top speed of 273 MPH at 17,500 ft. A maximum offensive load of 6,614 lbs. of bombs could be hauled and delivered in dive-bomb fashion using the dive brakes. Maximum range was 1,980 miles but with all-up bomb loads it was reduced to 650 miles. A fixed 20 mm MG FF, four flexible 7.8 mm MG 81s, and up to three 13 mm MG 131 were mounted. 16,911 A/4s were built.

Focke Wulf

FW 189: A Graceful Spotter

For recon activities the A.I. will use the FW 189 twin-boom that measures 39.5’ long with a 60.3’ wingspan. Normal loaded weight was 8,708 lbs. with the three man crew. The A-2 model had a pair of air-cooled 465 HP Argus As410 A-1 inverted V-12 that gave a top speed of 217 MPH at 7,875 ft. A ceiling of 23,950 ft. was possible and range for loiter was 416 miles. Two fixed 7.9 mms in the wing root were for the pilot while a gunner operated another flexible pair in the dorsal.

The FW 190A-5 was used in night fighting and as a fighter-bomber carrying 2,200 lbs. of bombs and only two 20mms. Other A-5 sub-types had 30 mm Mk 103 and Mk 108 cannon for ground and bomber attack. One even could carry a torpedo. Wonder what we’ll see?

The A-8 was the last A series produced in numbers and had additional armor and heavy canopy glass for bomber attack. Again a huge array of additional weapon groups could be added with one setup giving eight 20 mm cannon! Most of its specs parallel the flyable A-4 we discussed earlier. Top speed, range and climb were a just bit less.

FW 190 D In USAF Museum

The FW 190D-9 became the most successful combat fighter of all the Luftwaffe planes. In simple terms the replacement of the BMW radial with the inverted V-12 Junker Jumo 213A-1 did wonders for it in all areas of performance including maneuverability. The 1,770 HP engine was boosted to 2,240 HP using MW 50 injection and a 426 MPH maximum speed could be attained at 21,653 ft. Ceiling was lower than the A-8’s at 32,810 ft. and range was similar at 520 miles. It could climb well with a 3,300 FPM initial rate.

The D-9 had the same span as the A-8 at 34.5’ but was 33.5’ long due to the V-12’s extra length. Loaded weight was actually less at 9,480 lbs. Two 13 mm MG 131s with 475 RPG were mounted in the upper cowl while a pair of 20 mm MG 151s sat in the wings with 250 RPG. Originally four 20 mms were in the wing but the outer pair was removed to make room for the MW 50 equipment with its 25 gallon tank—enough for 40 minutes use. Later Ds used mixtures of 20 and 30 mm cannon. The D-9 was the quintessential combat fighter excelling in all areas of performance.

Wow! We’ll even see the Fiesler Fi 156 Storch (Stork) with its apt name due to its long-legged landing gear. The plane was used for recon and light transport of two people in addition to the pilot. Generals and other Nazi VIPs flew in them. Its STOL performance allowed it to take off and land in only 213 ft. and 61 ft. respectively.

Even A Storch!

Its wings spanned 46.8’ and it was 32.5’ long. It weighed only 2,910 lbs. loaded. An Argus As10P engine gave a 109 MPH top speed and a ceiling of 15,090 ft. with a useful range of 236 miles.

Besides the above-mentioned E-4 we’ll see the Bf 109E-7 that could carry a drop tank and used the DB 601N with 1,200 HP. The E7/Z had GM-1 boost.

The Bf 109K-4 will be encountered. This late-model machine used the 1,550 HP DB 605ASCM/DCM inverted V-12 with 2,000 HP using MW-50. It really moved with a 452 MPH speed at 19,685 ft. and allowed a 41,000 ft. ceiling at a 7,438 lb. weight. Initial climb was a staggering 4,823 FPM. Range was short at 365 miles but adequate in the interceptor role it played.

While weapons varied some they generally were set up with a pair of 15 mm MG 151s with 200 RPG in the cowl with a 30 mm Mk 108 or Mk 103 in the nose hub with 70-80 rounds. 700 K-4s were manufactured.

The Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (Swallow) made the Allies swallow hard when it went into combat in late 1944. The 540 MPH jet interceptor suddenly made prop planes obsolete. Top speed was reached at 19,685 ft. At that height it could travel 526 miles. Ceiling was 37,565 ft. Two Junkers Jumo 004B-1 turbojets generated 1,980 lbs. thrust each enabling the bird to climb at 3,937 FPM. The 262 had a wingspan of 41.0’ and was 34.8’ long. Loaded it weighed 14,101 lbs.

Me 262: Has 2 Models

The important factor was the four MK 108 30mm cannon in the nose. One shell hit could bring down an Allied bomber. The two upper ones had 100 RPG and the lower pair 80 RPG. If that wasn't enough, the 24 R4M 5-centimeter rockets salvoed like buckshot from beyond gun range, made it possible to hit multiple targets or cause enough chaos to instigate mid-air collisions. 1,433 were built.

The A-2a Sturmvogel (Stormbird) is set for the sim too. It was the bomber version that could carry two 551 lb bombs and retained all four cannon.

With the Me 321 and 323 we get strange here. The He 111Z “twin Heinkel” will tow the Me 321B Gigant glider, yes glider, at its top speed of 99 MPH. Originally three Me 110s did the hazardous job. The glider had a span of 180.5’ and a length of 92.3’ and weighed 27,342 lbs, empty but could carry 48,000 lbs. of cargo loaded through clam shell nose doors.

A Zeppelin-Size Glider

Me 323: The C-5 Of Its Time

With the problems encountered with the glider a layout using power was studied and a sextet of 1,140 HP Gnome Rhone 14N 48/49 14-cylinder radials were attached to produce the Me 323D. Fully laden it still needed a short tow to take off even using rocket assist. With less weight it could manage on its own.

The six-engine transport had the same dimensions as the glider but was heavier at 60,260 lbs. empty and 94,815 lbs. loaded. It could do 177 MPH and range was 683 miles. 7.9 and 13 mm guns were used for defense.

The tow plane for the Gigants, the He 111Z “Zwilling,” was the blend of two He 111s and a 5th engine in the attachment section between them. It had a 115.5’ wingspan and was 54.5’ long with the pilot in the port fuselage. The five Jumo 211F-2 inverted V-12s, of 1,340 HP each, gave a speed higher than the normal He 111H—270 MPH at 19,290 ft. It weighed 63,050 lbs. Twelve were built in 1942 and a variety of uses were projected.

Count 'Em: 5 Engines!

111s: Used Throughout The War

The H series of 111s was the most prolific with 4,448 of the total 5,678 111s built. An example He 111H-6 had a wingspan of 74.1’ and was 54.5’ long weighing in at 25,000 lbs. normal loaded. Two of the same Jumo 211F-2s powered it that the Zwilling used for a speed of 258 MPH at 16,400 ft. Its ceiling of 25,500 ft. was rather low but it had a good range of 1,740 miles. With a maximum 5,510 lbs. of bombs or two torpedoes it was but 760 miles. It took 16.8 minutes to achieve 13,120 ft. loaded. Six 7.92 mm MGs and a 20 mm FF sprouted from flexible mounts around the machine

Unfortunately the A.I. will have the fun of flying the He 162 Volksjaeger. This one hasn’t been flyable in a flight sim since the ancient Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe.

It was just reaching service units when the war ended and no record of its combat use exists. Semi-skilled workers built it in underground factories from plywood and aluminum. He 162 A-1s were powered by the BMW 003A-1 or A-2 and the He 162 A-2 designation was for machines powered with the BMW 003E-1 or E-2. Both were 1,760 lb. thrust engines rated for short burst of 2,000 lbs. thrust.

Something For The Hitler Youth

It could do 562 MPH at 19,700 ft. and 553 MPH at sea level in 30-second over-boosts with 2,028 lbs. of thrust. At normal thrust speeds were 522 and 490 MPH respectively. Initial climb was 4,615 FPM. Altitude of 36,000 ft. a maximum range of 606 miles could be attained. The loaded weight measured 5,480 lbs. Span was 23.65’ and length was 29.75’. With two 20mm MG 151s it carried 120 RPG and with the two 30mm Mk 108s it was 50 RPG.

The only other aircraft made specifically for anti-armor work besides the IL-2 was the strange Henschel HS 129. With a span of 46.5’ and a length of 32’ the 129B-2 was small for a twin-engine craft. It used two problematic 700 HP French Gnome-Rhone 14M 4/5 14-cylinder radials giving a top end of 253 MPH at 12,570 ft. in a clean configuration. With the 30mm Mk 101 cannon with 30 rounds in a detachable ventral pod it was reduced to 199 MPH. Climb clean was 1,595 FPM with a ceiling of 29,530 ft.

Little Plane- Big Gun

With nothing hung on it a range of 428 miles was possible. With the 30mm Mk 101 it was 348 miles. Loaded weight with the Mk 101 was 9,243 lbs. At maximum the plane weighed 12,574 lbs. with the 75 mm A/T cannon that it could mount.

Before it built Bf 109Gs Rumania had one indigenous design in the I.A.R. 80. The 940 HP I.A.R.–built Gnome-Rhone 14K Mistal-Major 14-cylinder radial powered the sleek open cockpit ship to 342 MPH at 22,965 ft. Climb to 16,400 ft. took 6.0 minutes and range was 590 miles. A ceiling of 34,500 could be attained.

IAR 80: Sleek Design

Wingspan was just 36’ and length was 29.5’ with a maximum loaded weight of 6,570 lbs. It was armed with two 20mm and four 7.7mms all in the wings. The I.A.R. 80 was used as a Rumanian home defense fighter until 1949. Perhaps 200 were built. 161 I.A.R. 81s were made featuring an enclosed cockpit.

The Italian Mc.202 Folgore (Lightning) operated in Russia. This was a very potent and maneuverable fighter of 29.0’ in length with a 34.75’ wingspan weighing 6,459 lbs. normal loaded. A 1,175 HP Alfa Romeo R.A.1000 R.C.41-I Monsoni (Monsoon) inverted V-12 copied from the DB 601A-1 produced 372 MPH at 18,370 ft. and a ceiling of 37,730 ft. Time to 6,560 ft. took 1.5 minutes equaling 4,373 FPM! An altitude of 9,840 ft. took 2.4 minutes for an initial climb rate of 4,100 FPM! On up to 19,685 ft. it could still average 3,300 FPM.

Italians Will Be There

Italian planes generally had plenty of ammo. The MC.202 originally had twi 12.7 mm Breda-SAFAT MGs with 400 RPG and two 7.7 mms with 500 RPG in the wings but later replaced the 12.7s with two 20 mm MG 151s with 200 RPG. About 1,200 were delivered.

So there we have it. There are a lot of planes in this thing! And I can see the no-flyables becoming flyable by modders with the interest there is in it. We should make the most of it since it may be a LONG time before any more decent WWII flight sims come our way.


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    Me 109
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    Fighters Vols.1, 2, 3 & 4
    Doubleday & Co., 1960-61-62-60

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    Floatplanes Vol. 6
    Doubleday & Co. NY 1962

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    The Complete Book of Fighters
    Smithmark Publishers, NY, 1994

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    The Birth & Death of the Giants
    Air Combat Nov. 1975

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    The Focke Wulf 190
    Harleyford Publications, UK 1965

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    The Messerschmitt 109
    Harleyford Publications, UK 1964

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    Aircraft of World War II
    PRC Publishing Ltd, London, 1999

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    German Air Force Fighters Vol.1
    Doubleday & Co. NY1968

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