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DCS WWII Aircraft Characteristics


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I'm not sure this question belongs in this forum sub-group but there is no unified "released DCS WWII aircraft" thread and since it concerns all four available airframes I'll just leave it here.


I'd like to assist my friends who are only just starting their adventure with DCS with information and guidance but I know very little about the dogfighting techniques and manoeuvres from the WWII era.


Could you please quickly describe the pros and cons of all 4 WWII aircraft that are currently available in DCS? Which one is a "Boom & Zoomer" and which should choose the Turn Fight? Which is better at accelerations and which excels at climbing? I know the easiest way is to buy all the modules but unfortunately it won't be the case. At least, not yet.. Knowing the overall characteristics of these WWII aircraft will allow my fellow pilots to purchase the correct "tools for the job".


Thank you in advance!

Never say never, Baby!



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Since this is one of my favourite topics:




Pros: Dives well, handles nicely at high speeds, good performance at altitude, rolls well (especially at high speeds), good ammo load, best range & endurance, fantastic visibility from cockpit, very fast on cruise, IMO easiest plane to land and take-off, IMO best handling on ground with nice wide gear.


Cons: Not a great climber, not a great turner at slow speed (better than 190 but otherwise bad), 50 cals not as effective as cannons IMO, twitchy stall characteristics.


Style: Mixed, I mostly use BnZ or for high-speed scissor fighting, but can also turn with some things especially at high speed. Loves altitude. Avoid climbing fights, lengthy turning contests or getting caught low and slow. Can out turn the 190, but can struggle a little in the defensive against the 109 since the 109 turns better at slow speeds, climbs better and is faster on WEP (tip: focus on high-speed turning contests such as rolling scissors whilst diving).



Spitfire Mk IX


Pros: Best turner, climbs and accelerates well (not quite as well as 109 but nearly), cannons are very effective, very forgiving to fly (doesn't stall easily)


Cons: Slow, doesn't handle well at high speeds, worst at rolling (especially at high speed), .303s are not very effective, twitchy handling on the ground due to narrow gear, cockpit visibility is okay but not as good as P-51 & 190.


Style: Energy fighting using the turn rate as an ace in the hole, can also turn fight but bleeds energy fast. Doesn't like diving fights, limited BnZ potential but can with small energy gaps. That turn rate is a great defensive tool, but you can easily get stuck fighting fights you don't want to be in due to slow speed and poor dive.



Bf 109 K4


Pros: Very fast on WEP especially at altitude, great WEP duration, amazing climb/acceleration, reasonable turner when at the right speeds, reasonable roll rate at the right speeds.


Cons: Kind of "wallows" at slow speeds, has control stiffening issues at high speeds, 30mm cannon is overkill for fighter work and is hard to aim with limited ammo, not the best diver, cockpit visibility isn't great, narrow gear is tricky on the ground and in landings / take-offs.


Style: Energy fighting, used to get used a lot for turn fighting but the Spit is better at that now. Anything with vertical manoeuvres and climbing is good. Doesn't like high speed fighting, can BnZ if the energy gap isn't too large.



FW 190D


Pros: Very fast down low (below 5Km) especially on WEP, great WEP duration, great high speed handling, amazing roll rate at most speeds, dives and zooms very well, best weapons IMO, great ammo load, very good cockpit visibility, wide gear not bad for landings and ground handling.


Cons: Turns like a brick at slow speeds, not the best climber, not great performance at altitude, tricky handling at slow speeds. A little tricky on take-off.


Style: Mostly BnZ, although also loves high-speed scissors (especially flat scissors). Avoid being slow like the plague, avoid very high altitudes. If in trouble dive away at WEP, nothing is likely to catch you.





You can try the TF-51 (unarmed P-51) for free, which can give a good introduction to the P-51 and of DCS Warbirds in general. If your friends don't have much Warbird experience they should know there's quite a learning curve just for flying the things (never mind combat). High performance tail draggers are lots of fun, but they are a lot harder to fly than modern jets (although jets are vastly more complex in terms of avionics etc.). I would generally recommend getting good at the non-combat stuff in the TF-51, since it's free and probably the easiest Warbird to learn in. Then choose the plane you want to learn next and buy that.

Edited by Tomsk
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