When the FW190A-8 appeared on the IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte aircraft list 10-months ago, I wondered if 1CGS would modify the aircraft to make it both a FW190A-8 and a F-8. The FW190F-8 being a direct modification of the A-8 and optimized for ground attack. It seemed like an easy update. What I hadn’t counted on was the FW190G-8 also being added to the list and with it, a massive bombload for the diminutive fighter.
What’s the difference?
Let’s start with the FW190A-8 which I consider the “base” model and so does IL-2. The A-8 itself actually comes with a fairly extensive modification list without going over to the F-8/G-8 option tree.
The A-8 is primarily a fighter which has bomb carrying capabilities although its not optimized for that role. Designed to counter enemy fighters and bombers, the A-8 is a fast and powerful aircraft with excellent roll rate but a turn rate that is less than ideal when dogfighting is concerned. It’s a far better boom and zoom machine and in that aspect it excels.
Modifications for this version are centered around additional firepower. By default it has four MG151/20 cannons plus MG131 heavy machine guns in the nose. A pair of 21cm BR air-to-air rockets is an option and so too is the MK108 30mm cannons of which one can be fitted in each outboard wing cannon slot (replacing the outer MG151/20).
Facing down the bomber threat, the FW190A-8 also has a Sturmjäger modification which adds extra armor to the cockpit area of the aircraft offering additional protection from machine gun fire from enemy bombers. The differences can be readily seen in the cockpit. Check out this comparison and note how thick the canopy sections are.
The F-8 variant
Adding armor plates along the bottom of the fuselage and around the engine, the F-8 version is meant to be able to take more hits while also dishing out more ground attack firepower. Panzerblitz rockets or four SC70 bombs and a single SC250 or SC500 bomb can be fitted underneath the aircraft.
This version is heavier due to the added armor plate and partially compensates by removing the outer MG151/20 cannons.
And now the G-8 version
The G-8 was extremely similar to the F-8 version and was optimized to add slightly more range to the aircraft. The biggest difference between the F-8 and G-8 is the MG131 machine guns are deleted on the G-8 version leaving just two MG151/20 cannons as its armament.
What the G-8 has that no other FW190 does in the series is the ability to haul the massive SC1000 bomb, with a slight tail fin reduction, under the aircraft. Minor modifications to the aircraft and to the bomb enabled the FW190 to be able to carry a weapon suitable to demolish reinforced targets with its huge blast. The G-8 can also carry three SC250 bombs at a time.
There aren’t many differences between the F-8 and the G-8 but getting this added modification gives us something unique and fun for pilots to experience. More options is always better in my mind and with the addition of this modification, we now have an extensive list of features available for the FW190A-8/F-8/G-8 version.
1CGS didn’t have to do this and had already fulfilled my expectations by adding the F-8 variant to the FW190. Adding the G-8 and going above and beyond is much appreciated by me and no doubt by at least some others. It’s often the “small” things like this that show that 1CGS is putting in the effort to make IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte a really well rounded package.