MINIACRC MIGHTY MINI FOCKE-WULF 190 BUILD
Entering the stage of the second world war with a bang, the Focke-Wulf 190 wasted no time in wrenching air superiority from the hands of the Royal Air Force's beloved Mk. V Spitfire. Witnessing their bombers' worst nightmare come alive, allied aerial forces hastened to meet the technological and strategical challenges put forth by the ruthless Butcher Bird.
Designed by legendary aerospace engineer Kurt Tank, the Fw-190 Würger was one of the Luftwaffe's most feared aircraft. Equipped with a powerful BMW 801 radial engine, the versatile warbird fulfilled roles including air supremacy combat, photo reconnaissance, escort, ground attack, tank-busting, and more. Upgraded versions of the 190, nicknamed the "Dora", appeared later in the war and were widely lauded as the greatest dog-fighters of WWII.
Tank's legacy continues to live on today. The 190 is now a common favorite among hobbyists who prefer nimble warbirds with sporty characteristics. When my best friend Dominic stumbled upon an RC replica at a swap meet, we embarked on a journey to build him a smaller swappable version that he could carry around in the back of his truck. After a few months of prototyping and community beta testing, we finally present to you, the Mighty Mini Focke-Wulf 190!
Wingspan: 24.6" , 625 mm Motor: 2205 2300+ KV (F pack)
All-up weight: 264 g , 9.3 oz Propeller: 5x4 to 6x4, 2 or 3-blade
Dry weight: 184 g , 6.5 oz Servos: Three to four 5-9g servos
Battery: 3S 800 to 1100 mAh ESC: 20 to 30 amp
Plans and Build Resources:
The file below contains both the tiled and full-sized plans: US letter (8.5" x 11") and ANSI D (34" x 22") respectively. Solid black lines are for cutting, dashed red lines are for scoring, and dashed blue lines are for light creasing. Regions with diagonal cyan lines are for bevel cuts, blue dotted areas are for removing paper
, and green cross-patterns are for removing paper and foam. When cutting out the parts, align the grain direction indicated on the plans with that of the foam and posterboard. Doing so will allow molded pieces to bend around the material's natural grain axis, deterring the formation of unwanted creases.
The swappable mini 190 is definitely a strong intermediate build due to the tight molding and careful sanding required to achieve a clean, seamless result. This is an ideal project for those who have already built and flown a few FliteTest style minis such as the Mini Mustang or Mini Alpha. The build video embedded below outlines all the steps that you'll need, to go from hand-cut pieces to a completed airframe. To skip to specific sections of the instructional video, scroll to its description section on YouTube and click on the desired timestamp.
If there is a specific step that you are not able to fully comprehend on the build video, it might help to view this 3D digital model of the design. Using the interface provided by Sketchfab, you can orbit around the model and zoom in on different features to better understand the molds and joints.
If you have further concerns or would like to share your build, feel free to post on the FliteTest forums or the FliteTest Fans Facebook. The beta team, perhaps other community builders and I will do our best to respond!
Mini Fw-190 Design Features:
The main objective behind this design was to create a 'mighty-mini class' 190 that builds out of a limited number of pieces that are relatively straightforward to hand-cut. Fortunately, the signature shapes of the 190's body allowed simplifications such as a one piece fuselage held together by minimal internal structure, yielding a total part count of 30. The fuselage mold will not form quickly, but if you follow the steps shown in the build video with care and attention, it will eventually glue down with little to no resistance.
The wing on this design has a tapered rear section that requires a deep edge-bevel. As shown in the build video, the taper can be established by passing a hobby knife along the edges of a ruler and the build table. Although not as intricate or streamlined as the renowned NerdNic "speedwing", the gently tapered airfoil does serve to reduce drag, speeding up those low passes!
Even the finest details and textures always pop on smaller airframes, and the best part about FT-style foamies is the ease of such customization. I encourage you to check out the beta builds below as well as pictures of the full scale Butcher Bird to get some inspiration for the details you'd like to add. For example, you can add nose armament above the molded hatch, by simply rolling strips of printer paper over a couple of bamboo skewers (demonstrated in the build video).
The beta team is currently in the process of preparing paper skins for the mini 190, for those who prefer not to use conventional paint and decal stickers. Keep your eyes peeled for updates on the FliteTest Forum/Articles regarding these skins!
The Mini 190, a naturally speedy flyer, nevertheless has a wide flight envelope due to the light weight of Dollar Tree foam board. As long as the center of mass (CG) is established by properly fixing the location of the tail servos, speed controller and battery (see build video), the flight experience should be smooth and predictable from launch to landing.
If you choose to take your plane off using landing gear, make sure to taxi on a smooth surface devoid of pebbles or sharp contours. When the tail lifts off the ground, you should be able to steer with the rudder and pull back to pitch up and take to the skies. Most builders will probably prefer the hand-toss. If you choose to hold the plane from below (as pictured above), be aware of the fact that the CG will be in front of your hand, weighing the plane nose-downward. I found it most convenient to grasp the fuselage near the CG from above and give it a good underhand chuck with about 50 - 75% throttle for a steady climb-out.
The plane will slow down decently for scale passes and landings, but make sure to avoid slow high banked maneuvers that could induce a stall-spin. It's best to use low dual rates and lots of expo for the first flew flights, as you get to know your mini 190's handling characteristics.
These settings are especially useful to keep your wings level when belly-landing. Gently reduce throttle and pull back on the elevator stick till you slide onto the grass. Give yourself plenty of space to land, as the 190 has quite a glide-slope!
The Mini Würger is built for textbook aerobatics like Immelman turns and Cuban eights. Due to the high stiffness of the wing, you can confidently push your bird to its limit with high speed passes and tight loops. And of course, the only thing more exciting than one Fw-190 ripping clean lines across the blue, is two of them flying in formation! The dream behind all of the mighty mini warbirds out there is to encourage group building and flying; so bring along your Mini Mustangs, Corsairs, Thunderbolts, Aircobras and many more for racing and streamer combat!
This design would not have come to life the way it did without the energetic participation of the FliteTest community. The outstanding builds of the beta testers are showcased below. As always, the ingenuity that the beta team brought to the table opened up new doors for the design in the form of creative modifications and improvements.
Dominic Peluso's mighty mini replica
Andrew Biddlecombe's silver Würger
"This is a really great first “Master” style build ... It was my first step into foamboard moulding ... It has surprisingly few parts ... and is very strong as a result ... I put this at the low end of intermediate – purely because things happen fast! This aircraft [flies] very well indeed – outstripping my expectations ... [tracks] very straight and true, having just enough dihedral to ensure a rock solid stable track ... This is a super little aircraft, inexpensive, very rewarding to build, and superb to fly! ... It’s small enough to take with you just in case you find the time for a quick fly!"
Daniel Basile's bright Butcher Bird
Fred Countryman's 196% up-scaled 190
George Coia's glossy throwback 190
Brian Kugler's vibrant speed demon
" ... everything felt positive even at slower speeds. I had a little bit of wind today and it didn't really seem to mind I like to do fast down wind passes ! Inverted feels very good ... didn't feel like it was on a bubble trying to slip off the side in turns. I pretty much dead sticked all my landings it really holds its air speed well ... I didn't really notice any weird stall characteristics"
Tim Carlson's scale masterpiece
A crossbar has been added to limit wiggling of the landing gear
Brian Postlethwaite's rugged combat ship
Jarkko Eriksson's sleek scale replica
David Haakinson's speedy scratch-build
Chris McCallum's work of art
I truly hope that your experience with this design, from building to decorating to flying, is fun-filled, educational and inspirational. As Josh always says, we love our community more than we do our planes, and we encourage you to share your experience with others, to inspire them to dream and create. Words cannot suffice to thank the FliteTest family for the encouragement and support they provide for designers like myself to pursue this hobby in an economical and educational manner. Thank you for reading this article and happy flying!!!
Signing off - MiniacRC