FW-190 external fuel gauge?
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Thread: FW-190 external fuel gauge?

  1. #1

    FW-190 external fuel gauge?

    Hey All,

    I have recently been re-watching the WINGS CHANNEL (before it became the Military Channel) documentary series WINGS OF THE LUFTWAFFE on VHS. One of the subjects
    of an episode was the FW-190. It detailed some of the innovations the 190 had including an external fuel gauge. They actually showed the gauge on the plane, but the camera
    was zoomed in on the gauge so tight you couldn't tell exactly where on the 190 it was located. Also the narration gave no clue other than to say it had one.

    As anyone got any info on where it was located? Just curious.


    "Hornets by mandate, Tomcats by choice!"

  2. #2
    Senior Administrator huub vink's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    Noordwijk, The Netherlands (EHVB)
    Perhaps this was a specific sub-type of the FW190. However in all sub types I know from both the Anton and Dora, there was a single fuel gauge in the instrument panel, with a selector switch under the instrument panel to read out the different tanks.

    A slightly puzzled,

  3. #3
    Thanks for the reply Huub! I have several WW2 reference books on fighters that contain cutaways of the a/c but they don't point out
    the external fuel gauge that the Luftwaffe series mentioned. It might be as you say on the variants and the series just did not make
    the distinction.

    It's one of those things that catch your ear and for me, it was "well, where was it located on the ac?".

    I still have a couple more books to look through.

    "Hornets by mandate, Tomcats by choice!"

  4. #4
    Hello Odie,

    Perhaps a little late, but here is a theory (Just a Theory):
    Perhaps it isn't really a FW 190 on which you are seeing an external fuel gauge.
    Note that the up through the FW 190D series IIRC the aircraft had only Two or Three Fuselage Fuel Tanks.
    Two were directly under the Cockpit and one optional tank starting with the A-8 series was behind the Cockpit.
    It would not make sense for any of those tanks to have an external gauge.

    On some of the later Ta 152 series of aircraft, there were internal Wing Tanks as well and those MIGHT have had an external gauge mounted on the Wing surface. This is just speculation, but an external gauge would make no sense for a Fuselage Tank but might make sense for a Wing Tank.

    - Ivan.

  5. #5
    Hi Folks...
    After reading this thread, I watched that FW-190 documentary on YouTube, and saw that gauge for myself... I wish they would have panned out with their camera at that point so someone could see exactly where that thing is! To Ivan's point, it appears that they were filming the Dora that was at the Champlin Museum at the time. Didn't that particular plane happen to be a D-13, AKA 'Yellow 10'?

    Cheers! -Mike Z.

  6. #6
    Hello MikeZola,

    Can you post a link to the video so I can see for myself?
    I am not doubting what you are stating but perhaps I can gather something else from the video that might tell me where to look in photographs. At the moment, I don't even know where the Fuel Fillers were located on the Focke Wulf wing tanks, but seeing an Octane Triangle would give a pretty good indication.

    I don't have specific data on the FW 190D-13 so I was making some assumptions based on the data that I do have:
    Please see attachment.
    Note that the FW 190D-12 has even less fuel than the earlier models but the Ta 152's all seem to carry a LOT more fuel but perhaps my assumption was incorrect.
    Note that there are also other differences between the D-13 represented by "Yellow 10" and the D-12 as listed in the table.
    Yellow 10 was armed with a 20 mm MG 151/20 Motor Cannon instead of a 30 mm MK 108.

    - Ivan.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails FW190-Ta152-Fuel.jpg  

  7. #7
    If you look at the video, at 19.21 you will see the gauge location on the port wing (presumably one starboard as well?) Quite neat.

  8. #8
    Actually, it has nothing to do with fuel, and is common to all 190's. It is the flap position scale....

    Discovered when reading about Kurt Tank's first flight in the D-9..

    Should have known that, of course, but then again, I haven't flown in a lot of Fw190's recently......
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fps.jpg   tank.jpg  

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by lefty View Post
    If you look at the video, at 19.21 you will see the gauge location on the port wing (presumably one starboard as well?) Quite neat.
    Which video? There are a zillion documentary videos for the FW 190.

    - Ivan.

  10. #10
    My apologies, Ivan- it's the Wings Of The Luftwaffe episode about the Fw-190...

    The flap indicator! (slapping my forehead) That makes sense...

    - Mike Z.

  11. #11
    Thanks Mike Z.

    Also at 19:21, what appears to be a Fuel Filler can be seen just under the cockpit sill.
    I believe this is where the "Primer Fuel" (3 liters of low octane fuel for engine starts) was filled.
    The "External Fuel Gauge" can be clearly seen at 19:37.

    I have attached an image from the video and one from the manual to show how this works.

    Note that Part number 5 in the schematic is the "Schau Loch" or "Showing Hole" and is what is being seen from the top surface of the wing.

    If you all are interested in the Landing Gear Indicator Rods, I have a couple diagrams of those as well.

    - Ivan.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails FW190_FlapIndicator_External.jpg   FW190_FlapMechanism.jpg  

  12. #12


    I watched a bit further in this video and I can tell you that the narrator's information about the FW 190 is incomplete or outright incorrect in other places as well.
    A couple notable places are a bulged plate that is described as a step to protect the wing which is really a plate to cover the inboard cannon breech and also another place that inadequately describes the solution to the engine overheating problem.
    This is not atypical of these videos which contain very good footage but often have inadequate research for the narration.

    - Ivan.

  13. #13
    Hey Mike/Ivan/Huub,

    Thanks for taking the time to investigate this a little further! It was one of those things where you hear "external fuel gauge" and start to wonder who/what/when/where!
    Appreciate the great info you related in the thread as well.


    "Hornets by mandate, Tomcats by choice!"

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Odie View Post
    It was one of those things where you hear "external fuel gauge" and start to wonder who/what/when/where!
    Hello Odie,

    If you are just looking for examples of an external fuel gauge, look at details of the Yakovlev series of piston engine fighters.
    I believe most of the series had a fuel gauge mounted on the surface of each wing. They are pretty easy to spot because the wings are quite small and are generally pretty smooth with very few panel lines because they are wooden construction.
    I know for sure the Yak-3 had such a gauge in the war time versions though I am not sure if modern reproductions are similarly equipped.

    - Ivan.

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