Junkers Ju 488 Heavy Strategic Bomber Prototype Aircraft
The Junkers Ju 488 four-engined heavy bomber only reached the prototyping stage before the end of World War 2.
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The German concern of Junkers took on many aircraft projects during, and before to the end, of World War 2 (1939-1945). As the Luftwaffe lacked any real competing heavy bomber for which to reach long range Allied targets much investment was made in delivering a suitable heavy bombing platform for such work prior to the end of the conflict. The Ju 488 was one development stemming from work on the preceding Ju 188, Ju 288 and Ju 388 designs - however it did not see progress beyond a group of incomplete prototypes by war's end.
The finalized form of the Ju 488 was given a length of 23.25 meters, a wingspan of 31.3 meters and a height of 6 meters. Empty weight was rated at 46,300 pounds against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) nearing 79,370 pounds. Its operating crew would number three and standard armament would be a dorsal-mounted, remotely-controlled turret armed with 2 x 20mm MG 151 cannons along with a remotely-controlled tail turret fitting 2 x 13mm MG 131heavy machine guns. These were presented as strictly defensive fixtures to engage any intercepting / trailing fighters threatening the large aircraft. An internal bomb bay would hold up to 11,025 lb of conventional drop stores.
Power was through 4 x Junkers Jumo 222A / B-3 24-cylinder, liquid-cooled engines developing 2,500 horsepower at take-off. Engineers estimated a top speed of 430 miles per hour with a cruising speed nearing 305 miles per hour, a range out to 2,110 miles, a service ceiling of 37,240 feet and a rate-of-climb of 550 feet per second. Originally, the aircraft was intended to carry 4 x BMW 801J series radial engines but this design element was eventually abandoned.