Junkers Ju EF 132 Jet-Powered Fast Bomber Proposal
The EF 132 became the last aircraft project handled by the Junkers concern during World War 2.
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The German Luftwaffe seized on the importance of jet-powered aircraft in the mid-to-latter stages of World War 2 (1939-1945). Chief developments became the Messerschmitt Me 262 "Schwalbe" jet fighter and the Arado Ar 234 "Blitz" fast bomber. There were even more designs that never would see the light of day for the conflict was over too quickly for German engineers to deliver a winning design amidst a faltering war effort. For Junkers, its final contribution to German airpower in the war became Project "EF 132" - a proposed high-speed, jet-powered fast bomber.
In many ways the last few designs offered by the Junkers concern held inspiration from the earlier Ju 287 jet-powered tactical bomber proposal (detailed elsewhere on this site). In this design a heavily-glazed nose section was used and a crew of two managed her varied onboard systems - including remote-controlled defensive gun positions aimed by way of periscopes. One of the more unique qualities of the Ju 287 was its swept-forward wing - a rather futuristic feature for the period - carrying underslung, podded turbojet engines. While only one flyable example was built and a first flight held in August of 1944, the design (including two unfinished prototypes) eventually fell to the advancing Soviets whose used it to further their own research into high-speed, jet-powered flight across several related iterations of the basic Ju 287 design.
The EF 132 continued some of the established qualities of the Ju 287 including a heavily-glazed nose section, single vertical tail fin and wholly retractable tricycle undercarriage. A bomb bay allowed for conventional drop ordnance to be carried internally and power was to be served from no fewer than six Junkers Jumo 012 series turbojets offering 5,500lb of thrust each. These would be aspirated through six intake openings found at the wing roots, conforming nicely to the wing's leading edge and overall shape. A principle change to the Junkers approach was in use of a swept-back, high-mounted wing mainplane which gave the EF 132 offering a more modern appearance. Its crew would number five in a pressurized cabin and six 20mm guns - held in pairs across a dorsal, ventral and tail turret - were to become standard defensive armament. The bomb load weighed in at 11,025 of drop ordnance.
Engineers estimated performance values to include a maximum speed of 580 miles per hour, a range out to 2,175 miles, a service ceiling up to 33,800 feet and a rate-of-climb nearing 2,835 feet-per-minute.
Before the end of the war in Europe, engineers had fleshed out a wind tunnel example of their new bomber to prove certain design qualities it sound. Then followed a full-scale wooden mockup to more practically assess the physical attributes of said aircraft and all of this work was handled out of the Junkers plant at Dessau which - unfortunately for the Germans - fell to the advancing Soviets in their march towards Berlin. This meant that all of the work-in-progress, and anything else having been completed by the Germans, were confiscated and eventually shipped back to far-off places of the Soviet Empire. One of the key facilities in the Soviet Union to receive both German scientists and useful project data / components was GOZ-1 and this allowed the Ju 287 and its offshoots to see continued development under new owners.
In the end, many of these early wartime turbojet-inspired projects bore little fruit as Soviet technology and applications grew beyond the original German offerings. As such, products like the EF-132 fell to history in time and, under Soviet direction, it was formally terminated in June of 1948 when better alternatives were being realized. By this point an incomplete EF 132 was all that materialized.