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  • Junkers Ju 287 Jet-Powered Heavy Bomber Prototype

    The Junkers Ju 287 was one of the more unique green-lighted German jet-powered aircraft projects to appear during World War 2.

     Updated: 4/3/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The Junkers Ju 287 certainly proved one of the most unique of the approved late-war, jet-powered designs for the German nation - now fighting a war on multiple fronts. The aircraft was intended as a high-speed heavy bomber which strayed away from previous conventional German thinking of the time which leaned towards light-to-medium-weight bomber projects - though a focus on fast bombers still remained at this point. Indeed, the German Luftwaffe fielded a limited collection of four-engined bombers during the war and this proved a strategic and tactical limitation throughout 1944 and into 1945.

    Hans Wocke worked for Junkers and, in 1943, proposed a swept-forward wing concept for a fast jet bomber capable of outrunning any known enemy air defenses - including interceptors and ground-based cannon networks. The use of a forward-swept-wing, Wocke argued, would promote improved high-speed qualities and improve on low-speed handling when compared to straight-wing, jet-powered designs being regularly put forth. Design of the Ju 287 was headed by Ernst Zindel.

    The new Junkers product was conceived in one working prototype and, to expedite its development, borrowed whole components from existing aircraft. The nosewheel was from an American Consolidated B-24 "Liberator" heavy bomber while the main wheels emerged from a Junkers Ju 352 "Herkules" transport. The Junkers Ju 388 "Stortebeker" heavy fighter made up a large portion of the empennage while the fuselage was taken from the Heinkel He 177 "Grief" heavy bomber.

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    Junkers Ju 287 V1 Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1944
    Type: Jet-Powered Heavy Bomber Prototype
    National Origin: Nazi Germany
    Manufacturer(s): Junkers - Germany
    Production Total: 1

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 2
    Length: 60.04 feet (18.3 meters)
    Width: 65.98 feet (20.11 meters)
    Height: 15.42 feet (4.70 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 27,558 lb (12,500 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 44,092 lb (20,000 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 4 x Junkers Jumo 109-004B-1 turbojet engines developing 1,985 lb of thrust.

    Maximum Speed: 347 mph (558 kph; 301 knots)
    Maximum Range: 963 miles (1,550 km)
    Service Ceiling: 30,840 feet (9,400 meters; 5.84 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 1,900 feet-per-minute (579 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    2 x 13mm heavy machine guns in remote-controlled tail barbette.

    Up to 8,800 lb of conventional drop bombs held in an internal bay.

    Global Operators / Customers

    Nazi Germany

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    Ju 287 V1 - Initial prototype with 4 x Junkers Jumo jet engine layout and Walter rocket-assist.

    Ju 287 V2 - Proposed second prototype with 6 x Junkers Jumo jet engine layout; never completed.

    Ju 287 V3 - Proposed third prototype; never completed.