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  • Junkers Ju 88 Medium Bomber / Multi-Role Aircraft

    Like the Dornier Do 17 and the Heinkel He 111, the Junkers Ju 88 became a mainstay of the German Luftwaffe bombing campaigns throughout all of World War 2.

     Updated: 6/12/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    The Junkers Ju 88 formed a third of the German Luftwaffe medium bomber triad of World War 2 (1939-1945) and, like its sister aircraft, the Dornier Do 17 and the Heinkel He 111, went on to be developed for a myriad of battlefield roles that went far beyond her original categorization of "fast bomber". Roles ultimately included dedicated night-fighters, torpedo bombers, and special mission aircraft. The Ju 88 was the most-produced of the three bombers with 15,183 examples completed prior to war's end in 1945. It saw its final days in service to the French Air Force where it was retired in 1951.

    Design of the Ju 88 fell to W.H. Evers and Alfred Gassner and was developed along the lines of a bomber flying fast enough to evade enemy interceptors and ground-based fire. Junkers engineers had interested the German Air Ministry with their Ju 85 prototype, a conventional twin-engine form with a twin vertical tail fin arrangement. From this was evolved a new Ministry requirement of August 1935 which called for a three-crew fast bomber capable of up to 2,200lb payloads and a prototype contract was handed to Junkers for the work in June of 1936. Five prototypes - V1 to V5 - then followed, differing mainly in proposed armament fittings and V6 then followed with a revised undercarriage design. A formal first flight ensued on December 21st, 1936 and this was prototype V1 with civilian markings to hide the aircraft's true military bombing role from the world.

    Development continued and the design evolved into a heavier form with reinforced wings, a four-man crew, and a lengthened fuselage. The aircraft now proved stronger for the rigors of dive bombing and the extra crewmember aided in general operation of the aircraft and its defense. The type proved an operational range of 620 miles and could reach speeds of 320 miles per hour while under the stresses of a 4,400lb war load. While Luftwaffe authorities pursued the design with a certain level of vigor - even as its pursued competing designs from Dornier and Heinkel - developmental issues delayed finalization of the product which was initially intended for service during 1938. The type was formally adopted in 1939 and on call in limited numbers during the German invasion of Poland to begin World War 2 (September 1st).

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    Junkers Ju 88A-4 Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1939
    Type: Medium Bomber / Multi-Role Aircraft
    National Origin: Nazi Germany
    Manufacturer(s): Junkers Flugzeug-und-Motorenwerke AG - Nazi Germany
    Production Total: 15,183

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 4
    Length: 47.08 feet (14.35 meters)
    Width: 65.94 feet (20.10 meters)
    Height: 16.73 feet (5.10 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 21,738 lb (9,860 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 30,865 lb (14,000 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 2 x Junkers Jumo 211J-1 OR 211J-2 V12 liquid-cooled engines developing 1,400 horsepower.

    Maximum Speed: 317 mph (510 kph; 275 knots)
    Maximum Range: 1,510 miles (2,430 km)
    Service Ceiling: 29,528 feet (9,000 meters; 5.59 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 770 feet-per-minute (235 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    1 x 7.92mm MG81 machine gun in nose
    1 x 7.92mm MG81 machine gun in cockpit windscreen
    2 x 7.92mm MG81 machine guns on trainable mounting in rear cockpit area.
    2 x 7.92mm MG81 machine guns in rear-facing ventral gondola position.

    Up to 3,100lbs of internal drop ordnance OR 6,600lbs of external drop ordnance.

    Global Operators / Customers

    Bulgaria; Finland; France; Nazi Germany; Hungary; Kingdom of Italy; Romania; United Kingdom; Soviet Union; Spain

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    Ju 88V-1 - Prototype Model; three seat crew compartment; fitted with Daimler-Benz DB600A V-12 1,000hp engines; total of ten prototype produced.

    Ju 88A-0 - Pre-Production Model Designation

    Ju 88A-1 - Initial Production Models; Series A Subvariant.

    Ju 88A-2 - Series A Subvariant; fitted with rocket-assisted take-off.

    Ju 88A-3 - Series A Subvariant

    Ju 88A-4 - Series A Subvariant; Fitted with Junkers Jumo 211J-1 or Junkers Jumo 211J-2 class engines; increased wingspan; reworked and strengthened landing gear.

    Ju 88A-5 - Series A Subvariant; similar to the Ju 88A-4 model series.

    Ju 88A-6 - Series A Subvariant; fitted with a balloon cable fender.

    Ju 88A-6/U - Long-Range Maritime Bomber; fitted with FuG 200 search radar and applicable equipment.

    Ju 88A-7 - Series A Subvariant

    Ju 88A-8 - Series A Subvariant

    Ju 88A-9 - Series A Subvariant; tropicalized version of the Ju 88A-1 model series.

    Ju 88A-10 - Series A Subvariant; tropicalized version of the Ju 88A-5 model series.

    Ju 88A-11 - Series A Subvariant; tropicalized version of the Ju 88A-4 model series.

    Ju 88A-12 - Series A Subvariant

    Ju 88A-13 - Series A Subvariant

    Ju 88A-14 - Series A Subvariant; anti-ship strike platform.

    Ju 88A-15 - Series A Subvariant; increased bombload capacity through an added buldge in fuselage bomb bay area.

    Ju 88A-16 - Series A Subvariant

    Ju 88A-17 - Series A Subvariant; anti-shipping torpedo bomber.

    Ju 88S - Secondary Production Model; produced in three subvariants; fitted with BMW 801G 1,700hp engines; redesigned nose assembly; reduced bomb load reflected in improved performance.

    Ju 88T - Reconnaissance Model

    Ju 88H - Long-range Derivative

    Ju 88C - Heavy Fighter Version developed from the Ju 88A model series; fitted with BMW 801A radial engines; solid designed nose for improved offensive armament; spawned nightfighter variants.

    Ju 88G - Definitive Nightfighter Service Model

    Ju 88R - Improved Ju 88C Model

    Ju 88D - Long-range Reconnaissance Model

    Ju 88P - Anti-Tank Model

    Ju 188 - "High Performance" Model

    Ju 388 - "High Altitude" Model