STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Junkers - Nazi Germany
LENGTH: 82.38 feet (25.11 meters)
WIDTH: 111.88 feet (34.1 meters)
HEIGHT: 18.86 feet (5.75 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 28,947 pounds (13,130 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 53,021 pounds (24,050 kilograms)
ENGINE: 3 x Junkers Jumo 211F V12 liquid-cooled engines developing 1,350 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 273 miles-per-hour (440 kilometers-per-hour; 238 knots)
RANGE: 2,473 miles (3,980 kilometers; 2,149 nautical miles)
CEILING: 20,669 feet (6,300 meters; 3.91 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 750 feet-per-minute (229 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Junkers Ju 252 Passenger / Cargo Transport Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 1/21/2019.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Junkers of Germany was approached by passenger carrier Lufthansa for a new transport design to succeed their classic Junkers Ju 52 tri-motor series. The entry would be of dimensionally greater size for more internal space and solve issues with both performance and operational range in the process. Like the Ju 52 before it, the new design would rely on a tri-engine configuration with the third engine installed at the nose and the remaining two powerplants residing in the wings. The resultant aircraft became the Ju 252 whose success was largely derailed by the growing German commitment to World War 2 (1939-1945).
The aircraft (project model "EF.77") carried low-set, straight monoplane wings fitted ahead of midships. The fuselage was long and slender, dotted with rectangular viewports along its side. The cockpit was fitted forwards, aft of the nose engine installation, and the empennage was conventional featuring a sole vertical fin and low-mounted stabilizers. A conventional "tail-dragger" undercarriage was featured. Internally, the Ju 252 held the capacity to ferry up to 35 persons in comfort. Power would come from 3 x Junkers Jumo 211F liquid-cooled V12 engines of 1,350 horsepower each. A hydraulically-driven loading ramp (developed in-house by Junkers) was used to level the aircraft when parked (literally lifting the tailwheel from the ground to level the cargo hold), allowing entry and exit of heavy cargo loads.
Heading into 1942, Germany was fully committed to the war and severe material restrictions were placed on the production of any non-military aircraft. The Ju 252 program therefore suffered and only prototypes and those airframes under construction at the time of the directive were allowed to be completed. This netted the series just fifteen total aircraft which went on to serve the German Luftwaffe during the conflict - armed for defensive purposes only through 1 x 13mm MG 131 machine gun in a dorsal turret and 2 x 7.92mm MG 15 machine guns in side beam positions.
The German Air Ministry then returned to Junkers and charged engineers with designing a copy of the Ju 252 that utilized far fewer war materials in its construction. This work then begat the Ju 352 "Herkules" transport which saw considerably more examples produced - fifty. Needless to say, the Ju 252 failed in its attempt to supersede the popular Ju 52 tri-motor line but this was not through any failing of the aircraft directly.
As completed, the Ju 252A production model featured a crew of three to four operating personnel and an overall length of 25 meters, a wingspan of 34 meters and a height of 5.75 meters. Empty weight became 13,130 kg against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 22,260 kg. Performance specifications included a maximum speed of 440 kmh, a cruise speed of 335 kmh, a range out to 4,000 km and a service ceiling up to 6,300 meters. Rate-of-climb reached 750 feet-per-minute.
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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (273mph).
Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Junkers Ju 252's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units