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Junkers Ju 188 Rache (Avenger)

Reconnaissance / Medium Bomber Aircraft

Nazi Germany | 1943

"The Junkers Ju 188 Rache was a solid design and good performer, though appearing several years too late to make an impact."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 01/23/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
When the new Junkers Ju 288 - a design meant to replace the Junkers Ju 88 series of bombers - ran into developmental issues with its engines, Junkers set about producing an in-between utilizing the Ju 88's airframe. The Ju 88B and Ju 88E were converted test frames (with an increased wingspan and new fuselage) that would eventually lead up to the development of the Ju 188 Racher (or "Avenger") series - a high performance aircraft that differed little in the aircraft it was meant to replace. Production would be limited to just over 1,000 examples.

With the prototypes ready and flying, it would only be a short time later before the production Ju 188s would see operational service in 1943. In an attempt to avoid previous issues with powerplant acceptability, the Ju 188 was specifically designed to take on both Jumo and BMW type engines without any modification needed to the airframe. The Ju 188 crew comprised of four personnel.

Design was of a typical Dornier twin-engine layout with the BMW or Jumo series engines fitted to the low-wing monoplane. The cockpit and nose were of the greenhouse type design with a 15mm autocannon protruding from the nose. A top turret featured a single 13mm machine gun while a 7.92mm machine gun was situated in a rear-facing ventral gondola. Some models carried an additional machine gun in a dorsal rear-facing gondola position as well. Internal and external bomb load was limited to around 6,600lbs of stores.

The Ju 188 was primarily a reconnaissance platform though it did fulfill the bomber and nightfighter roles to some extent. The Ju 188E-2 existed as a torpedo bomber while the Ju 188D-2 came on as a naval reconnaissance variant fitted with specialized radar in the nose. The nightfighter derivative was the Ju 188R-0, which were modified from the Ju 188E models and were given 4x 20mm or 2 x 30mm cannons along with the standard radar system. A series of high altitude performance models also appeared in the form of the Ju 188J, Ju 188K and Ju 188L that warranted an all new Ju 388 designation. These three additional were proposed designs that would have been comprised of a heavy fighter, bomber and reconnaissance type respectively.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Junkers Ju 188E-1 Rache (Avenger) Reconnaissance / Medium Bomber Aircraft.
2 x BMW 801D-2 14-cylinder radial engines developing 1,730 horsepower each and driving three-bladed propeller units.
310 mph
499 kph | 269 kts
Max Speed
31,168 ft
9,500 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
1,361 miles
2,190 km | 1,183 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Junkers Ju 188E-1 Rache (Avenger) Reconnaissance / Medium Bomber Aircraft.
49.2 ft
15.00 m
O/A Length
72.2 ft
(22.00 m)
O/A Width
14.4 ft
(4.40 m)
O/A Height
21,826 lb
(9,900 kg)
Empty Weight
31,967 lb
(14,500 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Junkers Ju 188 Rache (Avenger) Reconnaissance / Medium Bomber Aircraft .
1 x 20mm MG 151/20 autocannon in nose position.
1 x 13mm MG 131 machine gun in dorsal turret.
1 x 13mm MG 131 machine gun in trainable rear cockpit position.
1 x 7.92mm MG 81Z OR 13mm MG 131 machine gun in rear-firing ventral gondola position.

Up to 6,608lb of external and internal stores.
Notable series variants as part of the Junkers Ju 188 Rache (Avenger) family line.
Ju 88B - Prototype test bed of existing Ju 88 bomber.
Ju 88E - Prototype test bed of existing Ju 88 bomber.
Ju 188 - Base Series Designation developed from the Ju 88B and Ju 88E test bed.
Ju 188A - Fitted with Jumo series engines.
Ju 188A-1
Ju 188A-2 - Fitted with Jumo MW50 methanol-water injection engines.
Ju 188E - Fitted with BMW series engines.
Ju 188E-1
Ju 188E-2 - Torpedo Bomber
Ju 188C - Modified A-1 model; FA 15 powered turret fitted to tail with 2 x 13mm MG131 machine guns; single example produced.
Ju 188D-1 - Reconnaissance Version; similar to A-1 model.
Ju 188D-2 - Reconnaissance Version; fitted with nose radar for maritime reconnaissance.
Ju 188F-1 - E conversion models
Ju 188F-2 - E conversion models
Ju 188G-2 - BMW 801 engines; increased internal bomb bay; never produced; manned rear turret.
Ju 188H-2 - BMW 801 engines; reconnaissance platform version of the Ju 188G-2 model; never produced.
Ju 188R-0 - Modified E models as nightfighters; radar fitted along with 4 x 20mm OR 2 x 30mm cannons in nose; never produced.
Ju 188J - Proposed high altitude heavy-class fighter platform; sans bottom gunner position.
Ju 188K - Proposed high altitude bomber platform; sans bottom gunner position.
Ju 188L - Proposed high altitude reconnaissance platform; sans bottom gunner position.
Ju 188S - Longer wings; redesignated as Ju 388 series.
Ju 188T - "intruder" Variant; longer wings; redesignated as Ju 388 series.
Ju 388 - High-Altitude Variant Series; limited production quantity.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Junkers Ju 188 Rache (Avenger). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1,076 Units

Contractor(s): Junkers - Germany
National flag of France National flag of modern Germany National flag of Nazi Germany National flag of Hungary National flag of the United Kingdom

[ France; Hungary; Nazi Germany; United Kingdom ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (310mph).

Graph Average of 300 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
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Image of the Junkers Ju 188 Rache (Avenger)
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Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Junkers Ju 188 Rache (Avenger) Reconnaissance / Medium Bomber Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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