German Bombers of WWII


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German Bombers of the Second World War


his is a companion volume to the earlier book on German Fighters and covers the main types of bomber aircraft operated by the Luftwaffe between 1939 and 1945. Eleven different types are described, with a short preview on the early aircraft in service, many of which continued to fly on second-line duties, followed by a photo-section dealing with a handful of prototypes which had flown but failed to reach operational status by the end of the war. The essence of the Aeroplane Collectors’ Archive is to present each aircraft as a photo-essay supported by text and informative captions. As with other books in this series many of the illustrations come from the extensive archive held by The Aeroplane, but to provide a wider coverage of each type some of the pictures originate from wartime German sources. Adding to the informative nature of the series, cutaway drawings are included, some of which were produced by the skilful British illustrators working for the Air Intelligence Branch of the Air Ministry, often gleaning the intricacies of each type by crawling over wrecks and captured examples to find out the latest in German aviation design. Acknowledgement is also due to Flight’s wartime artist, Max Millar, and to John Weal, an outstanding technical illustrator of more recent times whose work also graces this publication.

Luftwaffe bomber development Although its foundations were laid in the mid-1920s in contravention of the 1919 Versailles Treaty, the new German air force was established in secret as an independent organisation following Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in 1933. Hermann Goering, a First World War fighter ace, assumed the position of Air Minister and plans were laid for the formation of 18 Geschwader (each one equivalent to an RAF Group) - six each of fighters, bombers and reconnaissance aircraft, and in March 1935 the previously clandestine Luftwaffe was revealed to a concerned world. Aircraft production was underway amid a massive national rearmament programme and modern airliners such as the Junkers Ju 52/3m and Ju 86 soon appeared in the dark colours of bomber conversions, followed from March 1936 by three new types undergoing trials, the Dornier Do 17, Heinkel He 111 and the high-speed Junkers Ju 88. Two single-engine dive-bombers, the Henschel Hs 123 biplane and the crank-winged Junkers Ju 87 also began development. In November that year, Hitler lent support to General Franco in the Spanish Civil War and in this bitter conflict, the new Luftwaffe honed its combat skills and developed new tactics which would give it a significant advantage during the early years of the 1939-45 war. By September 1939, 700 aircraft of all types were rolling off production lines every month and on the eve of the invasion of Poland the Luftwaffe fielded 1,170 high-level bombers plus 335 Ju 87 Stuka dive-bombers. The new types entering service were principally designed for use in a tactical role to support the land forces in a series of quick Blitzkrieg (Lightning War) operations, the dive-bombers attacking pin-point targets in the forward area and the twin-engine types attacking rear-area factories and airfields from high-level to deny reinforcements to the enemy. One omission in Germany’s grand plan that proved disastrous in the long term was the early decision to halt development of a long-range four-engine ‘Ural Bomber’, a concept strongly supported by General Walter Wever for which competing prototypes of the Do 19 and Ju 89 were flown. However, Wever’s death in an air accident in June 1936, meant his ideas were overridden in order not to jeopardise development of the high-speed medium bomber (the Ju 88) championed by Goering and Kesselring. In the short term, the principle of supporting the army held good for the campaigns across Europe with short, sharp victories achieved, much credit going to the Stukas, but it was the Battle of Britain in the summer of 1940 where the Luftwaffe bomber force of some 1,500 aircraft was defeated by a combination of radar and highly-capable fighters. The intensity of the bombing campaign increased losses and serviceability took a toll of the numbers of aircraft available for operations. The later night Blitz of 1944 when the Luftwaffe returned to attack London in force also failed to gain any military success over its old enemy.

With defeat, remnants of the Luftwaffe bomber force became curios for the victors, as seen here at Farnborough in October 1945 with the Junkers Ju 88/Fw 190 Mistel combination in the foreground. After the mauling it received over Britain, in early 1941 the German bomber force was largely withdrawn from the Channel coast to support Hitler’s attack on the Balkans, followed in June 1941 by the invasion of Russia. North Africa too needed bombers to support Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps with torpedo and mining operations conducted to reduce Britain’s military presence in Egypt and Malta. From the west coast of France, Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condors in conjunction with the German Navy’s U-Boat fleet attacked the Atlantic convoys, very nearly bringing starvation to Britain. The Heinkel He 177 was intended to replace the Condor but proved mechanically unsound and only made its appearance in the autumn of 1943, ultimately making little difference to the prosecution of the war. Operation Barbarossa, the attack on Russia in June 1941 involved three Air Fleets (Luftflotten) ranged along the Eastern front with 2,770 aircraft of the total Luftwaffe first-line strength of 4,300. Supporting the three large Army Groups were 775 long-range bombers with 310 dive-bombers and success was immediate. Hitler expected the campaign to last no longer than six weeks, but hard resistance by the Soviet Army slowed the German advance until Russia’s biggest ally intervened – the winter! Over the following two years, the Luftwaffe bomber arm began its steady decline. The Ju 88 remained the best of the aircraft available with a performance the equal of the opposition, but the bomb load remained small. Dornier developed the Do 217 to replace its Do 17Z predecessor but production was short, and the He 111 was reliable but becoming obsolete. The fast and capable Ju 188 also appeared, but in insufficient numbers. Hitler’s great hope on turning the tide back in favour of Germany rested on the twin-jet Arado Ar 234, but while innovative it could deliver only small bomb-loads and by the time it entered service, Germany had lost air supremacy. As 1944 drew to a close, the high-level bomber force had virtually disappeared as priority was switched to the production of single-engine fighters. In desperation, fighters were often flown in the dual fighter-bomber role such as the outstanding Me 262 jet, to try and halt the steady advance of the Allied armies. To man the enlarging fighter force, bomber aircrew were retrained, but this move proved too late as fuel stocks dwindled and the once all-powerful Luftwaffe shrank to a grounded, unresponsive air arm. In May 1945, unconditional surrender finally put it out of its final agony.

Aviation Archive Series

German Bombers of the Second World War

• Editor: Barry Wheeler • Design: Paul Sander • Publisher and Managing Director: Adrian Cox • Executive Chairman Richard Cox • Commercial Director Ann Saundry • Distribution Seymour Distribution Ltd +44 (0)20 7429 4000 • Printing Warners (Midlands) PLC, The Maltings, Manor Lane, Bourne, Lincs PE10 9PH. All rights reserved. The entire content of Company Profile is © Key Publishing 2015. Reproduction in whole or in part and in any form whatsoever is strictly prohibited without the prior permission of the Publisher. We are unable to guarantee the bona fides of any of our advertisers. Readers are strongly recommended to take their own precautions before parting with any information or item of value, including, but not limited to, money, manuscripts, photographs or personal information in response to any advertisements within this publication. Published by Key Publishing Ltd, PO Box 100, Stamford, Lincs PE19 1XQ. Tel: +44 (0) 1780 755131. Fax: +44 (0) 1780 757261. Website: ISBN: 978 1909786 189

German Bombers of the Second World War 6

Early Bombers


Dornier Do 17 & 215

16 Junkers Ju 87 Stuka 28 Heinkel He 111 38 Junkers Ju 88 54 Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor 66 Dornier Do 217

 74 Heinkel He 177 Greif 86 Junkers Ju 188 90 Arado Ar 234 Blitz 94 Junkers Ju 88 Mistel 96 Junkers Ju 388 97 Bombers in Brief


Early Bombers In 1934, aircraft production for the emerging Third Reich centred mainly on trainer types and the first biplane fighters. For the bombing role, the three-engine Junkers Ju 52 airliner briefly fulfilled that task, as did the Do 23, Hs 123 and Ju 86.


The Dornier Do 23 was an improved replacement for the Do 11 developed in 1931, ostensibly for use by the German State Railways but always considered a military design. Exhibiting poor aerodynamics and a weak structure, the Do 11 was succeeded in production by the Do 23 which from 1934 equipped the first bomber formations in the new Luftwaffe. With two 750hp BMW VI liquid-cooled engines, the Do 23 had a modest cruising speed of 161mph and a range of 840 miles with a 2,200lb bomb load and a defensive armament of three 7.9mm MG 15 machine guns in open nose, dorsal and ventral positions. Its service use was short, replaced by the Ju 86 and He 111 in 1937-38. The Do 23 seen here was one of 280 built and carries both civil (D-ALYH) and military markings.

JUNKERS Ju 52/3m

One of the world’s most famous transport aircraft, the corrugated Junkers Ju 52/3m trimotor was designed by Ernst Zindel. In 1934, the 17-seat airliner secretly took on warpaint and by the end of 1935 equipped two-thirds of the Luftwaffe’s five bomber groups. Three 725hp BMW 132A radial engines gave the bomber variant a cruising speed of 153mph at 3,000ft and up to 3,306lb of bombs were carried in fuselage bays. Defensive armament comprised machine guns in the dorsal and ventral ‘dustbin’ positions. The Ju 52 gave way to more modern bombers, but it was as a transport throughout the war that this remarkable aircraft really won its spurs. Production reached 4,860 aircraft.




Designed both as a medium bomber for the clandestine Luftwaffe and a ten-seat commercial airliner for Deutsche Lufthansa, the Junkers Ju 86 first flew at Dessau on November 4, 1934. Production four-seat Ju 86A bombers were delivered to Kampfgeschwader 152 in mid-1936. Unusually, the Ju 86A was powered by two 600hp Jumo 205C Diesel engines which gave reliability but only a modest performance. Machine guns were located in the nose, ventral and dorsal positions and 1,700lb of bombs were carried vertically in the centre fuselage. BMW 132 radial engines identify the Ju 86 in the picture as an E-1 variant of 1937 in the markings of 8./KG 253.



Designed in response to an idea from WWI ace Ernst Udet, the Henschel Hs 123 Sturzkampfflugzeug, or dive-bomber, flew in early 1935 with deliveries beginning in the summer of 1936. At the end of that year the type was successfully evaluated in Spain with the Condor Legion. The Luftwaffe, now receiving the more efficient Ju 87 to equip its Stukagruppen, switched the sturdy little biplane to the close-support role and the type operated successfully during the invasion of Poland and the Low Countries. It also saw service on the Eastern Front before being withdrawn from use in 1944. The single 880hp BMW 132D radial engine gave the Hs 123 a top speed of 212mph and a range of 534 miles. Armament comprised two 7.9mm MG 17 machine guns above the engine and four 110lb bombs underwing. The three aircraft in the picture are from 2./St.G.165 ‘Immelmann’ in 1937.

Blitzkrieg – ‘lightning war’, most associated with the opening stages of the conflict Erprobungstelle (E-Stelle) – Proving or Test Centre Fernaufklarungs – long-range reconnaissance Fuhrer – Leader Fliegerdivision – tactical or regional staff command Fligerhorst – air base Flugplatz – airfield Geschwader – largest flying unit comprising three Gruppen plus a Stab unit Gruppe – Group Gruppenkommandeur – Group Commander Hauptmann (Hptm) – Captain or Flight Lieutenant (RAF) Jagdbomber (Jabo) – Fighter-bomber Kampfgeschwader (KG) – Bomber Wing Kampfgruppe – Bomber Group (approx 30 aircraft) Luftflotte – Air Fleet (approx 1,000 aircraft) Luftwaffe – Air Force Lehrgeschwader – development or instructional wing Major – equivalent to Squadron Leader (RAF) Maschinengewehr (MG) – machine gun Maschinenkanone (MK) – automatic cannon Nachtjagdgeschwader – night-fighter wing Oberleutnant – equivalent to Flying Officer (RAF) Oberst – Colonel Oberstleutnant – Lieutenant-Colonel Oberkommando der Luftwaffe – Air Force High Command Reich – Empire, as in Hitler’s Third Reich Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) – German Air Ministry Schlachtgeschwader – Fighter-Bomber Wing Stab – Staff Staffel – Squadron Staffelkapitan – Squadron Commander Stuka – dive-bomber Wehrmacht – armed forces, German Werkenummer (Wk Nr) – aircraft serial number Zerstorer – destroyer (heavy fighter) Zerstorergeschwader (ZG) – heavy fighter wing

8 Built as a six-seat mailplane for Lufthansa, the prototype Dornier Do 17 V-1 was designed for speed and durability on commercial air routes. Stylish, with circular windows for the somewhat cramped rear passenger cabin, the aircraft quickly attracted the attention of the military and in early trials gained a twin fin and rudder unit in place of the single tail. By the time the ninth example flew in 1936 it had been transformed into a capable bomber for the Third Reich.

Dornier’s Flying Pencil The graceful shape of the Dornier Do 17 was first displayed in public at the International Military Aircraft Competition at Zurich in July 1937. Its slim fuselage prompted the nickname ‘Flying Pencil’ and the name stuck through the war years. Initially designed as a commercial mailplane for Lufthansa, the stylish Do 17 prototype first flew on November 23, 1934, and while rejected for commercial use its impressive performance prompted the Luftwaffe to adopt it for the fast bomber role. Replacing its single fin and rudder with a twin unit to reduce yaw, and incorporating an internal bomb-bay behind the main wing spar, the fourth prototype was trialled by the air force and production commenced. At 243mph, the sleek new monoplane bomber was faster than the Gloster Gauntlet biplane fighters then entering RAF service, with the bomb load of 1,100lb or 1,650lb on shortrange missions closely matching foreign types such as the RAF’s latest Bristol Blenheim. Early in 1937, production Do 17E bombers and Do 17F reconnaissance models powered by 750hp BMW VI engines began arriving with Luftwaffe units and soon after examples were despatched for combat operations with the Condor Legion fighting in the Spanish Civil War.

Two new versions, the Do 17M and P with BMW 132 radials, appeared in 1938 and by the end of that year some 580 of the four variants had been delivered, together with an export version, the Do 17K, ordered by Yugoslavia. In 1939, the German bomber arm began receiving the improved Do 17Z which incorporated an enlarged cockpit area with a ventral gun position to counter attacks from below and increased glazing for the four crew. The engines were 1,000hp Bramo 323 Fafnir radials which maintained the respectable performance of the earlier variants with the bomb load increased to 2,205lb. Do 17Zs of four Kampfgeschwaders (KG 2, 3, 76 and 77) took part in the attack on Poland on September 1, 1939, and during 1940 fought in the battle for France and the Low Countries. From July 1940, the type formed part of the sizeable bomber force deployed against the UK for the Battle of Britain, but for the first time, the Luftwaffe experienced determined opposition from RAF Fighter Command which over three months resulted in more than 140 losses among the Do 17Z units. With the mauling the German bomber crews took during 1940, it was clear that while a popular aircraft to fly with few technical problems in service, the Do 17Z was outclassed in performance by the

Heinkel He 111 and Junkers Ju 88. While the latter replaced most of the Dorniers, those that remained were transferred from France in early 1941 to take part in attacks in the Balkans in April and against Russia in June. By then, the first examples of Dornier’s new Do 217 were entering service and the earlier type was relegated to second-line use. Do 17Z production reached 500 aircraft.


Crew: Four Powerplant: Two 1,000hp Bramo 323 Fafnir radial engines Max speed: 265mph at 16,400ft Cruise speed: 168mph at sea level Range: 720 miles with 1,100lb bomb load Empty weight: 10,449lb Loaded weight: 20,282lb Armament: Four 7.9mm MG 15 machine guns Max bomb load: 2,205lb Wingspan: 59ft Length: 51ft 9in Height: 15ft



By mid-1937, the three-seat Do 17E-1 bomber was in service with Kampfgeschwader KG 155 at Giebelstadt, where this aircraft was based. Nicknamed ‘Flying Pencil’, this early version had disappeared from front-line use by the beginning of the war, but continued flying in the bomber-training role. Bramo Fafnir radial engines identified the Dornier Do 17M version which succeeded the E version on the production line in 1938, but its period of service with the Luftwaffe was brief.


Only four months after forming, KG 77 and its Do 17Es found itself in the vanguard of the German air attack on Poland on September 1, 1939, and while outclassing the defending fighters of the Polish Air Force, it was not totally one-sided as the figure of 285 losses sustained by the Luftwaffe showed. This Dornier returned to base peppered with 7.7mm machine gun rounds fired from a determined Polish fighter pilot.

Badges and emblems played a major part in the Luftwaffe espirit de corps and units proudly displayed these on their aircraft. This is the Geschwader Stab lightning bolt of the Do 17Z-equipped KG 3 ‘Blitz Geschwader’, the other elements having shields of white (1 Gruppe), red (II Gp), and yellow (III Gp).

Flying reconnaissance missions during the early months of the Second World War, Dornier Do 17Ps were frequently chased and often shot down by defending fighters. This is one such example operated by 4.(F)121 based at Neuhausen which forced-landed in France on November 22, 1939. In the picture, French and British personnel inspect the mud-spattered wreck and on the wing can be seen the film cassettes from the cameras ‘liberated’ from inside the fuselage, their contents destined for Allied air intelligence.



High over London’s heavily-populated East End with Beckton gasworks the probable target, two Do 17Zs fly in formation, photographed from a third, on September 7, 1940. Their mission to the British capital would have been a fraught affair and their chances of making it back to France unscathed were slim, given the AA fire, barrage balloon defences, and RAF fighters. The prominent white bar on the starboard wing-tips indicates I Gruppe of the Kampfgeschwader to which the aircraft were attached.

More business-like in appearance with a larger nose and added glazing for the four crew, the Do 17Z was fitted with additional defensive armament and operated through the early war campaigns from Poland to the invasion of Soviet Russia.


Le Culot in Belgium was the base for the Do 17Zs of the Geschwader Stab element of KG 3 ‘Blitz’ during the Battle of Britain in summer 1940. Running its engines with the crew entry hatch open, this aircraft carries the red and white badge of the city of Elbing, its former base in East Prussia.

Another image from the Battle of Britain, this time showing the broken remains of a Do 17Z lying in the oozing mud at Seesalter off the Kent coast. Coded U5+DS of 8./ Kampfgeschwader 2, it was shot down by Hurricanes of 111 Sqn based at Croydon on August 13, 1940. It was this type of Dornier which was pulled from the Goodwin Sands in late-2013 and is now with the RAF Museum as the only, almost complete, example to survive.


As the Battle of Britain gathered pace from July 1940, so German aircraft wreckage began filling scrap yards across the south of England. Before this pile was melted down, the remains were retained for inspection by Air Ministry personnel and in the foreground, two KG 2 Do 17Z fuselages sit alongside their battered wings, engine and tails, while in the background is the hulk of a Junkers Stuka shot down over Sussex on August 16.


A Propaganda Kompanie colour view taken at Cormeilles-en-Vexin in Northern France during the Battle of Britain showing a Do 17Z of 9./KG 76 undergoing an engine run by a member of the ground crew before being cleared for the next mission. The spinners are painted yellow to show the Staffel and in the lower nose glazing, a machine gun has been fitted to supplement similar weapons in the co-pilot’s window, in each side of the rear cockpit and in the rear-facing ventral position.


Dornier Do 215 The Do 215 was an export model of the Do 17Z, but differed in having 1,100hp Daimler-Benz DB 601 in-line engines in place of the Bramo radials. The type was considered for purchase by Yugoslavia, but Sweden was the only firm customer with a contract for 18 Do 215A-1s placed in the autumn of 1939. However, before delivery, war was declared and the aircraft already built were modified for reconnaissance as Do 215Bs and diverted for use by the Luftwaffe.

While capable of operating in the bomber role, Do 215s in German service were not deployed as such. Instead, Rb 20/30 and Rb 50/30 cameras were fitted in the lower fuselage for long-range photographic reconnaissance missions. Under a RussoGerman Agreement, two examples were supplied to the Soviet Union early in 1940. The only other version was the Do 215B-5 night-fighter known as the Kauz III fitted with Lichtenstein radar and forward-firing cannon in a solid nose. Only 101 Do 215s were built.

Inline engines – Daimler-Benz DB 601s – identify this to be a Do 215, a type originally aimed at the export market but on the outbreak of war switched to reconnaissance duties with the Luftwaffe. This Dornier carries standard splinter camouflage of Dunkelgrun (Dark-Green) and Schwarzgrun (Black- Green) over the top and side surfaces.

Left: A Max Millar drawing showing the positions for the two rear gunners, the lower one folding his seat against the side of the cockpit to man the rearwardfacing ventral machine gun.



One of the first Swedish Do 215Bs to be completed from an order for 18 placed late in 1939, this aircraft was test-flown in German military markings but not delivered.

Flight artist Max Millar produced this partial cutaway of the Do 215 in 1940. With its external appearance looking almost identical to the Do 17Z, apart from the engines, RAF pilots in the Battle of Britain included ‘Do 215’ among their claims for Dorniers damaged or shot down, but post-war research confirmed that the Do 215 was a ‘lone operator’, more interested in gaining information than dropping bombs.

16 Thanks to a British Rolls-Royce Kestrel V engine, the prototype Junkers Ju 87V-1 made its initial flight on September 17, 1935. The twin fin and rudder design would be replaced by a single unit on all subsequent aircraft following the crash of the prototype due to the loss of one of the tail fins.

Stuka – Blitzkrieg Bomber An infamous weapon and one that remains synonymous with Germany’s Blitzkrieg across Northern Europe in 1940, the crank-winged Stuka (an abbreviation of the generic title Sturzkampfflugzeug) dive-bomber proved brutally efficient in its role of supporting ground troops. Its screaming dive with howling sirens was fearsome to experience and it contributed significantly to the Wehrmacht’s early successes. A high-profile champion of the dive-bomber was former First War ace, Ernst Udet. His enthusiasm for such a piece of ‘flying artillery’ was engendered from seeing the Curtiss Hawk biplane dive-bomber during a visit to the USA in the early 1930s. He returned to Europe and with others encouraged German companies to bid for this type of warplane with Henschel and Junkers being awarded contracts for the biplane Hs 123 and the monoplane Ju 87, respectively. Designed by Hermann Pohlmann, the prototype Ju 87 flew from Dessau on September 17, 1935, piloted by Willi Neuenhofen and powered by a 640hp Rolls-Royce Kestrel V. With aerodynamic changes, production Ju 87As with 600hp Junkers Jumo 210C engines began leaving the factory early in 1937. The type won its spurs in the Spanish Civil War flying with the Nationalist forces and a steady rotation of crews returned to Germany to write the tactics manual which would see the Ju 87 evolve

Badge of III/St G 1 with a nautical theme indicating the unit formed to operate aboard the aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin. Although launched in December 1938, the ship was not completed and the Stukas reverted to land-based operations. into one of the most successful specialised bombers of the conflict. By late 1937, Stuka production was transferred from Junkers to Weser-Flugzeugbau, initially at Bremen and Lemwerder, but also at Berlin-

Tempelhof where the majority of aircraft were built before the last of 6,513 rolled off the line in 1944. The B series entered Luftwaffe service in 1938 incorporating a revised undercarriage design, a modernised cockpit canopy and a slimmer fuselage, while the engine changed again to a 1,200hp Jumo 211D with fuel injection. It was the Ju 87B that spearheaded the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, the German Army being supported throughout by the nine Stukagruppen in what became known as the Blitzkrieg or Lightning War. In early 1940, the Stuka’s comparatively short range of some 370 miles was improved with the addition of two external underwing fuel tanks resulting in the Ju 87R (R = Reichweite or Range). This version participated briefly in the invasion of Denmark and Norway during April that year and went on to operate in other war theatres, notably in the Mediterranean and North Africa. On May 10, 1940, the German Army launched its invasion of Western Europe, supported by the Stukas in their tactical role bringing panic and defeat to Belgium, Holland and France, but it was the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain that finally brought an end to the mystique of the Stukagruppen’s short reign of success. The aircraft’s relatively low speed and poor defensive armament highlighted the type’s vulnerability and losses mounted with more than 40 Stukas falling to the



Registered D-UBIP, the fourth Ju 87 was the A series prototype and took on the appearance of what would become known as the ‘Stuka’. guns of Hurricanes and Spitfires in the first six days of the battle. Thereafter, the type was used sparingly and mainly for special raids with heavy fighter protection before the Ju 87 units were transferred to the Balkans and the Mediterranean. As well as the Luftwaffe, Ju 87s were supplied to the air forces of Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy and Rumania, as well as serving with the Czech Air Force near the end of the war. Taking into account the shortcomings of the B series, Junkers designed the Ju 87D or ‘Dora’, giving it the higher-powered 1,410hp Jumo 211J, streamlining the airframe and adding more fuel. With improved performance, the D series saw extensive use in Russia from mid-1942, both in the dive-bomber role and later with specialised night-attack units. The final version to see front-line service was the Ju 87G Panzerknacker which arrived in the summer of 1943 to answer the urgent need for a heavilyarmed tank destroyer for use in Russia where some 85% of Stukas were now operating. This carried two powerful 37mm Flak 18 cannon, each with 12 rounds of tungsten-cored shells which could punch through the thick armour of Soviet T-34s. Lacking agility with the tank-busting guns, the ‘Gustav’ hunted targets under the protection of escorting Fw 190 fighters and Luftwaffe ace Oberleutnant Hans-Ulrich Rudel was the supreme


The Breslau city arms, where 3./St G 2 was formed in 1939, was carried on the forward fuselage of the unit’s Ju 87Bs. user of the type, knocking out 519 Soviet tanks during his time on the Russian Front, many while flying the G . Even during the final dying months of the Third Reich’s short 12-year existence, Ju 87s continued to exact heavy losses on the Soviet armies heading for Berlin as Stukagruppen 1 and 2 flew their last close-support missions to aid the Wehrmacht’s crumbling units.

Crew: Two Powerplant: One 1,420hp Junkers Jumo 211J liquid-cooled engine Max speed: 255mph at 13,500ft Cruise speed: 115mph at 16,700ft Range: 510 miles or 954mph at cruising speed Empty weight: 8,598lb Loaded weight: 14,550lb Armament: Two 7.9mm MG 17 machine guns in wings (2x20mm MG 151 cannon in the D-5) and twin 7.9mm MG 81Z m/g in rear cockpit Max bomb load: Single 3,968lb bomb under fuselage or single 1,102lb bomb plus four 110lb bombs underwing Wingspan: 45ft 3in (49ft 2in on D-5 version) Length: 37ft 9in Height: 12ft 9in


Remains of a Stuka brought down during the Battle of Britain showing the attachment points for the outer wing section.

Production Ju 87As first equipped the Luftwaffe’s 4./StG 165 at Schweinfurt in 1937. This aircraft is 52+D24 which in reverse order identifies the machine as belonging to the 4th Staffel of the 2nd Gruppe, individual aircraft identifier ‘Dora’, 2nd Geschwader with Luftkreiskommando 5. The splinter camouflage comprised brown, green and grey colours. Projecting from the port wing is the angled air speed pitot tube.


Over the Sicilian port of Augusta, these two long-range Ju 87R-2 bombers of St.G.3 were operating in support of Rommel’s Afrikakorps in 1941 and with no second crewmen aboard were probably on a ferry flight to German-held Libya.

No 1./St G 77 adopted a diving pink pig for its unit emblem, while the Stab had a black wolf’s head and 2./St G 77 a grey elephant, both on yellow shields.

In shirtsleeves with the canopy open to gain some relief from the hot Russian summer of 1941, Staffelkapitan Herbert Pabst of 6./Stuzkampfgeschwader 77 taxies his bomb-laden Ju 87B-1 out for another mission against the retreating Soviet Army. Around the rear fuselage a yellow band complements a yellow tip to the spinner as a quick identifying feature to friendly troops.

Heinkel He 111H-16

Heinkel He 111H-16


As a member of the Axis, Italy’s Regia Aeronautica was supplied with various aircraft by Germany, including Ju 87Bs from July 1940. They saw service in the Balkans, the Mediterranean and North Africa. This example was photographed in February 1941 and retains the German dark green camouflage upper surfaces with the Italian white cross on the fin and a white band around the rear fuselage. On the wheel spat is the white ‘diving duck’ of the 97° Gruppo formed at Lecce in July 1940.

Equipped largely with the longer-ranged Ju 87R, Sturzkampfgeschwader 5 was operating in northern Russia late in 1942, experiencing the bitter winter which made flying more hazardous than facing the enemy. This bombed-up aircraft at its snow-cleared dispersal is having its oil tank topped-up by ground crew personnel (known as ‘black men’ due to their overalls). Note the radiator shutters in the air intake and unusually, an enterprising paint sprayer has even given the black propeller blades a coat of white.

The situation for the Stuka in the final years of its service was a far cry from the propaganda which surrounded it at the start of the war. This Junkers advertisement by Munich artist Claus Bergen publicised the menacing power of the dive-bomber in 1939.



Wreckage of aircraft from St.G.2 piled together at a former desert base in Cyrenaica after Rommel’s retreat along the North African coast in January 1942. In the foreground is an auxiliary fuel tank used on the Ju 87R/Trop, while under the wing of aircraft ‘F’ can be seen the outboard carriers for SC 50 bombs and the long slatted dive brake.

A Ju 87D-5, the first version with extended wingtips, peels away for a diving attack on a Soviet target. Operated by 4./St.G.2, the aircraft carries a single SC500 bomb under the fuselage and an SC50 on each wing. The yellow Eastern Front theatre colour is painted under the outer wings and around the rear fuselage.

Typical of the massed flights of Stukas deployed against Soviet troops in 1943 is this view of Ju 87Ds of St.G.2 returning to base after a close-support mission. The D variant saw the oil cooler moved to below the nose and locating the original coolant radiator under the wing centre-section.


Under the great overhang of Berlin-Tempelhof’s famous semi-circular airport terminal where pre-war airliners once taxied in on their commercial services, Weser-Flugzeugwerke assembled Ju 87Ds between 1942 and 1944, undisturbed by Allied bombing. Hidden within the confines of the blocked-off terminal building, 35 ‘Doras’ in various stages of construction are visible in this view.

A gaggle of five Ju 87Ds returning to base following an operation on the Eastern Front.

Probably operated by a Nachtschlachtgruppen (night-attack group) for ground-support duties in place of the dive-bombing role, this Ju 87D-5 carries universal containers under the wider-span wings for supply flights to hard-pressed German troops near the end of the war. As well as a 20mm MG 151 cannon in each wing, Wk Nr 142091 has flame dampers over the exhausts.



In 1942, tank-busting ace Hans-Ulrich Rudel suggested larger calibre weapons were needed to combat the heavier armour being introduced on Soviet tanks. The result was a development of the 37mm RheinmetallBorsig Flak 18 gun and after successful trials at E-Stelle Tarnewitz on the Baltic coast, Rudel flew operational missions with these guns on the resulting Ju 87G. Each gun had 12 rounds of tungsten-cored ammunition designed to explode inside the tank.

Henschel HS 129

An Hs 129B of Schlachtgeschwader 2 operating in Russia in early summer 1943. Wk Nr 0364 displays eight tank kills on the rudder and on the centre fuselage above the gun bulge is the Infantry Assault badge which was carried by many of these armoured support aircraft. Designed by Dipl Ing Friedrich Nicholaus in 1937, the heavily-armoured Henschel Hs 129 ground-attack aircraft inflicted severe losses on Stalin’s tank forces in the mid-war years, but the Schlachtgeschwaders flying the type proved too few to alter the eventual outcome on the Eastern Front. Entering Luftwaffe service in 1940, the single-seat Hs 129A exhibited poor handling characteristics and low performance

before the improved B model appeared in 1942, the initial two 465hp Argus engines being replaced with 700hp Gnome-Rhone radials to give increased speed. Henschel went on to produce a total of 866 Hs 129Bs at its Berlin factory. After a mediocre showing in the North African theatre, the Hs 129B came into its own in Russia where the type’s armament of underwing bombs,

four integral guns (2x7.9mm and 2x13mm) and a large calibre cannon under the fuselage, scored heavily against the massed Soviet tank formations. The Hs 129B had a maximum speed with no external weapons of 253mph at 12,570ft and a range of 428 miles. Empty weight was 8,400lb and maximum loaded was 11,574lb. Dimensions included a wing span of 46ft 7in and a length of 32ft.

28 The sweeping lines of the Heinkel He 111 are well conveyed in this view of the first prototype after roll-out at Marienehe in February 1935. The tailskid was replaced with a wheel and the elliptical wing shape was later changed to incorporate a straight leading edge to speed production.

Classic Heinkel Bug-eyed with a streamlined body, the Heinkel He 111 symbolised German bomber strength in the early war years and for the Luftwaffe this capable design proved a true pilot’s aeroplane with well-harmonised controls and a respectable performance. Despite its creeping obsolescence it served the air force reliably to the end of the conflict, first as a medium bomber, then in the torpedo-carrying anti-shipping role, and later as a transport and glider tug. Even after Germany’s collapse the type continued in production in Spain for a further decade, a tribute to its design and underlining its sturdy efficiency. Designed by Siegfried Gunter to meet a dual requirement, firstly from Lufthansa for a fast mailplane and secondly as a medium bomber for the fledgling air force, the first of a series of prototypes flew on February 24, 1935, in the hands of chief test pilot Gerhard Nitschke. Two 500hp BMW VI engines provided the power, but these gave a disappointing performance so a switch was made to the latest 1,000hp Daimler-Benz DB 600 and with these a top speed of 224mph was reached, sufficient at the time for both customers. Capable of carrying a bomb load of 3,300lb, the He 111B entered service with KG 154 in 1936 and to evaluate the type in combat, a batch of early aircraft was sent for operations with the Condor Legion fighting in the Spanish Civil War.

Pre-war advertising by Deutsche Lufthansa highlighted the latest Heinkel He 111C and its high-speed efficiency.

In spite of military urgency, Heinkel was still keen for the aircraft to enter commercial service and gain some export orders, so during 1936 the company built a small batch of ten-passenger He 111C transports and although Lufthansa considered the variant expensive to operate, it was introduced on some of the airline’s European routes in the late 1930s. In 1937, the DB 600-powered He 111D appeared, but engine supply failed to match airframe production so a change was made to the 1,000hp Junkers Jumo resulting in the He 111E with a bomb load increased to 4,410lb. Later that year, the F variant appeared incorporating a redesigned wing to ease manufacture, followed by the J in which the DB 600 engine reappeared as supply problems eased. To rectify poor pilot visibility with the long nose and stepped cockpit, the Heinkel design team produced a fully-glazed asymmetric nose for use by the He 111P (DB 601) and H (Jumo 211) series, a feature which would forever identify this wartime bomber. With the pilot seated on the left, his instruments located in the roof, and a nose gun offset to starboard, the new ‘glasshouse’ incorporated the bomb aiming position and sight in the lower section. Delivery of both series began in 1939 with six factories building the type, each completing 70 aircraft per month.



D-ALES was the third prototype – the He 111V-3 – and the second to serve as a bomber development aircraft. However, during trials at the Rechlin experimental establishment from January 1936 it was found to be seriously underpowered when loaded with 2,205lb of bombs; it subsequently served out its days on engine trials. Early service operations soon found the aircraft’s defensive armament woefully inadequate with just three 7.9mm MG 15 machine guns in the nose, ventral and dorsal positions. However, this paltry array soon doubled in number as the German crews came up against determined resistance from the Royal Air Force from June 1940. The P series gave way to the He 111H in 1940, the Jumo 211 becoming the standard engine for the type over the next five years. Upgrades were introduced into service as the Jumo gained more power, heavier armament was fitted, more protective armour was added and roles changed. The ‘standard’ He 111H-6 took on the task of torpedo-bombing and as the war turned against the Axis, the familiar outline of the He 111 was seen tugging gliders, transporting troops and finally, launching V1 Flying Bombs. Variants included the He 111H-8 fitted with a balloon-cable fender, the H-14 Pathfinder fitted with additional radio equipment, the H-16 with a 13mm MG 131 machine gun in an electrically-operated dorsal turret, the H-21 with 1,750hp Jumo 213s which increased the bomb load to 6,615lb, and finally the H-23 saboteur transport. Production ended in 1944 after 6,472 He 111s had been built. Mention should be made of the He 111Z Zwilling or twin-Heinkel designed as a tug for the large Messerschmitt Me 321 heavy


Professor Dr Ernst Heinkel, German pioneer aviator and founding father of Heinkel Flugzeugwerke. Born on January 24, 1888, he died on January 30, 1958. transport glider. The Zwilling comprised two He 111 fuselages mated by a new wing centre section fitted with a fifth Jumo 211F engine. The combination was controlled from the port cockpit with pilot, engineer, radio operator and gunner in the port fuselage, with observer, second engineer and gunner in the starboard fuselage. Two prototypes flew in 1941 and ten production examples were delivered in 1942.

Crew: Five Powerplant: Two 1,350hp Junkers Jumo 211F liquid-cooled engines. Max Speed (loaded): 242mph at 13,120ft Range: 1,212 miles at 205mph at sea level with 5,512lb of bombs Empty Weight: 19,136lb Loaded Weight: 30,865lb Armament: One 20mm MG FF cannon in nose, one 13mm MG 131 machine gun in dorsal position, a 7.9mm MG 81 machine gun in ventral gondola and twin MG 81s in each of two beam positions Max Bomb Load: 32 110lb bombs or eight 551lb bombs internally, or 16 110lb bombs internally and one 2,204lb bomb on external rack Wing Span: 74ft 2in Length: 53ft 10in Height: 13ft 2in


An official visit by a Luftwaffe delegation to see the Royal Air Force in October 1937 was led by Erhard Milch and Ernst Udet, the party arriving at Croydon Airport in He 111V-16 D-ASAR. As luggage is unloaded from the nose cargo bay, the German group is seen being greeted by RAF personnel before departing for London in the fleet of Embassy cars.

A new wing with a straight leading edge and a trial installation for a fully-glazed nose shape was flown on the He 111V-7 prototype in the summer of 1938 and these changes were adopted by the following P and H series.

The coat of arms of General Walther Wever – a white shuttle on a red shield – the Luftwaffe’s first Chief of Staff who was killed in an accident in 1936, was the emblem for KG 4 from its formation on He 111s in May 1939.

Known as the Lion Geschwader, KG 26 painted this emblem on their He 111s with white (I Gruppe), red (II Gruppe) or yellow (III Gruppe) shield backgrounds.

Plan view of a newly-completed He 111P-4 (Wk Nr 3107) awaiting delivery. Standard camouflage comprised Dunkelgrun (dark green) and Schwarzgrun (black-green) on the upper surfaces and Hellblau (light blue) underneath. The factory code NO+GP would be replaced by unit markings on arrival with the operational unit.


A month before they were part of Hitler’s invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, German crews prepare for a training sortie at Jever in newlydelivered Heinkel He 111Ps. In the nose, a 7.9mm machine gun projects from the ‘Ikaria’ ball-and-socket mounting.



An early Luftwaffe casualty was this reconnaissance Heinkel He 111H-2 of Fernaufklarungsgruppe 122 shot down by 87 Sqn RAF near Hazebrouck in northern France on November 2, 1939. Curious villagers stand and view the Boche bomber as the French recovery team halts briefly in a local town with their spoils of war. The location was not recorded, but the action was the first official victory by the Air Component of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force).

An attack on shipping near the Firth of Forth by He 111s of 5./KG 26 on February 9, 1940, netted this Prize de Guerre. Shot down by a Spitfire of No 602 Sqn, the H-3 (Wk Nr 6853) coded 1H+EN force-landed at North Berwick Law, East Lothian, and ended up in this undignified position. One of the German crew died in the action, the other three were taken prisoner. The Heinkel became a useful trophy and was repaired and assessed by the RAF as AW177. The nose view shows the KG 26 lion badge by the cockpit and reveals the open hatch and small, retractable windscreen should the pilot need an uninterrupted view when taxiing.



Looking in somewhat better shape, the He 111H-3 was pictured by the Flight photographer at Farnborough. Note the open bomb doors and the shrouded engine exhausts.

An outstanding view greeted pilots as they took their seat in the Heinkel’s multi-faceted glazed nose. Above and in front of the pilot was a shallow panel containing six blind-flying instruments and principal engine indicators, while to the pilot’s left was the engine throttle quadrant. The spectacle control column could be swung over for use by a second crew member.

Unlike many bombers of the period, the bombs were hoisted by their nose and stored in vertical racks either side of a central walkway. On release, the bombs fell out and tumbled over to begin their short journey to the target.

Rear view of the upper and lower gunner positions, the latter involving the crewman lying flat in the ventral gondola which also doubled as the main entrance to the aircraft.

34 Main and left: Flying views of the captured He 111 taken from a Handley Page Hampden on March 27, 1942, two years after its forced landing in the UK. Between its initial test flight in British hands on August 13, 1940, it flew more than 20hr with the Royal Aircraft Establishment and in December 1941 was transferred to No 1426 (Enemy Aircraft) Flight at Duxford for fighter-affiliation and recognition familiarisation with Allied aircrew and AA units. AW177 crashed at Polebrook on November 10, 1943, with the loss of seven of the 11 personnel on board.

Heraldry emphasising unit comradery was widespread in the Luftwaffe from its formation and this red griffon badge was carried by Heinkel He 111s of KG 55 and represents the city of Giessen where the unit formed in May 1939.

As casualties mounted in the Battle of Britain, so upgrades were urgently introduced to help protect the He 111 crews. One of the modifications was the introduction of protective armour plate behind the pilot’s seat. The original on the left appears to have been peppered by 0.303in bullets fired from an RAF fighter.



Following the total encirclement of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad by Soviet troops in November 1942, the Luftwaffe was ordered by Hitler to air-supply the hard-pressed ground forces by an air bridge and until the final surrender on February 2, 1943, fleets of aircraft attempted to save Commander von Paulus’ shrinking Army. Heinkel bombers supplemented the hundreds of Ju 52 transports taking part in Operation Wintergewitter and this formation of H-16s is seen on its way to the surrounded troops.


In 1940, six factories built He 111s as war production increased and this view purports to show the Rostock plant in full swing with near complete aircraft moving towards roll-out on the right. Each aircraft has its nose-glazing covered to prevent damage on the production line.

An action shot by a Propaganda Ministry cameraman of an He 111H over a burning target on the Eastern Front. On the inner wings can be seen the four refuelling points and reflected in the upper gunner’s glass cupola is the image of the He 111 from which the picture was taken.

Luftwaffe torpedo-bombers sank hundreds of tons of Allied shipping, both in the Mediterranean where this KG 26 He 111H-6 was based, and in northern waters during attacks on Russian convoys. This aircraft carries two practice LT-F5 torpedoes on its external racks and for operations would normally be armed with a nose-mounted 20mm MG FF cannon to keep the enemy’s heads down during the low-level attacks.



Air-launched Fieseler Fi 103s – better known as V1s – were fired against Britain from July 1944, the missile-carriers being Heinkel He 111H-16/Us and H-22s of KG 3 and KG 53, the example seen here being from the latter unit based at Ahlhorn. The Heinkels released the missiles at night from 1,500ft, aiming most in the general direction of London and later against Manchester. III/KG 3 launched a total of 1,176 bombs before losses among the launch aircraft from defective missiles and shortage of fuel halted operations.

Armament specialist ground-crew install a 20mm MG FF cannon in the nose of an He 111H. Beneath the nose is the Lotfe bomb sight.

One of the extraordinary twin-Heinkel glider tugs seen in Russia in November 1942. All five engines are Jumo 211F-2s and beneath each fuselage are two 900lit fuel tanks to extend operational range. Note the different nose armament, the far unit having the original 7.9mm machine gun fitted, while a 20mm cannon is carried by the nearest one. The five-engine combinations could deliver 6,700hp at take-off but no major operations were flown with the large Me 321 glider in tow for which this strange design was produced, instead smaller Gotha 242s were used for supply flights in Russia and Greece before most of the tugs succumbed to Allied fighter attacks.

A late attendee at the German Aircraft Exhibition held at Farnborough between October 29 and November 9, 1945, this He 111H-20, Wk Nr 701152, was a parachute transport version originally destined for the USA. Instead, it was flown to Britain in July 1945 by the 56th Fighter Group whose code HV was applied to the fuselage. After the show it appeared destined for scrapping, but it narrowly escaped this fate and is now on display in the RAF Museum Hendon.


First of approximately 14,700 Ju 88s, the ’Schnellbomber’ prototype D-AQEN flew on December 21, 1936, powered by Daimler-Benz DB 600 engines. Coloured light grey overall with black test marks on the starboard wing and tailplane, two yellow bands round the rear fuselage and a red fin and rudder over which the black swastika was applied on a white circle, the new machine took advantage of the latest techniques in stressed-skin, allmetal design pioneered in the USA resulting in a responsive, well-ordered aircraft.

Ju 88 – Multi-role Master

Few aircraft achieve more than one role successfully and that’s usually the one for which they were designed, but Junker’s ‘beetle-eyed’ bomber took on other tasks and like the famous British Mosquito, excelled equally in all but a few of these. As a bomber, the Ju 88 was fast and effective serving the Luftwaffe throughout the war, but it also fought as a fighter (described in the companion publication, German Fighters of WWII), carried cameras for reconnaissance, checked out the weather on meteorological missions, attacked shipping using torpedoes and, in the last weeks of the Third Reich, became an unmanned destroyer of bridges as a Mistel component (see page 95). Even modern jets can seldom match the ‘88 for versatility. The prototype Ju 88 flew on December 21, 1936, piloted by Junkers chief test pilot, Flugkapitan Karl Kindermann. It answered an urgent requirement from Goering’s Technical Office of the Reichsluftfhartministerium (RLM), Air Ministry, for a Schnellbomber (fast bomber) to equip the new and rapidly expanding air force. Led by Dipl-Ing Ernst Zindel, the design team produced an all-metal twinengine machine powered by two 1,000hp DaimlerBenz DB 600s giving a top speed of 289mph. More

The first front-line Luftwaffe unit to receive Ju 88s was KG 30 ‘Adler’ and painted this diving eagle on their newly-delivered and subsequent Schnellbombers.

prototypes followed and in 1938 Junkers switched engines to the company’s latest 1,000hp Jumo 211 resulting in the speed increasing to 323mph and prompting an urgent order for mass production to begin immediately. Following the success in trials of pin-point accuracy achieved by dive-bombing, particularly applicable to the latest Ju 87 Stuka, the Ju 88 was given this added role for which slatted brakes were fitted underwing. Entry into service followed trials by Erprobungskommando 88 and the first war mission by Ju 88A-1s was the bombing of Royal Navy ships in the Firth of Forth by I./KG 30 on September 26, 1939. Through 1940, increasing use of the Ju 88 saw the type taking part in the Blitzkrieg across Europe and the Battle of Britain followed by the night bombing campaign against UK cities. Experience from these operations resulted in increased armour for the crew and showed that despite the sprightly performance of the later A-4 version with its longer span wings, the type faced a struggle to survive when operating against determined fighter opposition. Through 1941, Ju 88-equipped Kampfgeschwaders took part in the invasion of

JUNKERS JU 88 The fourth and sixth prototypes, flown in February and June 1938 respectively, incorporated a ‘beetle’s eye’ of optically-flat panels in the nose and a ventral gondola with aft-facing machine gun, the layout adopted for the main A series bomber. The Ju 88V-6, seen here at Dessau after completion, accommodated four crew, underwing dive brakes for the type’s secondary dive-bomber role, and four-bladed propellers.

Russia with Soviet airfields a major target as well as the bombing of Moscow. In Germany, priority production of the Ju 88 was undertaken by more than seven manufacturers in addition to Junkers with hundreds of sub-contractors supplying components for assembly at the main plants. Even car manufacturers Volkswagen and Opel became involved in the high-priority programme. More than 200 per month were produced between 1941 and 1944 and as Allied attacks against German factories increased so production was dispersed to outlying sites, often well camouflaged factories miles away from the main assembly plants. During 1942, torpedo-armed Ju 88s of KG 30 and He 111s of KG 26 were attacking the UK-Russia convoys with unerring success, while other units were bombing Malta and the supply convoys fighting to get through to the beleaguered island. As the North African war drew to a close, so the Luftwaffe bomber arm began diminishing in strength. For the Allied landings in Sicily and later at Anzio and Salerno, only LG 1, KG 30 and KG 76 flew Ju 88s against the enemy and with Allied control of the skies, losses forced the Germans to fly in ever smaller numbers and mainly at night. While fighter versions operated in defence of the Reich, other variants were flying with Aufklärungsgruppen on wide-ranging

reconnaissance duties. These began using successive upgrades of the Ju 88D fitted with RB75/30, RB50/30 and RB20/30 cameras in the lower fuselage, followed later by the H Series ultra-long-range reconnaissance development incorporating extra fuel tanks in a lengthened fuselage extending range to nearly 3,000 miles. The last of the recce versions was the Ju 88T, but few saw service over the last 12 months of the conflict. As the war turned against Germany, urgent requirements were formulated for new versions of the Ju 88, one of which was for a ‘tank-buster’ to combat Soviet armour on the Eastern Front. Various heavy weapons were trialled, including 37mm, 50mm and even a 75mm anti-tank gun, each carried in large ventral gondolas which culminated in the Ju 88P series. Deployed in small numbers from late 1943, the addition of such heavy weapons made the aircraft slow and vulnerable resulting in the type’s withdrawal from use. With 1,800hp BMW 801 radial engines boosted with GM-1 nitrous oxide injection into the superchargers and refined aerodynamics, the Ju 88S appeared in late 1943 and proved the fastest of the breed with a maximum speed of 384 mph at 32,800ft. Appearing near the end of 1943, the S series took on the pathfinder role but production was limited and it made little impact on the survival of the bomber arm.


Crew: Four Powerplant: Two 1,340hp Junkers Jumo 211J 12-cylinder liquid-cooled engines Max speed: 292mph at 17,390ft Cruise speed: 230mph at 17,390ft Range: 1,112 miles Empty weight: 21,737lb Loaded weight: 30,865lb Armament: 7.9mm MG 81 machine guns in nose, upper rear cockpit and ventral gondola positions. Additional 7.9mm or 13mm MG 131s fitted as required, plus single 20mm MG FF cannon forward-firing in lower nose Max bomb load: Typically, ten 110lb SC 50 and four 551lb SC 250 bombs internally or two 1,105lb SC 500 bombs externally. Later aircraft modified to carry two 1,686lb LT F5b torpedoes mounted externally Wingspan: 65ft 7in Length: 47ft 3in Height: 15ft 11in

44 To train crews on the new aircraft, Erprobungskommando 88 (Test Detachment 88) was formed and the first of ten pre-production Ju 88A-0s joined the unit in spring 1939. This example is marked WL+008 and retains four-bladed propellers, changed on subsequent versions to three blades.

Losses among Luftwaffe bombers during the Battle of Britain were serious but not crippling. Typical of those that fell to RAF fighters, in this case a Hurricane of No 213 Sqn flown by Flg Off Strickland, was Ju 88A-1 of KG 54 Totenkopf Geschwader which force-landed on Portland Head in Dorset on August 11, 1940. Wiping off the main undercarriage, the aircraft slewed round and came to rest with its airbrakes extended and the port Jumo engine broken from its mountings. Coded B3+DC, it was dismantled two days later and sent for scrap. The view of Chesil Beach behind was too much for the censor and he ordered it removed from the Central Press picture.


With a performance which surpassed most fighters of the 1930s, the Ju 88 was heavily promoted by the company and in March 1939 a record flight was organised of 621 miles with a payload of two tons at an average speed of 321mph. The course between Dessau and the Zugspitze Mountain in Bavaria was flown twice by Junkers pilots, Ernst Seibert (left) and Kurt Heintz in the fifth prototype D-ATYU. Music too played a part in the promotion of the aircraft, a choral work ‘JU88 Lied’ fulfilled for Germany much the same as Sir William Walton’s ‘Spitfire’ prelude and fugue in the film The First of the Few did for Britain.


A crash-landing near Bexhill, Sussex, due to fuel starvation, Ju 88A 9K+HL of KG 51 ‘arrived’ on July 28, 1940, and at last gave Air Ministry Technical Intelligence a complete example of the Luftwaffe’s most advanced warplane. Of interest are the external bomb racks under the wings, the absence of the offset gondola (which was badly crushed in the force-landing) and the substantial single-strut main undercarriage legs which rotated on retraction through 90 to lie flat in the engine nacelles. The starboard Jumo 211 has been detached for examination before being refitted for the aircraft’s return to flight on April 3, 1941, when it became AX919.


Cockpit of a Ju 88A series which, like the Heinkel He 111, He 177 and the later Ju 188, encompassed segmented, optically flat glass panels giving the pilot excellent visibility. The only limiting factor was the single flexible 7.9mm MG 15 machine gun and its bulbous spent cartridge collector dominating the right-hand side of the windscreen. Immediately in front on the coaming is a Revi reflector gunsight which allowed the pilot to fire the machine gun as a fixed weapon.

Bombs occupy the external ETC racks on a captured Ju 88A. The offset undernose gondola with the angled window for the Lotfe bomb sight was a standard feature of the type until the arrival of the late-war Ju 88S series. Projecting below the lower rear fuselage is the fair lead mast for a trailing communications aerial and at mid-point are the bomb doors.

The Luftwaffe, like the RAF, operated a repair organisation under which damaged aircraft were retrieved and rebuilt for return to service. Bent propellers indicate a wheels-up landing for this Ju 88A of KG 30 which will require replacement Jumo engines and whatever is needed on the underside of the aircraft. To drag the aircraft into the maintenance shop sleds have been positioned beneath the engine nacelles.



Landing intact at RAF Chivenor in November 1941, Ju 88A-5 coded M2+MK of KuFlGr 106 based at Morlaix had been on an anti-shipping sortie over the Irish Sea when it made a navigational error and arrived in Devon instead of its French airfield in Brittany. The RAF assigned it to No 1426 Flight and repainted it in British colours as HM509.


Scoreboard on the fin of a Ju 88A-4 of II./KG 30, the three larger illustrations showing the approximate position of each strike. The unit was the most successful of the Luftwaffe antishipping groups and exacted a heavy price among ships attacked on the Russian convoys between April and September 1942.

Top right, centre and above: In 1942, as the Allied armies moved west along the North African coast during the 8th Army’s advance following the battle at El Alamein, so Axis airfields were overrun with the wrecks and detritus of an enemy in retreat. Lehrgeschwader LG 1 was prominent as one of the bomber formations supporting Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps and its Ju 88s, marked with the L1 code and some carrying the unit’s Lion badge on the nose, were among the types discarded by the Luftwaffe as it withdrew towards Tunisia. The wrecks seen in these pictures are of Ju 88A-4s and A-4/trop versions found at Benina (with a row of engineless Ju 87 Stukas behind), some awaiting spares and others damaged in air attacks. In the close-up view can be seen the diagonal line marked for dive-bombing on the pilot’s side window.



Wearing dark glasses and peering through the forward cockpit window, the pilot of this Ju 88A-4 concentrates on another mission over Southern Russia. On the aircraft’s nose, the badge of three white geese on a blue shield indicates an aircraft of III./LG 1.

Even with a World War in progress, Junkers continued to advertise its front-line product, more with the aim of keeping its name at the forefront of Luftwaffe decisionmakers than in the expectation of gaining export orders. However, the type did fly with at least four other air forces As the Luftwaffe lost air supremacy, so German airfields were subjected increasingly during the war, Finland, Hungary, Romania and Spain, while to Allied attacks. This Ju 88 base was caught by surprise with little attempt at aircraft France flew Ju 88s during the early post-war years. dispersal and one of the targets is receiving some damaging fire from the attacker.


The British Isles in a gunsight was II./KG 54’s badge with other formations designing similar emblems involving the enemy as a target.

This Ju 88 is one of a small number of A-17 torpedo-bombers and may be a KG 77 aircraft. It lacks the lower gondola, but incorporates the larger PVC external rack each side for carrying the 1,686lb LT 5 torpedoes. More crew protection was included in this version and flame dampers were fitted as standard on the engine exhausts.

One for the camouflage enthusiast. Transitioning from bombing to the anti-shipping role, I Gruppe of Kampfgeschwader KG 77 operated Ju 88As from bases in Sicily and Southern France in 1942-43 tasked with convoy attacks. This A-14 carries the cockerel badge of 1 Gruppe on the nose and from the gondola project 20mm cannons to blast the target during torpedo attacks. The green mottling under the engines, nose and beneath the rear fuselage and tailplane, was a joint attempt by the unit’s ground staff and aircrew to break-up the aircraft’s outline during low-level operations. The Ju 88s usually flew low to the target area, around 150ft, before dropping to some 50ft before releasing their LT 5 torpedoes at a speed of about 167mph.



Bombing-up a Ju 88A-4 of LG 1 at Tunis in 1943. The armourer on the right is raising the 500lb bomb from the trolley to connect with the inboard ETC rack. Projecting from the gondola is a 20mm MG FF cannon and inside the nose glazing is much-needed additional armour plate to help protect the crew from return fire on low-level anti-shipping missions. Camouflage is dark green mottling over the sand finish with the identifying white band round the rear fuselage.


The P series was developed to provide heavy armament for the anti-tank role on the Eastern Front. As well as the big 75mm gun accommodated in a large ventral fairing, the more practical twin 37mm arrangement seen here was introduced in small numbers. Designated Ju 88P-2, the aircraft could certainly line-up, fire at the target and penetrate the armour of Soviet T-34s, but the combination made the aircraft unwieldy and with a lack of manoeuvrability was a sitting duck for Soviet fighters.

Its shapely, rounded nose with a smaller cockpit for three crew reduced the weight and improved performance for the late-war Ju 88S series. Powered by two close-cowled BMW 801D fuel-injected radial engines on the S-1 version, seen here after capture by the RAF, and the later S-3 with Jumo 213s both proved fast and ideal for the target-marking role during the 1944 mini-Blitz on London.



The end of the road for the once-mighty Luftwaffe, typified by this view taken at Gardermoen in Norway after the surrender in May 1945. Amidst the radarequipped Ju 88 torpedo-bombers of III./KG 26 sit a number of Ju 188s, all with distinctive over-water camouflage. Every aircraft in this mass of surrendered booty has had its elevators and armament removed and awaits scrapping. Note the open dinghy stowage on the rear fuselage of the nearest machine.

Bomb disposal was a dangerous but integral part of the home front on both sides during the war as not all the explosives dropped exploded. This SC 1000, called a Hermann, is being very carefully propped up by British soldiers for the disposal team to remove it to a place of comparative safety.


When the first of three prototype Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor airliners, D-AERE Brandenburg flew on July 27, 1937, its wartime use was far from the minds of designer Kurt Tank and the directors of Deutsche Lufthansa, the airline for which the aircraft was being developed. Three years later, things would be quite different!

Condor – Churchill’s Bête Noire Considered the peak of modern airliner design when it first flew in the late-1930s, the four-engined Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor took on an altogether more sinister mantle with the onset of war when it transitioned into a long-range maritime patrol bomber. Such was its success in attacking British shipping that Prime Minister Winston Churchill publicly decried the type as the ‘Scourge of the Atlantic’. Together with the German U-boat fleet, the relatively small number of Condors operated under the command of Fliegerfuhrer Atlantik almost brought Britain to its knees. The origin of the Condor dates from 1936 when Deutsche Lufthansa sought a new long-range airliner to develop services to Asia and in talks with Kurt Tank, head of Focke-Wulf Flugzeugbau at Bremen, the airline agreed on the development of an advanced all-metal design with four engines and seating for 26 passengers. Designated Fw 200, the first of three prototypes D-AERE Brandenburg made its initial flight with Tank as pilot on July 27, 1937, exactly 12 months and 11 days from contract signature. Powered by four 875hp Pratt & Whitney Hornet radial engines, the aircraft proved virtually trouble-free with few changes required. In June 1938, the fourth Condor D-ADHR made the type’s first long-range flight to Cairo and on August 10 D-ACON pioneered the first transatlantic flight by a landplane from Berlin to Floyd-Bennett Field, New York, in a time of 24hr 36min at an average speed of 164mph. Orders for the new aircraft were placed by Lufthansa,

Underlining Germany’s new technical ascendancy, the prototype Fw 200 Condor re-registered D-ACON made a record-breaking flight across the Atlantic to New York on August 10, 1938, returning four days later to Berlin. Three months later, it flew to Tokyo, with only a forced-landing in Manila Bay on its return flight to mar its success. Danish Air Lines (DDL), Finnish Aviation, and a Brazilian ‘Condor Syndicate’. A third route-proving flight was a 48hr trip to Tokyo on November 28, 1938, prompting an order for five examples from Dai Nippon Aviation. However, with war clouds gathering in Europe success in the commercial market was short-lived and after initial deliveries to Lufthansa and DDL, further exports were cancelled. Two aircraft were ordered

by the German government, the third prototype becoming the official Fuhrermaschine for Hitler (registered D-2600), and the other for the staff that accompanied him on his travels. So what was to have been Lufthansa’s most important long-range airliner, became instead an efficient commerce raider with the Luftwaffe, introduced to bridge the gap caused by the slow development of the troublesome Heinkel He


When the first Condors arrived with KG 40 at Bordeaux-Merignac in the autumn of 1940, they were given celestial names, this being Wega and others included Mars, Sirius and Electra. In addition, the unit adopted an emblem showing the world encircled by a yellow ring, possibly alluding to the all-embracing operation of KG 40.

and the fuselage breaking its back. An urgent strengthening of the airframe saw the more robust Fw 200C-3 emerge as a heavier aircraft, but now powered by four more powerful 1,200hp BMWBramo 323R-2 radial engines and incorporating improved defensive armament and a bomb load increased to 4,626lb, although Condors seldom carried more than a quartet of 551lb bombs on operations. The type’s early success can be measured by the loss of 85 Allied vessels totalling 363,000 tons between August 1940 and February 1941. So began the Battle of the Atlantic. Britain could not sustain such losses so Churchill ordered urgent attacks by the RAF against the Condor bases and by the end of 1941, the Allies introduced CAM-ships - merchant vessels equipped with a catapult and a single fighter – to help protect the convoys. While Bordeaux-based III/KG 40 continued Atlantic operations, I/KG 40 transferred to Norway in early 1942 to reconnoitre Russia-bound shipping and later, other Condors flew desperately needed petrol to Rommel in North Africa. Also in 1942, Fw 200C-4s began arriving with the units, initially fitted with Rostock search radar before standardising on the more effective Hohentwiel system. By 1943, the Allies had almost overcome the Condor in its anti-shipping role, but the Luftwaffe was embroiled in pending disasters on the Eastern Front and the type helped fly supplies to the beleaguered German 6th Army at Stalingrad. Meanwhile, the Luftwaffe was preparing to deploy the C-6 version of the basic C-3 armed with Henschel Hs 293 missiles, one under each outer engine nacelle. The C-8 followed, built specifically for missile operations, and was the last version to see service. Condor production totalled some 263 aircraft.


Cockpit panel of an early Condor airliner showing the main flight instruments in front of each pilot. The engine instruments are in the centre with the top row indicating engine RPM, below in white are the four throttles, on the right of these are two levers to select fuel tanks. At the bottom of the centre console are the engine fire extinguishers. 177 (see page 74). Following the initial Fw 200A and B series airliners, the Fw 200C emerged as the military Condor equipped with a long offset ventral gondola incorporating a bomb-bay combined with defensive machine guns above and below the fuselage. Early examples came off the production line in 1940 and equipped Kampfgeschwader KG 40, initially in Denmark to attack British targets, but after the fall of France

the unit was established at the French west coast airfield of Bordeaux-Merignac. However, equipping the Condor for war operations brought problems which served to highlight its unsuitability for the job. Its structure was light-weight having been designed for commercial use and the addition of heavy military equipment and the rigours demanded on combat operations resulted in rear wing spar failures


Crew: Seven Powerplant: Four 1,200hp BMWBramo 323 Fafnir radials Max Speed: 224mph at 15,750ft Cruise Speed: 158mph Range: 2,200 miles Empty Weight: 28,550lb Loaded Weight: 50,045lb Armament: Single 7.9mm MG 15 in dorsal turret and aft ventral position, 13mm MG 131 in aft dorsal, two in aft beam positions, and single 20mm MG 151 cannon in forward ventral position Max Bomb Load: 4,626lb Wingspan: 107ft 9.5in Length: 76ft 11.5in Height: 20ft 8in

56 The burnt-out remains of Condor C-1 Wk Nr 0010 of Transport Group 2./KGr zbV 108 which force-landed in southern Portugal on December 4, 1940. Destroyed by the crew, only the port inner BMW 132H appears to have suffered from the fire that totally consumed the fuselage.

The fin of an unidentified Condor showing 21 missions against targets around England with five notable sinkings worthy of some artwork! Longserving aircraft notched up many sorties with multiple attacks recorded individually top to bottom on their rudders.

In 1942, the Lorenz FuG 200 Hohentwiel search radar was introduced into service to aid Luftwaffe anti-shipping aircraft in their hunt for convoys. Development of the system took place at Werneuchen, north-east of Berlin, where this picture was taken showing the aerial array on a Condor.



One of the first Condors to receive armament was Wk Nr 005 BS+AJ seen at the factory in 1940 fitted with the long canoe under the fuselage with guns front and rear, together with positions behind the cockpit and on the aft decking. Life was short for this machine - it crashed after transfer to the Tarnewitz armament experimental establishment on the Baltic coast.

Propaganda was an important tool for the Nazis and this less than perfect colour picture of an Fw 200C-3 being refuelled on a grey winter day would be used to extoll the successes of the Luftwaffe anti-shipping units in their efforts to cut Britain’s Atlantic life-line. Splinter camouflage of two greens cover the top and side areas of the aircraft. Once fully-fuelled, the machine would be fitted with its armament for another mission.

58 Typical of the early successes for KG 40 was the attack on convoy SL53 en route from Sierra Leone, West Africa, to Liverpool on November 15, 1940. The 9,333-ton ship Apapa received a bomb in No 3 hold together with a near miss and lists to port on fire. She carried a crew of 160 with 101 passengers and 3,500 tons of cargo, but a short time later broke in two and sank with the loss of 25 lives.

Two Fw 200C-4 bombers await delivery at Focke-Wulf’s Bremen factory to 3/KG 40 at Bordeaux in September 1942. This version incorporated the large HDL 151 turret with its longer-ranged 30mm cannon intended to improve the reach when confronted by long-range Beaufighters of RAF Coastal Command which were now hunting these German commerce raiders. Departing on a mission, an 8 Staffel Fw 200C-4 is caught on camera from a sister aircraft in 1943. The fuselage cross has had its white area reduced and the individual aircraft letter C has a darkened outline, measures to reduce visual cues which appear to be in conflict with the bright unit badge on the nose.

FOCKE-WULF FW 200 CONDOR Two Fw 200C-3s at the Bremen factory, parked before delivery to Bordeaux-Merignac. Behind, the elaborately-camouflaged assembly hall failed to fool RAF Bomber Command which hit the company airfield on the night of January 1-2, 1941, with some success.

In 1943, the last version of the Condor appeared in service when the Fw 200C-8 arrived with KG 40 to operate the rocket-powered Henschel Hs 293 glide bomb. Two could be carried under the outer engine nacelles and with a range of some 11 kilometres it was hoped that the Condors would be less susceptible to AA fire during attacks. This manufacturer’s drawing shows two bombs, plus nose-mounted search radar and guns in open waist positions.

Nearing delivery, this C-3 coded DE+OK (Wk Nr 0056) was on the compass base at Bremen for compass alignment before it departed for KG 40 in France. It became F8+AL but crashed on August 15, 1941, only a matter of weeks after it entered service. Visible in the background is an Fw 190 fighter draped in camouflage netting.

Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-3 Condor

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Starboard navigation light Wing skinning Starboard aileron Aileron trim tabs Outboard mainspar Aileron control run Wing ribs, centre section Wing ribs, forward section Wing dihedral break point Starboard flap, outer section Starboard flap, centre section Starboard flap, inner section Wing fuel tank covers Inboard mainspar structure Starboard outer oil tank Multiple exhaust stubs Cooling gills Starboard outer nacelle (angled) Three-blade VDM controllable-pitch metal propeller Propeller boss Carburettor air intake Auxiliary fuel tank (66 Imp gal capacity) Starboard inner nacelle FuG 200 Hohentwiel search radar array (port antenna omitted for clarity)

25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46

Nose D/F loop Nose bulkhead Rudder pedals Hand-held 13mm MG 131 machine gun Lotfe 7D bomb sight fairing Ventral gondola side windows (gondola offset to starboard) Rear dorsal gunner’s take-off seat Pilot’s circular vision port Pilot’s seat Sliding windscreen panel Co-pilot’s seat (co-pilot was also bomb-aimer) Flight-deck entrance Arc-of-fire interrupter bar Cabin air inlet (starboard side only) Hydraulic Fw 19 turret mounting single 7.9mm Mg 15 machine gun Gunner’s seat Ammunition racks Bulkhead Radio operator’s window Ventral gondola entry hatch in cabin floor Radio operator’s station Ammunition racks

47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70

Ammunition racks Ventral gondola centre section (one 198 Imp gal armoured fuel tank or 12 110lb bombs) Underfloor control runs Cabin windows, staggered two port & three starboard Underfloor structure Fuselage oil tank De-icing fluid reservoir Aerial mast Five main fuselage fuel tanks (canted) Mainspar fuselage carry-through structure Rear ventral gunner’s take-off seat Upper fuselage longeron Mainframe Cabin ventilators/air extractors Fuselage sidewalls Ammunition racks for rear ventral gun Second radio operator’s take-off seat Strengthened fuselage frame Dorsal D/F loop Starboard 7.9mm MG 15 machine gun Beam gunner’s take-off seats Bulkhead Dorsal rear gunner’s position Dorsal glazing

71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94

Ammunition racks Hinged canopy section 7.9mm MG 15 machine gun Rear fuselage frames Starboard tailplane Endplate-fin balance Starboard elevator Elevator hinge Elevator tab Tailfin front spar structure Tailfin structure Rudder balance Rudder construction Electrically-operated rudder trim tab, upper section Electrically-operated rudder trim tab, lower section Rudder post Tailwheel mechanism access panel Tail cone Rear navigation light Elevator tab Port elevator Electrically-operated elevator tab, port only Endplate-fin balance Port tailplane

95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118

Elevator hinge Tailplane spar Forward-retracting tailwheel Tailwheel retraction mechanism Control runs Oxygen bottles Rear bulkhead Chute for Schwan D/F buoys, Lux light-buoys or flares Port 7.9mm MG 15 beam gun Racks for MG 15 ammunition, port & starboard Entry door Rear 7.9mm MG 15 ventral machine gun Ventral gondola side windows Main fuselage/wing attachment points Ventral weapons/overload fuel bay Port inner nacelle Multiple exhaust stubs Cooling gills Engine mount BMW-Bramo 323R-2 Fafnir nine-cylinder radial aircooled engine Propeller pitch mechanism Three-blade VDM controllable-pitch metal propeller Carburettor air intake Twin mainwheels

119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140

Forward-retracting hydraulically-operated main undercarriage member Retraction jack Mainwheel well Mainwheel door Wing structure Mainspar Wing fuel tanks Flap structure Port flap, centre section Wing dihedral break point Port outer oil tank Port outer cowling/nacelle Propeller boss Semi-recessed 551lb bomb beneath outer nacelle Position of 1,102lb bomb on external nacelle rack Port underwing bomb rack 551lb bomb Pitot head Wing skinning Port aileron Aileron trim tabs Electrically-operated aileron trim tab (port only

Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-3 Condor

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Starboard navigation light Wing skinning Starboard aileron Aileron trim tabs Outboard mainspar Aileron control run Wing ribs, centre section Wing ribs, forward section Wing dihedral break point Starboard flap, outer section Starboard flap, centre section Starboard flap, inner section Wing fuel tank covers Inboard mainspar structure Starboard outer oil tank Multiple exhaust stubs Cooling gills Starboard outer nacelle (angled) Three-blade VDM controllable-pitch metal propeller Propeller boss Carburettor air intake Auxiliary fuel tank (66 Imp gal capacity) Starboard inner nacelle FuG 200 Hohentwiel search radar array (port antenna omitted for clarity)

25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46

Nose D/F loop Nose bulkhead Rudder pedals Hand-held 13mm MG 131 machine gun Lotfe 7D bomb sight fairing Ventral gondola side windows (gondola offset to starboard) Rear dorsal gunner’s take-off seat Pilot’s circular vision port Pilot’s seat Sliding windscreen panel Co-pilot’s seat (co-pilot was also bomb-aimer) Flight-deck entrance Arc-of-fire interrupter bar Cabin air inlet (starboard side only) Hydraulic Fw 19 turret mounting single 7.9mm Mg 15 machine gun Gunner’s seat Ammunition racks Bulkhead Radio operator’s window Ventral gondola entry hatch in cabin floor Radio operator’s station Ammunition racks

47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70

Ammunition racks Ventral gondola centre section (one 198 Imp gal armoured fuel tank or 12 110lb bombs) Underfloor control runs Cabin windows, staggered two port & three starboard Underfloor structure Fuselage oil tank De-icing fluid reservoir Aerial mast Five main fuselage fuel tanks (canted) Mainspar fuselage carry-through structure Rear ventral gunner’s take-off seat Upper fuselage longeron Mainframe Cabin ventilators/air extractors Fuselage sidewalls Ammunition racks for rear ventral gun Second radio operator’s take-off seat Strengthened fuselage frame Dorsal D/F loop Starboard 7.9mm MG 15 machine gun Beam gunner’s take-off seats Bulkhead Dorsal rear gunner’s position Dorsal glazing

71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94

Ammunition racks Hinged canopy section 7.9mm MG 15 machine gun Rear fuselage frames Starboard tailplane Endplate-fin balance Starboard elevator Elevator hinge Elevator tab Tailfin front spar structure Tailfin structure Rudder balance Rudder construction Electrically-operated rudder trim tab, upper section Electrically-operated rudder trim tab, lower section Rudder post Tailwheel mechanism access panel Tail cone Rear navigation light Elevator tab Port elevator Electrically-operated elevator tab, port only Endplate-fin balance Port tailplane

95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118

Elevator hinge Tailplane spar Forward-retracting tailwheel Tailwheel retraction mechanism Control runs Oxygen bottles Rear bulkhead Chute for Schwan D/F buoys, Lux light-buoys or flares Port 7.9mm MG 15 beam gun Racks for MG 15 ammunition, port & starboard Entry door Rear 7.9mm MG 15 ventral machine gun Ventral gondola side windows Main fuselage/wing attachment points Ventral weapons/overload fuel bay Port inner nacelle Multiple exhaust stubs Cooling gills Engine mount BMW-Bramo 323R-2 Fafnir nine-cylinder radial aircooled engine Propeller pitch mechanism Three-blade VDM controllable-pitch metal propeller Carburettor air intake Twin mainwheels

119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140

Forward-retracting hydraulically-operated main undercarriage member Retraction jack Mainwheel well Mainwheel door Wing structure Mainspar Wing fuel tanks Flap structure Port flap, centre section Wing dihedral break point Port outer oil tank Port outer cowling/nacelle Propeller boss Semi-recessed 551lb bomb beneath outer nacelle Position of 1,102lb bomb on external nacelle rack Port underwing bomb rack 551lb bomb Pitot head Wing skinning Port aileron Aileron trim tabs Electrically-operated aileron trim tab (port only


Among the wrecks found by Russian troops littering Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport in 1945 was this battered Condor, believed to be a C-3 but devoid of its ventral gondola and missing its gun turret behind the cockpit.

Anti-ship Missiles

As one of the world’s first generation guided missile, the Henschel Hs 293 was designed by Herbert Wagner at the beginning of the war and entered service from August 1943 gaining a number of successes against Allied warships. Powered by a Walter rocket motor, the winged craft was a 725lb bomb and had a range of some ten miles and a maximum speed of 375mph. Two could be carried under the outer nacelles of a Condor.

Fritz X was the generic name for the Ruhrstahl SD 1400X, a winged, free-fall, armour-piercing bomb with spoiler controls. Nearly 11ft in length, the weapon carried a 600lb warhead and could be launched by Condors, Do 217s and He 177s. Approximately 100 were used operationally in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and North Sea from August 1943 to April 1944.



Himmler’s Personal Condor Only three surviving Fw 200s were ferried to England after the German surrender, of which the most prominent was a C-4 version coded GC+AE. Part of the Regierungsstaffel, the German Government’s VIP transport squadron, this aircraft was the personal transport of Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler and was surrendered at Flensburg in May 1945. Ferried

to Farnborough on July 3, it flew a number of transport flights between the UK and Germany before being displayed at the Exhibition of German Aircraft & Equipment in October and broken up the following year. However, before its destruction, an Aeroplane photographer recorded the type at Farnborough on November 19, 1945.

Parked at Farnborough, the Fw 200C-4/U1 GC+AE was delivered to the German VIP transport squadron in 1942 and served both Himmler and Doenitz before its final, short period in the UK. In flight, RAF pilots found the aircraft docile and rather pleasant to handle in keeping with its original airliner design. An earlier Condor for Hitler also housed a special seat located above a trap door designed to be released in an emergency, a parachute deploying automatically aimed at saving ‘the Leader of the Third Reich’ should he have to pull the lever!

With accommodation for 11 passengers, the interior of GC+AE was finished in light polished wood with grey furnishings, the first of two passenger compartments aft of the cockpit area being for Himmler with three additional seats for other personnel. His forward-facing seat incorporated moveable slabs of armour to protect from beam attacks and bullets fired from the rear, an intercom plug was fitted in the wall and a hinged wooden table was adjacent to an over-wing escape window. Behind the cockpit was the wireless operator’s position and, in the foreground, the platform for the front upper gunner.


Unpainted, the seventh prototype Do 217 D-ACBF was one of two aircraft experimentally fitted with BMW 139 engines driving four-bladed propellers, but these were subsequently changed in favour of more powerful BMW 801s.

Do 217 – Sharpening the ‘Pencil’ It was to be 1941 before the first of the Do 217 series of heavy bombers entered front-line service with the Luftwaffe, but development of this successor to the original Do 17 began on the company drawing boards in 1937. It evolved to meet a requirement formulated by the technical office of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (German Air Ministry) calling for a much more capable aircraft with a higher performance, longer range and able to lift a heavier bomb load. Looking very similar in overall layout to the Do 17Z with the four crew grouped together in the nose area, the prototype Do 217V-1 made its first flight on October 4, 1938, but handling was not good and it crashed a week later killing test pilot Rolf Koeppe. However, Dornier persevered and eight prototypes and a batch of pre-production Do 217A reconnaissance aircraft later, the main production Do 217E appeared and showed a marked improvement overall with a deeper fuselage, a tail dive-brake, guns above and below the cabin and power from two BMW 801 radial engines. Production aircraft rolled off the lines and by the end of 1941, more than 300 had arrived with bomber units along the Channel coast for operations against Britain. Three Gruppen of Kampfgeschwader 2 received Do 217s and remained the only major operational

As yet unarmed but representative of the standard model, this is the 15th production Do 217E-2, Wk Nr 1226 BK+IO. It retains the dive brake in the tailcone, but few were used in this form and on delivery ground crews removed it as redundant equipment. unit to take the type. From bases in Holland at Eindhoven and Gilze Rijen, the new bomber continued the German air assault on the UK, more to appease Hitler than gaining any lasting effect on degrading Britain’s steadily increasing

military power. As with other German types, the manufacturer produced Rüstsätze or field conversion sets giving increased versatility for operational units and one of these involved arming the Do 217E with the Henschel Hs 293


Centre section units in production at Dornier-North’s Wismar factory, each mounted on trollies for nose, tail, outer wings and engines to be fitted. After the war, like many German factories, the whole of the Wismar plant was shipped back to Russia.

stand-off missile. With transmitters, pylons and guidance equipment fitted, trials were flown at Usedom on the Baltic coast before II/KG 100 transferred to Cognac in France where it flew the world’s first guided missile attack against Allied destroyers in the Bay of Biscay in August 1943. Changes to the basic design produced the Do 217K which began flight trials in March 1942. This incorporated a fully glazed nose, markedly improving pilot visibility, while more powerful BMW 801Ds increased performance. Again, KG 2 was the recipient of deliveries which began later that year. The K-2 version was another advance with Fritz X stand-off missiles carried and four aft-firing 7.9mm MG 81 machine guns housed in the tail cone. The final version was the Do 217M, developed in late-1942 as a safeguard should difficulties occur with the delivery of BMW 801 engines. It used the K airframe with two Daimler-Benz DB 603A in-line engines and both versions were manufactured in parallel and delivered simultaneously. When production of the Do 217 finally terminated in June 1944, a total of 1,541 bombers had been produced together with 364 night-fighters. Two other developments followed. First was the Do 217P high-altitude bomber with a pressure cabin and a fuselage-mounted DB 605T engine to supercharge the two DB 603s. Tests resulted in the prototype reaching 44,000ft, but even with a further five aircraft constructed, no orders were placed by the RLM. The second programme went the same way and involved the Do 317 which was put forward as a contestant in the Bomber B programme intended to find an advanced bomber design for the future. Again, a prototype was built and flown, but with no significant advance on the Do 217P, work ceased on the design.


On October 11-12, 1941, British Air Intelligence received the first almost intact Do 217E-1 when U5+DN Wk Nr 0069 of 5/KG 2 force-landed short of fuel at Jury’s Gap Sewer, near Rye in Sussex. The crew of Oberleutnant Dolenga and Uffz Trompeter, Sprink and Friedrich, had been on a shipping reconnaissance mission over the Atlantic and were returning to base when they were ‘spooked’ by British transmitters reradiating German radio signals, a technique known as Meaconing, and taking them off course over southern Britain. Crash-landing, the aircraft broke its fuselage at the main assembly point aft of the nose section. The crew were taken prisoner and the aircraft was dismantled and taken by road to RAE Farnborough for technical examination.


Crew: Four Powerplant: Two Daimler-Benz DB 603A liquid-cooled engines rated at 1,850hp at 6,900ft Max Speed: 348mph at 18,700ft Cruise Speed: 248mph Range: 1,335 miles Empty Weight: 19,985lb Loaded Weight: 36,817lb Armament: Two 7.9mm MG 81 machine guns in nose and two in lateral positions, one 13mm MG 131 in dorsal turret and one in aft-facing ventral position Max Bomb Load: 8,818lb Wing Span: 62ft 4in Length: 55ft 9in Height: 16ft 4in


How many men does it take to push a Dornier? According to this picture of U5+KS Wk Nr 4376 taken at Toulouse in November 1942, 15 could do the job with the leader directing its repositioning, and another man steering the tail wheel via a long connector. By the end of 1942, major raids against UK targets had reduced considerably.

One of the first aircraft deployed with the Henschel Hs 293 guided bomb was the Do 217E-5 and this example carries one under the starboard wing with an additional fuel tank on the port side. Part of the equipment for launching the rocket-powered missile incorporated a heating system to ensure the weapon’s controls worked after launch.



A formation of Do 217E-4s of 8/KG 2 Holzhammer on a local flight for a Propaganda Ministry photo-shoot. The aircraft carry white bands on wings and fuselage for operations connected with the German take-over of the previously Unoccupied Zone of Vichy France in November 1942. The bombers were flown down to Cognac for possible operations, but with no major resistance to the German take-over they soon returned to their bases in Holland. As well as removing the rear dive-brake on delivery from Dornier, Luftwaffe ground crews also dispensed with the tail wheel doors, as seen in this view.

Formed in May 1939 with Do 17s, KG 2 Holzhammer adopted this badge of a hand holding a hammer which was widely used when it converted to Do 217s in late 1941. The background colour changed, depending on the Gruppe.

Combat film of Do 217Es under attack by Allied fighters. Caught in daylight, the normally nocturnal bombers both have open bombbays, either to eject weapons or the gunfire has destroyed the operating mechanism.

70 Dornier designers changed the cockpit when it came to the Do 217K series and the new glass nose afforded increased visibility for the four crew, particularly the pilot. This aircraft is the sixth K series which undertook torpedo-dropping trials at Gotenhafen in January 1943.

The extended-wing Do 217K-2, taking the span from 62ft 2in on the E series to 81ft 4in. This change was to accommodate the FX 1400 Fritz X stand-off missile together with an additional 255 gal fuel tank in the forward bomb-bay as standard. The aircraft seen here, Wk Nr 4572, was also fitted with four fixed aft-firing 7.9mm MG 81 machine guns in the tail cone fired by the pilot aided by a periscopic sight seen projecting above the cockpit. The inset picture shows the rear guns found in an aircraft shot down over Britain.



Cockpit of the M series with the basic flying panel on the left, rudder pedals below and the MG 81Z on the front right of the nose glazing. The Lotfe 7D bomb sight is the box unit at lower right and on the right-hand wall are the engine instruments.

Operating from Copenhagen Airport in 1945 was this Do 217M-1 of Fernaufklarungsgruppe-Nacht (Long-Range Reconnaissance Group – Night), coded K7+LH. As well as having black undersurfaces and sides, it also incorporates a darkened swastika marking on the tail.


Something went ‘bump’ in the night… …but fortune smiled on the residents of Milton Road, Cambridge, on the night of February 23-24, 1944, for they were feet away from destruction when an unmanned ‘Nazi’ bomber ran out of fuel before ploughing a straight furrow through the allotments just behind their houses. The Do 217M U5+DK Wk Nr 56051 had been on a bombing raid over London and hit by AA fire at 10,000ft, the crew bailed out. But the aircraft did not go down. Instead, it flew on, gradually losing height, before making a good landing in a flat attitude to give British Air Intelligence a ‘new’ Dornier to investigate. The engines were the first undamaged DB 603s the RAF experts had seen close-up, fitted with flame dampers and still containing sufficient fuel and oil for RAE to later bench test one of them and ascertain its power and performance. Still intact in the bomb-bay was an AB1000-2 and two AB500-1s containing mainly incendiary bombs.

Views taken by the Air Ministry show the complete aircraft, the fin and rudder, the engine with its four-bladed propeller, the oil cooler on top and slight damage from the AA shell. Armament comprised single 13mm MG 131s in nose, turret and ventral positions, plus two 7.9mm MG 81s in lateral locations.



Respected aviation enthusiast, Michael Bowyer, biked across Cambridge to see the wreck and took colour notes which were translated to produce the accompanying drawing. He remembered that the black bomber ‘was quite a frightening sight – laying rather buckled in the soil it had thrown up on its final landing and reposing in a sort of threatening way!’ A year later Bowyer remembers seeing the fin and rudder of this aircraft tucked at the back of one of the exhibition hangars at Farnborough during the enemy aircraft show in October 1945.

Heavy cockpit framing indicates pressurisation which was trialled on the Do 217P for high-altitude roles, but it was not proceeded with.

The Do 317 was the last of the twin-engine Dornier line and was offered as a contender for the Bomber B requirement issued in 1939. Pressurised, with a changed fin and rudder design, the new aircraft offered little advance over other types and despite being resurrected in 1941 and offered as a successor to the Do 217, the German Air Ministry did not award a production order and the programme was cancelled.


Only two months into the Second World War, Germany was on the edge of having a long-range heavy bomber in its inventory when the first He 177V-1 made its initial flight at Rostok-Marienehe on November 9, 1939. Designed with a rounded, all-glass cockpit giving excellent visibility for the crew, and powered by a novel coupled-engine arrangement, Heinkel’s new model would be anything but straightforward when it came to the up-coming flight-test programme!

Heinkel's He 177 'Grief' Much was expected from the large He 177 Grief (Griffin) long-range bomber from the wellrespected Heinkel Company, but its journey from first prototype to Luftwaffe service was tortuous and plagued with technical problems which continued throughout its short operational career. Designed by the talented engineer Siegfried Gunter, the original specification called for a maximum speed of at least 335mph and a range of 4,160 miles carrying over 2,000lb of bombs. It had also to comply with the RLM’s over-obsessiveness with dive-bombing, although only ‘medium-angle’ was required. As Project 1041, the mock-up was completed in November 1937 and an order placed six months later for six prototypes of what was now designated He 177. One of its most radical innovations was the use of coupled powerplants, each having two 12-cylinder liquid-cooled engines mounted side-by-side with a single airscrew shaft driving a four-bladed propeller. While aerodynamically sound in that only two engines – Daimler-Benz DB 606s each formed of two DB 601s - were employed instead of four separate units, thus cutting drag and increasing manoeuvrability, the result proved a disaster! This was compounded by the use of remotely-controlled defensive gun barbettes instead of manned turrets and the sudden insistence by the Technischen Amt (Technical Office) that the aircraft should be able to perform 60º diving attacks instead of the medium-angle initially specified. Few could predict the painful development programme that was to ensue when

Heinkel designers, Siegfried and Walther Gunter, the former being the lead engineer on the He 177. test pilot Leutnant Carl Francke flew the prototype on November 19, 1939. As the prototypes were tested, so the problems emerged and by June 1941, four of the first six aircraft had crashed, two during diving trials over the Baltic. Engine fires were soon taking their toll and the He 177 became known as the Luftwaffenfeuerzeug (Luftwaffe’s Lighter), but Heinkel persevered with changes and modifications as the weight increased and the performance fell. Production of 35 He 177A-0s began at Heinkel Oranienburg and Arado Warnemunde plants with the first of the batch flying in November

1941 to prepare the type for operational use. Hitler’s keen interest in the bomber prompted its first missions on the Russian Front with Kampfgeschwader 50 in 1942, initially for winter trials of the full production He 177A-3 version but hastily switched to the transport role helping to supply the surrounded German 6th Army at Stalingrad. Clearly unsuited for such work, the A-3s reverted to bombing missions in support of the hard-pressed Wehrmacht. Anti-shipping operations were next when II/ KG 40 equipped with A-3s and higher-powered A-5s deployed to Bordeaux-Merignac armed



The second of 35 pre-production He 177As, DL+AQ, pictured at the Heinkel factory before transfer to the Luftwaffe for bomb-drop tests. It carries guns in the nose and tail as well as in the forward dorsal turret. In May 1941 it continued flights at the Rechlin experimental base before becoming part of the operational trials unit at the nearby E-Stelle Rechlin-Larz. Unlike other early examples, it survived to fly for two more years. with the Hs 293 guided missile, the first mission taking place on November 21, 1943, when 20 He 177A-5s attacked an Atlantic convoy, but with only modest results and the loss of three aircraft. More attacks followed including some against Allied shipping in the Mediterranean, but even with the latest FuG 200 Hohentwiel ship-search radar success was limited. At the beginning of 1944, Hitler urgently ordered the gathering of a bomber force with which to mount attacks on London in reprisal for the massive Allied bombing campaign against Germany and He 177s transferred from anti-shipping use to participate in Operation Steinbock (Capricorn), known as the ‘Little Blitz’. The first raid was on January 21, 1944, but operations were less than spectacular and Steinbock faded by mid-April. Meanwhile, factory output now involved the improved He 177A-5 with 261 delivered in 1943 and a further 565 in 1944. At last, extensive work to determine the cause of so many engine fires was successfully concluded involving a redesign of the engine installation and improved protection for the fuel and oil leads, but instead of ordering

urgent modifications for aircraft already on the line, the Technischen Amt chose to ignore the changes to maintain delivery figures. The He 177A-5 was intended primarily to carry external weapons such as the Hs 293 missile and FX 1400 Fritz X winged bomb while standardising on the more powerful DB 610 coupled powerplant and incorporating a strengthened wing and a triple bomb-bay. Armament changes were developed for the A-6 involving a four-gun rear turret, while the final version was the He 177B-5, ironically the design which should have been built from the outset with four separate engines! First flight was made on December 20, 1943, but no production was undertaken. Among Allied pilots who test-flew the Grief was Captain Eric Brown and his assessment of the type was that while its handling characteristics were acceptable, he felt distinctly uncomfortable about the design and thankful that he was not flying the machine in combat! When production ceased in September 1944, some 1,146 He 177s had been built, finally ending what many would term as a ‘dog of an aircraft’ among the war’s bombers.


Crew: Five Powerplant: Two 2,700hp DaimlerBenz DB 606 engines each formed of two DB 601s in ‘coupled’ arrangement driving a single fourblade airscrew Max Speed: 298mph Cruise Speed: 255mph Range: 3,480 miles Empty Weight: 36,597lb Loaded Weight: 65,698lb Armament: Two MG 131 machine guns in upper forward turret with single MG 131s in upper rear, ventral and tail positions; single MG FF cannon in lower nose and single MG 81in upper nose Max Bomb Load: 4,850lb Wingspan: 103ft 1in Length: 72ft 2in Height: 21ft 10in


The parlous state of Field Marshal von Paulus’ 6th Army, surrounded at Stalingrad in the winter of 1942-43, saw Kampfgeschwader KG 50 assigned emergency transport duties with its newlydelivered He 177A-1s operating from Zaporozhye-Sud in Ukraine in mid-January 1943. Notably, this aircraft is armed with a 20mm cannon in the lower nose position, a single 13mm gun in the remote barbette, and carries a Russian Front yellow identity band round the rear fuselage.

It looks crude, but this special Heinkel-designed gantry served its purpose when it came to maintenance ‘in the field’. Here, ground-crew replace the port airscrew of an He 177A-3 of Kampfgeschwader KG 100 at Chateaudun, France, in summer 1943.

This nose is carrying the sea-search FuG 200 Hohentwiel radar fitted on a trials aircraft at Werneuchen, the radar development base east of Berlin, prior to clearance for equipping aircraft flown by KG 40 in France. Also visible is the window at lower left for the Lotfe 7D bomb-sight.



After servicing, He 177A-5 6N+BN of KG 100 takes a daytime test flight from its base at Aalborg over Denmark in mid-1944. By the end of the year, most Griefs had been permanently grounded due to lack of fuel.

Symbolic of the Pathfinder role of the early He 111s, KG 100 was known as the Wiking Geschwader and retained the emblem when it received He 177s, although it was rare to see the badge in the final war period.

Nose view of an He 177A-3 of 8 Staffel KG 100 at Fassberg, Luneburg Heath, in the summer of 1944. Coded 6N+GS, the aircraft is armed with a 7.9mm machine-gun in the front cockpit, a 20mm cannon in the lower nose position and a bomb rack behind the ventral gondola. Above and behind the cockpit is the sighting position for the remotely-controlled gun turret just discernable further back.


One of a series of views showing He 177A-5/R6 bombers of II/KG 40 on a bleak day at Bordeaux-Merignac in spring 1944. Note the port engine is being run on the nearest aircraft prior to an Atlantic sortie.

Being prepared for another night attack against Britain during Operation Steinbock in February 1944, 6N+SK of 2 Staffel 1/KG 100 at Chateaudun carries the black underside colour and low-visibility markings typical of this late-war bombing campaign. Losses among the He 177 units continued to rise and after D-Day, the type gradually disappeared from operations as the Luftwaffe’s bomber arm succumbed to fuel shortages and a lack of replacement crews as personnel were urgently switched to train as fighter pilots.


Gun camera action stills from a low-level attack by an Allied fighter on a Grief base in mid-1944 – possibly Chateaudun in France. The light-coloured example was taking gunfire as it was taxiing and in the two-aircraft view, maintenance crew can be seen running away from the lower machine while other aircraft lurk in the trees. The enlarged picture – the top aircraft in the previous shot – shows the nose draped in camouflage netting and the large engine covers over the DB 610s open for maintenance work.

Simplicity was not the hallmark of the mighty Daimler-Benz DB 610, seen here, the coupled powerplant fitted to the A-5 version of the Grief. It was Heinkel designer, Siegfried Gunter who suggested the pairing of two DB 601s in each nacelle with a single large gear casing connecting the two crankcases. These drove a single airscrew shaft, rotating four-bladed propellers in opposite directions and the resulting monster becoming the DB 606 followed by the more powerful 2,950hp DB 610.

Arado Ar 234B

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Cockpit section, attached to main fuselage by four bolts at break-point Flight instruments Lotfe 7K tachometric bombsight Control column, swung clear of bombsight during approach to target RF 2C periscopic combined bomb/gunsight and rear mirror Pilot’s seat Retractable foot-step Cockpit/fuselage break-point Entrance hatch hinging to starboard. Main roof transparency was jettisonable in an emergency Hydraulically-operated and rearward retracting nosewheel Forward self-sealing fuel tank of 385 Imp gal capacity

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Forward fuel filler point Suppressed D/F aerial Ring antenna for FuG 25A (Identification Friend-Foe) Hydraulic fluid tank of 4 Imp gal capacity Port mainwheel well with retracting jack Forward-retracting mainwheel Forward mainwheel hydraulically-operated door Rear self-sealing fuel tank of 440 Imp gal capacity Ammunition box – 200 rounds per gun – for two rear-firing Mauser 20mm MG 151 cannon Port-mounted 20mm MG 151 cannon

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Inspection/maintenance hatches. Two RB 50/30 cameras in rear section on reconnaissance model Control rods for rudder and elevators Tail bumper and brake-chute release point Rudder – mass-balanced Trim tab – upper geared Trim tab – lower pilot controlled Mass-balanced narrow-chord elevator Trim tabs Radio aerial – re-transmission aerial in fin leading-edge Wing front spar Wing rear spar

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Flaps, either side of engine, hydraulically-operated Narrow-chord Frise-type aileron Mass-balanced geared tab Aileron control rod Airspeed pitot tube Port navigation light Fin-mounted rear navigation light Port Junkers Jumo 004B-1 eight-stage axial-flow turbojet Nose cone containing Riedel four-cylinder two-stroke starter motor One 1,100lb bomb carried on each engine nacelle pylon Inspection/maintenance hatches Fuel pipes

Arado Ar 234B

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Cockpit section, attached to main fuselage by four bolts at break-point Flight instruments Lotfe 7K tachometric bombsight Control column, swung clear of bombsight during approach to target RF 2C periscopic combined bomb/gunsight and rear mirror Pilot’s seat Retractable foot-step Cockpit/fuselage break-point Entrance hatch hinging to starboard. Main roof transparency was jettisonable in an emergency Hydraulically-operated and rearward retracting nosewheel Forward self-sealing fuel tank of 385 Imp gal capacity

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Forward fuel filler point Suppressed D/F aerial Ring antenna for FuG 25A (Identification Friend-Foe) Hydraulic fluid tank of 4 Imp gal capacity Port mainwheel well with retracting jack Forward-retracting mainwheel Forward mainwheel hydraulically-operated door Rear self-sealing fuel tank of 440 Imp gal capacity Ammunition box – 200 rounds per gun – for two rear-firing Mauser 20mm MG 151 cannon Port-mounted 20mm MG 151 cannon

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Inspection/maintenance hatches. Two RB 50/30 cameras in rear section on reconnaissance model Control rods for rudder and elevators Tail bumper and brake-chute release point Rudder – mass-balanced Trim tab – upper geared Trim tab – lower pilot controlled Mass-balanced narrow-chord elevator Trim tabs Radio aerial – re-transmission aerial in fin leading-edge Wing front spar Wing rear spar

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Flaps, either side of engine, hydraulically-operated Narrow-chord Frise-type aileron Mass-balanced geared tab Aileron control rod Airspeed pitot tube Port navigation light Fin-mounted rear navigation light Port Junkers Jumo 004B-1 eight-stage axial-flow turbojet Nose cone containing Riedel four-cylinder two-stroke starter motor One 1,100lb bomb carried on each engine nacelle pylon Inspection/maintenance hatches Fuel pipes

its initial flight at Rostok-Marienehe on November 9, 1939. Designed with a rounded, all-glass cockpit giving excellent visibility for the crew, and powered by a novel coupled-engine arrangement, Heinkel’s new model would be anything but straightforward when it came to the up-coming flight-test programme!


‘Prise de Guerre’

Only three months after D-Day, the Allies had in their possession an intact example of the Grief after the French Resistance captured F8+AP, an He 177A-5/R6 of II/KG 40 which had been undergoing maintenance at ToulouseBlagnac. Flown to the UK by Wg Cdr Roly Falk on September 10, 1944, the

bomber was given the serial number TS439 and extensively air tested during 20 flights totalling 19hr 35min. In February 1945 it was flown to Boscombe Down, where some of the detail pictures were taken, and then dismantled for transfer to the USA where it was scrapped before flying trials took place.

The side-view picture shows the highly-prized trophy, still sporting French markings applied after its capture with identifying black and white stripes around fuselage and wings, two days after its arrival at Farnborough. The F8 on the fuselage is the code for KG 40, its former operator previously based at Bordeaux.

Close-up view of the unusual forward-raked main undercarriage consisting of four oleo units, each with one large wheel retracting into wing locations either side of each engine nacelle, an arrangement which gave yet more ‘grief’ to German maintenance men! To reduce the tell-tale engine exhaust signature at night from the DB 610s, crude tubes beneath the wings helped dampen the flames.



A flying view of TS439 showing just how distinctive the D-Day stripes were. RAF markings have been applied over the French roundels with a fin flash on the fin and the French rudder colours over-sprayed.

Starboard ETC weapon pylon for the Henschel Hs 293 guided missile. Two could be carried and if successfully aimed, the resulting target was often destroyed, but the new weapon came too late to become a war-winner. The captured aircraft was fitted with a third pylon located immediately behind the undernose gondola, but this usually accommodated a Fritz X radio-controlled bomb.

86 The prototype Junkers Ju 188V-1 NF+KQ, previously the Ju 88V-44 but heavily converted to represent the new twin-engined high-speed bomber with an all-glass cockpit, extended wings, larger tail and BMW 801 engines. It flew in the spring of 1942 and was joined by a second aircraft, built to production standards, early in 1943.

Ju 188 – Blunted Avenger With the impending collapse of the Bomber B programme involving the Ju 288 (see page 97) and initiated by the RLM in 1939 with production planned for 1942, Junkers stepped up work on a previously low-priority project aimed at succeeding the widely-used Ju 88. This hoped-for successor flew in September 1941 and incorporated a new glass nose, a powered upper gun turret, wider span wings, and two 1,700hp BMW 801D radial engines. When a larger tail was added to the second prototype, the design was designated Ju 188 and given the name Racher (Avenger), although this was seldom used. The relative simplicity of the design enabled the new twin to clear flight trials during 1942 with the second prototype assembled to production standard. The RLM – still embroiled in the Bomber B mess – somewhat reluctantly agreed to low-rate assembly of the new type at Junkers’ Bernburg factory near Dessau, but stipulated that the airframe was to be capable of accepting either the BMW 801 or the 1,776hp Jumo 213 engine, depending on availability. With the former powerplant aircraft were Ju 188Es and with the Jumos they were A variants. Due to problems with the supply of Jumos, Ju 188Es were first off the line and examples joined Erprobungskommando 188 for operational evaluation in May 1943. Trials showed it surpassed the performance of the basic

Ju 88A-4, notably at high-altitude, was more manoeuvrable, pleasant to fly, but offered little more. The type made its combat debut on August 18 when 4 Staffel of I./KG 6 at Creil, France, took part in a night attack on the Ruston & Hornsby engineering works at Lincoln. Standard load for KG 6 aircraft in the target-marking role comprised two 1,100lb high explosive bombs and 18 110lb LC 50 coloured marker bombs. Early operations caused identification difficulties for RAF night-fighter crews as the long pointed wing tips on the new bomber resembled those on the Mosquito, so some urgent aircraft recognition training was called for! Produced in parallel with the bombers was the specialised long-range reconnaissance Ju 188F-1, the first of which were delivered to Aufklarungskommando 121 in southern Russia, each aircraft fitted with day and night cameras in a ventral fuselage bay. The F-2 was similar but differed in having BMW 801Gs and provision for FuG 200 Hohentwiel search radar. By the time Operation Steinbock was initiated in January 1944, Jumo-engined Ju 188As were beginning to arrive with the units and the Luftwaffe bomber force of some 500 aircraft undertook a sustained night bombing campaign against London until April. Known as the ‘Little Blitz’, the raids involved Ju 188s of KG 2, KG 6 and KG 66 along with Ju 88s, Do 217s, and He 177s, but it cost aircraft and valuable crews.

In line with production changes across the German aircraft industry, the Ju 188 bomber was phased out of production in early 1944 after 446 had been built, but the urgent need for fast, reliable reconnaissance platforms saw F versions continue to be assembled into 1945 with 570 being completed.


Crew: Four Powerplant: Two 1,700hp BMW 801D-2 14-cylinder radial engines (Two 1,776hp Junkers Jumo 213A-1s on A-2 version) Max Speed: 310mph at 19,685ft Range: 1,210 miles with 4,410lb bomb-load Empty Weight: 21,737lb Loaded Weight: 31,989lb Armament: One 20mm MG 151 cannon in nose, one 13mm MG131 in EDL 131 dorsal turret, one 13mm behind cockpit, twin 7.9mm MG 81z in lower rear cockpit Max Bomb Load: 6,614lb Wing Span: 72ft 2in Length: 49ft Height: 14ft 7in



As with the Ju 88, loading large bombs on to the inner wing pylons of the Ju 188 was a case of a ‘block and tackle’ operation with ground crews putting in the effort! Identified by its Jumo 213 motors as an A-2 version, this black-painted example was operating from Bretigny against British targets in spring 1944, the type also undertaking minelaying and anti-shipping missions against the D-Day invasion fleet.

With the arrival of snow heralding the grim, freezing winter on the Russian Front, Luftwaffe maintenance crews gave their aircraft a coat of white paint to better camouflage their charges, both in the air and dispersed on the ground. However, as this long-range reconnaissance Ju 188F-1 of Aufklarungsgruppe 22 based in Finland illustrates, the temporary winter finish soon became worn under the gruelling conditions to reveal the dark green factory-applied paint beneath.


Junkers drawing of the official camouflage pattern of two greens on the uppersurfaces and side areas with light blue undersurfaces. In service, units usually oversprayed this scheme with colours more in keeping with the operational missions they were flying.

Pictured in early 1944, these Ju 188Es are part of the force of some 500 aircraft gathered from the Luftwaffe’s dwindling bomber arm to undertake Operation Steinbock, the night assault on London which officially began in January that year. These aircraft, possibly from KG 6, carry toned-down markings and black undersurfaces.


Two captured Ju 188s, both Jumo-powered examples, were flown to Farnborough at the end of hostilities of which the anonymous A-1 version AM108 (right) appeared at the Enemy Aircraft Exhibition at Farnborough in October 1945. The bizarrelycamouflaged A-2 (above) which was a former III./KG 26 anti-shipping machine coded 1H+GT received the Air Ministry number AM113 following its surrender at Lubeck and flown to the UK in August 1945. It then went to Gosport for a planned series of torpedo-dropping trials. These did not take place and the aircraft was sold for scrap in late 1947.

‘One for the album’: This Ju 188D-2 was another example flown to the UK to evaluate its FuG 200 Hohentwiel radar in connection with the torpedo-carrying equipment (indicated by the bulge along the starboard side of the fuselage). This variant dispensed with forward-facing armament, but retained its turret and rearward-firing guns.


90 Screaming under the power of its two Jumo jets and the Walter 202b assisted take-off rockets, the second aircraft roars over the cine-photographer during a test flight at Alt Lonnewitz. Under the fuselage can be glimpsed the central skid which retracted after take-off to lie flat under the fuselage.

Blitzbomber Finale

Germany’s lead in jet propulsion produced not only advanced fighter aircraft but also the world’s first twin-engined jet-powered bomber, the Arado Ar 234. However, despite Hitler’s demand for hundreds of these unique machines, with the war all but lost its influence on the outcome proved negligible, but its performance was startlingly good! Designed under the direction of Walter Blume, the genesis of the idea for a jetpowered reconnaissance aircraft came from the RLM’s Technische Amt (Technical Office) in 1940 and by the end of the following year Arado Flugzeugwerke submitted its proposal. The drawings showed a single-seat aircraft of conventional design with a fully-glazed cockpit, a slender shoulder-mounted wing with two engines underslung and an undercarriage in the form of a three-wheel trolley for take-off and a retractable skid for landing. Six test aircraft were ordered in April 1942, increased to 20 by the end of the year of which two would be fitted with conventional retractable wheels for use in the bomber role. As with other advanced projects, delays occurred due to protracted engine development, in this case the Junkers Jumo 004 and it was July 30, 1943, before the prototype Ar 234V-1 first flew at Rheine, piloted by Flugkapitan Selle. Early development trials with the Ar 234A showed the trolley system worked, but was cumbersome and would delay operations, so all future aircraft would have a wheeled undercarriage. With this change,

the first production version became the Ar 234B-1, the prototype of which flew on March 12, 1944. On August 2, 1944, the type made its first operational mission in the reconnaissance role flying a fast overflight of the D-Day bridgehead in Normandy to photograph the Allies’ progress following the June 6 invasion. Meanwhile, the first Ar 234B-2 bomber versions were delivered to III Gruppe Kampfgeschwader KG 76 at Alt Lonnewitz for pilot training on August 26, 1944, before transferring to Burg, near Magdeburg to prepare for operations. Ordered to Munster-Handorf, KG 76 flew its first sorties on December 24 against targets in Liege and Namur in support of the German Ardennes offensive. Ar 234s were mostly armed with a single 1,102lb high-explosive bomb under the centre fuselage, although the aircraft was capable of carrying up to 3,300lb of ordnance on its three external racks. Sorties were flown by groups as well as by single aircraft and despite Allied air superiority, catching the bombers proved difficult, even for the RAF’s latest Hawker Tempest fighter for which Luftwaffe pilots held a healthy respect. As the Allied armies closed in towards Germany, operations switched to Achmer, near Osnabruck, from where, in March, the jets were in action trying to destroy the sole remaining rail bridge across the River Rhine at Remagen, but without success. While the Ar 234B played out the last operational missions of the war, a number of four-engined versions powered by the small, lighter BMW 003s made their appearance as Ar 234Cs, the first flying

on February 4, 1944, to gain the distinction of being the world’s first four-jet bomber. Speeds for the fourengined design were calculated at between 497 and 530mph, making it the fastest production turbojetdriven aircraft of the war. Some 19 C Series were completed before the war’s end to add to the 220 B Series. Other versions included a night-fighter which flew in 1945 and a still-born ground-attack variant.


Crew: One Powerplant: Two 900lb thrust Junkers Jumo 004B turbojets Max Speed: 461mph at 19,685ft Service ceiling: 32,810ft Range: 1,012 miles Empty Weight: 11,464lb Loaded Weight: 21,605lb Armament: Two fixed aft-firing 20mm MG 151 cannon in rear fuselage for defensive use. Max Bomb Load: Three 1,102lb SC500 bombs under fuselage and engine nacelles, or one 2,205lb bomb under fuselage or combination of various ordnance up to 3,306lb Wingspan: 46ft 3.5in Length: 41ft 5in Height: 14ft 1in



An early prototype Ar 234 – possibly the V-2 – accelerates along the runway before lifting off the three-wheeled trolley which, when the aircraft became airborne, was left to bounce along before being slowed by a braking parachute, retrieved by a ground team and prepared to be loaded for another sortie. Beneath the fuselage is the central skid used for landing, with smaller skids extended under the nacelle to steady the aircraft on its fast landing back on the grass. Although the idea worked it was considered cumbersome and rather limiting for operational use, so was discarded in favour of a standard wheeled undercarriage, even though this would reduce range.

Settling on its skid, the aircraft scoots past the camera…

Taxiing at Arado’s Alt Lonnewitz factory airfield, the Ar 234V-9 flew on March 12, 1944, and is seen fitted with rocket-assisted take-off packs under the wings. It proved a reliable aircraft, making more than 100 test flights before the end of the war.

92 In a typical shallow dive attack, an Ar 234B releases two 550lb bombs from the nacelle racks against a target. The origin of this photo is unclear as the individual letter ‘H’ on aircraft flown by III./KG 76 would normally appear to the right of the fuselage cross, leading to the likelihood that this was a trials aircraft from Erprobungskommando Ar 234 which conducted operational tests at Rechlin-Lärz from July 1944. The pilot’s periscopic sight projects from the top of the canopy, but the lower sight (?) appears to be a trial installation.

Coded ‘F’, one of the Ar 234Bs captured by the RAF at Stavanger in May 1945 screams its high-pitched engine sound if the cupped ears of the RAF personnel is any indication. A German ground crewman is advising the pilot through the open canopy hatch; rather surprisingly, there are no chocks for the wheels! The bomb carrier under the port nacelle can be seen.



Powered by four BMW 003 turbojets in paired nacelles, the Arado Ar 234C-3 bomber was in development during the closing months of the war and would have improved considerably on the speed performance of the initial B series, over 530mph being expected. This variant also incorporated an enlarged cockpit for the pilot. This is the sixth production C-3 found by US troops at Munich-Riem airfield and was one of 19 built before the surrender. This machine can claim to be the world’s first four-jet bomber.

As befits the world’s only surviving Arado, the example in the Washington National Air & Space Museum (NASM) has been exactingly restored, carrying the code of KG 76 (F1) and fitted with underwing rocket take-off packs. As Wk Nr 140312, the former bomber was captured by the RAF at Stavanger, Norway, and passed to the USAAF where it was coded FE-1010 (see centre photo). In America, it was test-flown before being grounded and stored with the NASM.


Undergoing an engine run in a heavily-camouflaged revetment at Oranienburg, north of Berlin, in March 1945, is one of KG 30’s Mistel 2 combinations assembled for the ‘Iron Hammer’ attack on the Soviet armament factories and power stations around Moscow. The pilot in the Fw 190 cockpit gained access via the long ladder seen behind the aircraft and both the fighter and the lower Ju 88G component carry external drop tanks to extend range for the 760-mile mission. The powerful hollow-charge warhead forms the nose of the bomber and projecting in front is the short, blunt stand-off fuse. In the event, the attack was cancelled and the Misteln switched to bomb the Oder bridges.

No Love For Mistletoe

Mistel (Mistletoe), the parasitic evergreen, was the code name for one of the last innovative aeronautical developments deployed operationally by the Luftwaffe. It comprised a pilotless aircraft (a Ju 88) loaded with explosives and flown to the target by a manned single-seat fighter (a Bf 109 or Fw 190) mounted on struts above the fuselage. In the vicinity of the target, the pilot aimed the ‘bomber’ in a shallow dive before casting off and returning to base. At least, that was the plan! Trials with a number of different aircraft in pick-a-back (Huckepack) combinations were undertaken in 1942, principally to test the feasibility of ferrying small transport gliders, but in 1943 a more warlike role was trialled under the code name Beethoven. Using war-weary Ju 88 airframes with the forward cockpit section replaced by an 8,380lb hollow-charge warhead designed to penetrate thick concrete or the deck armour of warships, tests were successfully flown at Peenemunde in spring 1944 and in June the Einsatz-Staffel of IV./KG 101 was formed and moved to St Dizier to attack the Allied invasion

forces. Limited success by these cumbersome and vulnerable composites followed with night attacks on ships prompting the RLM to order a batch of 75 using Ju 88Gs with Fw 190s as the upper component. These were designated Mistel 2s. Having gained a force of Mistel combinations, the Germans first decided to attack the Royal Navy anchorage at Scapa Flow, but this operation came to nothing. Next was Operation Eisenhammer (‘Iron Hammer’), an attack on the Soviet armament industry and power stations around Moscow and Gorky, but by the time sufficient Misteln of KG 200 became available, the war in the East had almost reached the German border, rendering flights of some 760 miles from Berlin to Moscow unlikely to succeed. More pressing was to halt the Russian advance and operations were mounted against the Oder bridges in April 1945, but being of the pontoon type, any hits on these were quickly replaced and the Russian bridgeheads were consolidated and the Mistel achieved almost nothing. An estimated 250 Mistel conversions had been completed, the later ones using new-build Ju 88Gs and Hs. Although

a number of flyable Misteln were captured by the Allies at the end of the war only one was flown to the UK, as separate components, before being reassembled for display at the Farnborough Enemy Aircraft Exhibition in October 1945.

MISTEL 2 (JU 88 AND FW 190)

Crew: One in upper component Max Speed: 300mph Cruise Speed: 270 mph Range: 480 miles (fighter first used fuel from bomber component before switching to internal fuel plus that in 66gal drop tank) Weight: Combined, 33,000+lb Armament: As for Fw 190 (cowling guns only) with bomber carrying 8,380lb hollow-charge warhead in nose with impact fuse armed after separation Dimensions: Overall as for Ju 88

MISTEL 2 (JU 88 AND FW 190)


The Mistel 1 comprised a Ju 88A-4 with the cockpit removed and the sizeable 8,380lb hollow-charge warhead fitted using the same attachment points as the original cockpit section. Extending forward is the nine-foot long stand-off probe with four crush fuses which initiated the detonation of the main charge. The one-ton steel core could burst through up to 60ft of concrete. The top component of the Mistel 1 was a Messerschmitt Bf 109F fighter supported on six main struts forming two tripods attached to the Ju 88 main spar, plus a single strut supporting the fighter’s tail.

One of the long-fuselage Junkers Ju 88G-10s, originally designed as an ultra-long-range fighter, but in the closing months of the war switched to become the lower component of the Mistel 3C with an Fw 190A-8 atop the bomber. Few were completed.

This Mistel composite is an S 2 trainer found by US troops at Merseburg. Its identifying feature is the additional light bracing struts extending from the cockpit of the Ju 88G-1 to the underside of the nose cowling of the Fw 190F-8. These helped trainee pilots gain a clean separation during practice launchings.

The only Mistel to leave Germany after the war was the example displayed at Farnborough in October 1945 and given the Air Ministry number AM77. An S 3A trainer version consisting of a Ju 88A-4 with an Fw 190A above, the two aircraft were ferried separately from Schleswig on September 21 and October 17 respectively, and reassembled to provide one of the highlights of the exhibition.



This reconnaissance Ju 388L-1 Wk Nr 560044 was one of the few complete production examples found at the end of the war and has the doors of its ventral pannier open revealing one of the two camera windows fitted to this version. Also within the bay was a 198 gal auxiliary fuel tank which extended range to 2,160 miles. The twin 13mm tail gun barbette was aimed via a periscopic sight by the rear cockpit.

The Americans acquired Ju 388L-1 Wk Nr 560049 found at Merseburg in May 1945 and shipped it to the USA for evaluation flights at Wright Field in September. Numbered FE (Foreign Evaluation) 4010, this aircraft is now a rare survivor of the many aircraft taken to America and is awaiting refurbishment at the National Air & Space Museum’s Silver Hill facility. The compact tail gun mounted two 13mm MG 131s projecting one above the other, but removed in this view.

Ju 388 – The Last Throw… After the failure of the Bomber B replacement programme and the associated Ju 288, Junkers designers quickly moved to a further twinengine aircraft which would prove to be the last of the line to fly, the Ju 388. This was basically a modified Ju 188 with a new low-drag fuselage and a streamlined pressurised cockpit for a crew of three. Intended for high-altitude operations, the Ju 388K bomber version incorporated a ventral wooden gondola to take up to 4,409lb of bombs, while defensive armament comprised a remotelycontrolled gun barbette in the tail.

Two other variants flew by the war’s end, the Ju 388J night-fighter and the Ju 388L highaltitude reconnaissance model, the latter being the only variant to see limited service. Engine options were either the BMW 801, Junkers Jumo 213 or 222 giving a top speed of some 400mph. After the prototype reconnaissance aircraft flew in late 1943, the bomber followed as the Ju 388V-3 in January 1944 with service evaluation beginning in August with Erprobungskommando 318. Production ceased in early 1945 after 102 machines had been completed.


Crew: Three Powerplant: Two BMW 801s or Jumo 213/222s, but most fitted with 1,800hp BMW 801TJs Maximum Speed: 407mph at 29,800ft Range: 1,600 miles Armament: One remotelycontrolled FA15 tail barbette with two 13mm MG 131 machine guns Maximum Bomb Load: 4,409lb Wingspan: 72ft 2in Length: 49ft 10.5in Height: 14ft 3in



Bombers in Brief

Additional to the main bombers, the German industry built a number of different types which failed to reach production, some because they were too innovative and complicated, others because priorities changed as the war swung against the Nazis and fighter production became paramount.

Two views of the only prototype Me 264 Amerika-Bomber to fly. The head-on picture shows the inward-retracting main wheels and the circular fuselage with its clear glass nose. On its proposed attack on New York, the aircraft was to rely on speed, height and surprise to avoid interception.

MESSERSCHMITT ME 264 Dubbed the Amerika-Bomber, the four-engined Me 264 was designed to meet an RLM requirement for an aircraft with transatlantic range to attack New York with 4,000lb of bombs. The prototype flew on December 23, 1942, and was a remarkably clean design with a nosewheel undercarriage, four Jumo 211 liquid-cooled engines and fuel all carried in the wings for what was expected

to be a 45hr non-stop flight. No armament was fitted. The second aircraft was designed for long-range reconnaissance with cameras in the bomb-bay, but was destroyed in an air raid before it flew. With the USA now in the war, the RLM called for a six-engined design and Messerschmitt proposed an enlarged Me 264B, but this was not selected and the programme closed in late 1944. Dimensions included a span of 127ft 7.5in and a length of 68ft 7in.

98 FOCKE-WULF FW 191 One of the two contenders in the RLM’s Bomber B competition of July 1939 to find a new medium bomber capable of attacking any part of the British Isles with an 8,800lb bomb load and a maximum speed of 373mph, the Fw 191 was designed with electrical systems throughout in place of the more usual hydraulic equipment, prompting the nickname Fliegendes Kraftwerk (Flying Power-station). With two 1,600hp BMW 801 radial engines, the first of three prototypes flew in 1942, but initial trials showed disappointing performance. Problems were also encountered with the electrics which, in addition to the undercarriage and control surfaces, powered no less than five remote-controlled defensive gun turrets. Changes were made to the third aircraft, but after this flew in spring 1943, the RLM abandoned the whole programme.

The Fw 191 proved to be an electricians nightmare with all its main operating systems driven by electric servo-motors, as directed by the RLM, adding up to a heavier than expected design, thus reducing performance. Three of its five remote-controlled defensive turrets are seen here – all electrically-powered.

JUNKERS JU 288 THE three-seat Ju 288 was the other contender built to meet the Bomber B requirement, the prototype flying on November 29, 1941. Dive brakes were fitted to the wings and dummy remote-controlled gun turrets located above and below the fuselage. Powered by two BMW 801s, early trials with the prototype Ju 288A showed poor handling characteristics resulting in work switching to the improved B version with four crew which flew on May 2, 1942. This planned production version was in turn replaced by the Ju 288C with structural strengthening, DB 606 engines and more gun barbettes with a first flight on October 30, 1942. Despite encouraging trials, the RLM finally abandoned the Bomber B programme and with it, the Ju 288.

More prolific on the numbers built – 22 aircraft flying - compared with other prototype designs, the Ju 288 came nearest to service use. The second Ju 288 seen at Dessau fitted with a nose measurement probe with Ju 88V-16 D-ACAR behind and with which comparative performance trials were conducted.

JUNKERS JU 287 With forward-swept wings, four Jumo 004 jet engines, a fuselage from a Heinkel He 177, the tail unit from a Ju 388, nose undercarriage wheels from a crashed B-24 Liberator, and the main wheels from a Ju 352 transport, the Ju 287 was a hybrid bomber intended to test the overall design before production. It flew on August 16, 1944, and in level flight proved relatively easy to fly, but aerodynamic problems with the unconventional wing position required careful handling in tight turns and work was on-going to modify the design and incorporate changes into the second prototype. Soviet forces captured both aircraft in 1945 and briefly test-flew them after the war.

To give the Ju 287 additional power to make its first and subsequent 16 flights at Brandis, near Leipzig, four 2,645lb thrust Walter 501 rockets were attached beneath each turbojet nacelle. It was unusual in having a forward-swept wing and the four-engine layout.



Aviation Archive is a series of bookazines produced by a dedicated team of enthusiasts which provide detailed, in-depth insight into legendary aircraft of yesteryear. Featuring archive images alongside period cutaway diagrams, the intention is to take reader ‘inside’ the inner workings of these iconic machines for the most detailed view possible.





AND THE ACES WHO FLEW THEM Produced by a team of some of the most highly-respected aviation journalists in the business, ‘Famous Fighters of World War 2’ is a 100PAGE SPECIAL publication timed to celebrate the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

We hold the iconic fighter aircraft of World War Two in such reverence, that it is sometimes difficult to comprehend that they were designed for one purpose, and one purpose only. They were the lean, mean, killing machines of their time, a time when rapidly advancing technology honed the aircraft into a war-winning weapon that influenced every theatre of the conflict. Arranged in chronological sequence, we look at the top ten fighters of the conflict, their development, combat history and the aces that flew them. From the eternal grace of the Spitfire to the futuristic Me262, this special publication pays tribute to them all.








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