Junkers Ju 87 Stuka Dive Bomber
The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka was an effective German WW2 dive bomber, it was designed by Hermann Pohlmann and first flew in late 1935 entering service with the Luftwaffe in 1936. The Ju 87 Stuka was fitted with a siren which made a highly distinctive frightening and demoralising sound as it dived, it was believed that this would encourage solders to seek shelter rather than stand their ground and fire at the aircraft.
The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka first went into action in the Spanish Civil War with the Condor Legion and proved to be highly successful. The Stuka's main weakness was it's vulnerability to modern monoplane fighters, this only became really obvious during the Battle of Britain when Stuka squadrons suffered horrendous losses at the guns of the RAF's Hurricanes and Spitfires. By 1944 when production of the then obsolete Junkers Ju 87 Stuka ceased, 5,752 aircraft had been produced.
The Stuka was one of the first aircraft to be fitted with an automatic "Pull-Up" system as a safety precaution, the Stuka Junkers Ju 87 was the most accurate bomber of WW2 as a direct result of the Stuka's lethal near vertical attack dive, should the pilot blackout due to the high G-forces which were in excess of 6g when pulling out from the dive, the aircraft could recover automatically while the pilot regained consciousness.
Junkers Ju 87 B-2 Armament:
- Two 7.92 mm MG 17 forward firing machine guns
- Single rear facing cockpit mounted 7.92 mm MG 15 machine guns
- Single under fuselage 250 kg (551 lb) bomb
- Two under wing mounted 50 kg (110 lb) bombs
Junkers Ju 87 B-2 Specifications:
- Crew: Pilot and rear gunner
- Length: 11.00 m (36 ft 1.07 in) Wingspan: 13.8 m (45 ft 3.30 in)
- Height: 4.23 m (13 ft 10.53 in)
- Empty weight: 3,205 kg (7,086 lb) Loaded weight: 4,320 kg (9,524 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 5,000 kg (11,023 lb)
- Engine: Single 1184 hp (883 kW) Junkers Jumo 211D inverted-vee 12 cylinder liquid-cooled engine
- Maximum dive speed: 600 km/h (373 mph)
- Maximum speed: 242 mph @ 13,410 ft or (390 km/h @ 4,400 m)
- Range: 500 km (311 mi) with 500 kg (1,102 lb) bomb load
- Service ceiling 8,200 m (26,903 ft)
Stuka Dive Bomber captured by British troops in Germany
|What's in a Name?|
It may be of interest to note that the Junkers Ju 87's aircraft's popular nickname "Stuka" was derived from the German "Sturzkampfflugzeug" which translates to "Dive Bomber" in English.
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