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Germany's Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka", Stürzkampfflugzeug, dive bomber

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Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber (could this be Hans Rudel?):
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber
United States Army in World War II, Pictorial Record, The War Against Germany and Italy: Mediterranean and Adjacent Areas, 1951, pg 42

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber, Part 1:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber, Part 1

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber, Part 2:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber, Part 2

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber, Part 3:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber, Part 3

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber, Part 4:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber, Part 4

Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber, Part 5:
Germany's Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber, Part 5

Design

A specification was put out in 1933 for a dive bomber.4 Arado, Blohm und Voss, Heinkel, and Junkers submitted designs.4 Only Heinkel and Junkers submitted a prototype and these were tested in 1936.4 Hermann Phlmann had the winning design.4

The Junkers Ju 87 brought terror across Europe in the early years of World War II.3 It had a siren that wailed during its dive.3

Dive control

A device allowed the Ju 87 to pull out of a dive even when a pilot blacked out.1

Undercarriage

During the winters on the eastern front some had skis installed.1

Fuselage

To aid in mass production the fuselage was made in two halves and joined at the centerline by a metal frame.1

Wing

To allow for a short undercarriage and allow for a large bomb, the wings were of a cranked wing design.1

Armament

The gunner-observer had a mount that he could rotate a 7.9 mm MG 17 on.4

The main bomb was located under the middle of the fuselage and when released a mechanism would hurl the bomb past the propeller disk.4

Prototype

The Ju 87 prototype had a Rolls-Royce Kestrel engine (525 HP4 / 640 HP) and first flew in the spring of 1935.1,2,3,4 It had a two blade wooden propeller.4

Early prototypes had twin fins but this was replaced by a single fin.1,3

The next two prototypes had Junkers Jumo 210 engines (610 HP).3,4 These had single tail fins.3,4 The engine drove a three bladed variable pitch propellar.4

Production

Over 5,700 were produced until September 1944.1,3

Starting in 1939 all production of the Ju 87 Stuka was at Weser at Tempelhof.1

The Junkers Ju 87A first flew in November 1936.3 The Junkers Ju 87B first flew in August 1938.3

  • Total: >5,7004, 5,7092,3
    • Manufacturer: Junkers Flugzeug und Motorenwerke A.G.4
    • Production: ? - 19444

Variants

  • Junkers Ju 87A-1: Flew in Spain.2,3 First appeared in 1937.4
  • Junkers Ju 87B-1: Flew in Spain.2 First appeared in 1938.4 Structure and aerodynamics improved.4 Landing fairing was made smaller.4
  • Junkers Ju 87B-2: New radio equipment.3
  • Junkers Ju 87B-2U2: New radio equipment.3
  • Junkers Ju 87B-2U3: More armor.3
  • Junkers Ju 87B-2U4: Ski undercarriage.3
  • Junkers Ju 87C: Was to be used on the air craft carrier Graf Zeppelin.1,3
  • Junkers Ju 87D: Had a Jumo 211 engine.2,3,4 Had streamlined nose and canopy.3 Coolant radiators were moved to under the wings.3 Entered service at the end of 1941 during the invasion of the Soviet Union.2 Armored crew protection.4
  • Junkers Ju 87D-3: Increased armor protection.3
  • Junkers Ju 87D-5: Dive brakes removed.3 Landing gear were jettisonable.3
  • Junkers Ju 87D-7: Ground attack at night.3 Jumo 211P engine.3 20 mm cannons in wings.3
  • Junkers Ju 87D-8: Night equipment removed.3
  • Junkers Ju 87E: Revised Ju 87D.3
  • Junkers Ju 87F: Revised version not built.3
  • Junkers Ju 87G: Antitank version.2,3,4 Had two 37 mm guns under the wing in pods.2,3 Converted from Ju 87D-5.3
  • Junkers Ju 87H: Dual control trainer.3
  • Junkers Ju 87R: Had additional under wing fuel tanks for use in the Norwegian campaign.2,3

Usage

The Ju 87 was used by Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Romania, and Slovakia.1
Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Romania.3

  • Bulgaria: 323
  • Croatia: 153
  • Hungary: 703
  • Romania: 1153

The Ju 87 Stuka was used on all fronts during the war.1 It was very vulnerable and relied on total air superiority to be used effectively.3

Typically a pilot would start their dive at 6,000' / 2,000 m and go down to 900' / 300 m before releasing their bombs.1 The dive angle was between 60° and 90°.1

Hans-Ulrich Rudel

Flying a Ju 87G, Hans-Ulrich Rudel destroyed over 500 / 5192 Soviet tanks.1 He also sunk a battleship, a cruiser, and a destroyer with his Stuka.2

Blitzkrieg in Poland

The very first bombs dropped on September 1, 1939, were by three Junkers Ju 87 B-1s.4

There were five Stukageschwader equipped with Ju 87s that were used in the invasion of Poland in 1939.2

Specifications

  Junkers Ju 87B Stuka
Type Dive bomber3,5
Crew 23
Engine (Type) Junkers Jumo 211D5, Junkers Jumo 211Da3
Cylinders Inverted V 123
Cooling Liquid5
HP 1,0005, 1,1003
Propeller blades 33
Fuel capacity  
Dimensions  
Span 45' 3.25"3, 45' 4"5
13.8 m3
Length 35' 6"5, 36' 5"3
11.1 m3
Height 12' 9"5, 13' 2"3
4.01 m3
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 5,980 lb3
2,713 kg3
Loaded 9.300 lb5, 9,369 lb3, 9,560 lb4
4,250 kg3
Performance  
Speed 240 mph5
Speed at sea level 211 mph3
339 kph3
Speed @ 13,420' /
4,090 m
238 mph3
383 kph3
Cruising speed 175 mph3
282 kph3
Climb  
Climb to 6,560' /
2,000 m
4.3 minutes3
Service ceiling 26,150'3
7,970 m3
Range 490 miles3, 500 miles5
788 km3
Armament  
Wings 2: MG5
2: 7.92 mm MG3
Rear cockpit 1: MG5
1: 7.92 mm MG3
Bomb under fuselage 1: 1,102 lb3
1: 500 kg3
Bomb under wings 4: 110 lb3
4: 50 kg3
  Junkers Ju 87B-1 Stuka
Type Attack4
Crew 24
Engine (Type) Junkers Jumo 211Da4
Cylinders V 124
Cooling Liquid4
HP 1,2004
Propeller blades  
Fuel capacity  
Dimensions  
Span 45' 3"4
Length 36' 5"4
Height 13' 2"4
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 9,560 lb4
Performance  
Speed @ 13,410' 238 mph4
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling 26,250'4
Range 490 miles4
Armament 3: MG4
Bombs 1,100 lb4
  Junkers Ju 87D-1 Stuka
Type Attack4, Dive Bomber1,3
Crew 21,4
Pilot, rear gunner1
Engine (Type) Junkers Jumo 211J-1 piston1,3,4
Cylinders Inverted V 121,3, V 124
Cooling Liquid4
HP 1,4003,4, 1,4101
Propeller blades 31,3
Fuel capacity  
Dimensions  
Span 45'1, 45' 3"4, 45' 3.25"3
13.8 m1,3
Length 37' 8"4, 37' 8.75"3, 38'1
11.5 m1,3
Height 12' 9"4, 12' 9.25"3, 13'1
3.89 m3, 3.9 m1
Wing area 343 ft2 1
31.9 m2 1
Weight  
Empty 8,580 lb1, 8,600 lb3
3,900 kg1,3
Loaded 12,880 lb4, 14,520 lb1, 14,550 lb3
6,600 kg1,3
Performance  
Speed @ 12,600' /
3,840 m
254 mph1, 255 mph3
410 kph1,3
Speed @ 13,500' 255 mph4
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Climb to 16,400' /
5,000 m
19.8 minutes3
Service ceiling 23,905'4, 23,910'1, 23,915'3
7,290 m1,3
Range 950 miles1, 954 miles3,4
1,535 km1,3
Range with maximum bomb load 620 miles3
998 km3
Armament 4: MG4
Wings 2: 7.92 mm MG3
2: 7.92 mm MG 171
Rear cockpit 2: 7.92 mm MG3
2: 7.92 mm MG 81Z1
Bombs 3,960 lb1, 3,968 lb4
1,800 kg1
Bomb under fuselage 3,968 lb3
1,800 kg3
Bomb under wings 1,102 lb3
500 kg3
  Junkers Ju 87D-7 Stuka
Type Dive bomber2,3
Crew 22
Engine (Type) Junkers Jumo 211P pison2,3
Cylinders Inline2
Cooling  
HP 1,5002,3
Propeller blades 32,3
Fuel capacity  
Dimensions  
Span 49' 2.5"2
15 m2
Length 37' 8.75"2
11.5 m2
Height 12' 9.5"2
3.9 m2
Wing area 362.7 ft2 2
33.6 m2 2
Weight  
Empty 8,686 lb2
3,940 kg2
Loaded 14,550 lb2
6,600 kg2
Performance  
Speed @ 15,750' /
4,800 m
248 mph2
400 kph2
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling 27,885'2
8,500 m2
Range 410 miles2
660 km2
Armament  
Forward firing 2: 20 mm MG 151/202
Rear cockpit 2: 7.92 mm MG 812
Bomb under fuselage 1: 3,958 lb2
1: 1,800 kg2
Bomb under wings 2: 1,102 lb2
2: 500 kg2

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, General Editor: Jim Winchester, 2004
  2. Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Editor: Karen Leverington, 1995
  3. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  4. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  5. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site

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