The reputation of the Junkers Ju 87
Stuka (Sturzkampfflugzeug, or dive-bomber) was made during the Polish campaign in close-support operations across Europe. The Luftwaffe believed it to be virtually invincible, but this was true only after air superiority had been gained, as demonstrated during the Battle of Britain when the Stukas were mauled so severely by the RAF that they were later withdrawn from operations over western Europe.
Three prototypes were started in 1934, the first with twin vertical tail surfaces and powered by a Rolls-Royce Kestrel engine. During dive tests in 1935 the tail unit of this aircraft collapsed and the aircraft was destroyed. The second prototype introduced a single fin and rudder and was powered by a 455kW Junkers Jumo 210A, and official evaluation of this aircraft and a further improved third prototype led to a pre-production batch of 10 Ju 87A-0 aircraft with the 477kW Jumo 210Ca engine. The initial Ju 87A-1 production version began to replace Hs 123 biplanes in the spring of 1937, and three were tested under operational conditions by the Legion Condor during the Spanish Civil War. At the beginning of World War II the Luftwaffe had 336 Ju 87B aircraft on strength, and others were supplied to Italy (which named them Picchiatello), Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.
Ju 87s were deployed extensively on the Eastern Front, initially with great success, but by 1943 they were suffering such severe losses by daylight that they were switched to a night assault role. When production ended more than 5,700 had been built, the majority after 1940 when their vulnerability without adequate fighter cover had been highlighted in the Battle of Britain, and one can only assume that production continued because no better replacement
was available. A redesigned and improved Ju 187 was projected in 1943, but following consideration of the design no examples were built.
| ENGINE||1 x Junkers Jumo 211J-1, 1051kW|
| Take-off weight||6600 kg||14551 lb|
| Empty weight||3900 kg||8598 lb|
| Wingspan||13.8 m||45 ft 3 in|
| Length||11.5 m||38 ft 9 in|
| Height||3.9 m||13 ft 10 in|
| Wing area||31.9 m2||343.37 sq ft|
| Max. speed||410 km/h||255 mph|
| Ceiling||7290 m||23900 ft|
| Range w/max.fuel||1535 km||954 miles|
| ARMAMENT||4 x 7.92mm machine-guns, 1800kg of bombs|
|A three-view drawing (1000 x 718)|
The Ju87 was an very effective war plane in its time, but the concept of diving on a target to obtain greater accuracy predates the “Stuka” by decades. Royal Flying Corps pilots on the Western front during WWI were known to dive on ground targets to score more hits. But the direct chain of events that led to the Ju87 started in 1919 when a US Marine detachment was pinned down by Haitians during the United States occupation of Haiti. United States Marine Corps pilot Lt. L. H. Sanderson used his Curtiss JN-4 to dive on the Haitian position and score direct hits on the Haitians. Repeated attacks by Lt. Sanderson won the day. Over the next few years Marine and Nave pilots perfected their dive bombing skill using Curtiss biplanes. During a visit to the US, Ernst Udet, German WWI Ace, witnessed a demonstration of Curtiss dive bombing, and convinced his good friend Hermann Göring to buy two Curtiss Hawk IIs for the newly reformed Luftwaffe. When Udet later became the development director of the Ministry of Aviation, he remembered the impressive accuracy of the little Curtiss dive bombers and pushed for dive bomber development. The Henschel Hs 123 was adopted as an interim dive bomber, followed by the Junkers Ju-87. The US Navy and Marine Corps went on to adopt several dive bombers, with the Douglas SBD Dauntless probably the most efficient. The Dauntless’s score at the Battle of Midway alone was 4 Japanese fleet carriers sunk. Not bad for an airplane that was considered by some to be obsolete at the beginning of WWII.
The improvement suggested by “bombardier” would have helped; but a turbojet engine, swept wings, larger airframe, and pressured cockpit would have made it even better.
|Bob Brown, 20.12.2011|
JU087 was the first major produced aircraft to use forged magnesium engine bearers. Prof Hertel of Junkers pioneered their use and they were used on the JU88, ME109, ME110,FW190.
The Stuka could have been improved with the fitting of retracrable undercarriage,more firepower[2 20mm cannons in the
wings and 13mm machine-guns in the rear cockpit] and a more powerful engine[the Jumo 213 1.700-2.000hp depending on version]
|Pat McTaggart, 11.03.2011|
I had the pleasure of staying with Rudel and his wife Uschi for three days in the summer of 1967. He had a remarkable collection of personal photos from his years on the Eastern Front. There was also an oil painting of his Stuka and two others makng an attack on Soviet tanks.
Early April 1945 I met Col Rudel at the airfield of Grossenhain/Saxonia ,I was waiting for an AR 234 to be ferried either to Burg or Zerbst .The col was on the way with his Ju 87 groupp to an airfield in Bohemia . He wanted to know all ther details --by the way at that time he flew with a leg prothesis-When I told him I flew a 87 in 1939 he laughed his heart of fNow I look at my log book : September 15th 1939 at the airfield Puchhof/Lower Bavaria I took off with the Ju 87- S13+A49 :at 9.55 for a few rounds !! My friend Grimminger in the backkwlk
|SS Col. HANS LANDA, 14.09.2010|
YA,VEN I VAS 4 years old, I stood up on my desk and screamed,"I want to be a STUKA pilot!!" Then I jumped off and landed on my head!! Albert Speer designed a stainless steel bra for Anna Kreisling! In case she had to bail out over Michigan or New York her gorgeous breasts would survive,Hitler and Himmler were convinced she was the most beautiful German Fraulein in ze world!! In 1957 her breath-taking cleavage caused MEL BROOKS to go crosseyed!! He had a boner for four days!! He is writing a new play called,"ANNA KREISLING, MY HOTSY TOTSY NAZI SWEETHEART!!"
|Heinrich Fredrickson, 07.09.2010|
There is a famous painting in Hannover, that once belonged either to Hitler of Hermann Goering. The painting shows three Antov Stuka's flying really low over a huge swimming pool. I have seen the painting and it shows Eva Braun in a one piece black swimsuit smiling and waving to the Stuka's, but Mein Gott!! Anna Kreisling is nude and so gorgeous!! She is also looking up at the rear gunners in the Stuka's. The painting is entitled,"Stuka's and Frauleins!" It is a huge painting and an eyefull!!!
|carl wollaston, 17.06.2010|
I once read that the Stuka turns on a siren as it dives towards it's target.
Louie Langhurst built a wonderful 7/10 replica of a JU87 years ago. I owned it for about 12 years, them sold it to a terrific guy, Mitch Sammons. He flew it from my home in Mississippi to Maine and flys it regularly. Rudel came to Mississippi years ago to see the replica and flew in it with Louie.
There was a special variant of the Junkers Ju-87 made for carrier service. The classification was the Ju-87C and it was made with folding wings for easy storage in an aircraft carrier. The carrier in question was the Graf Zepplin although it never reached completion.
My neighbor,Herman was a Stuka pilot. He said flying thousands of missions was not unusual since you were operating near the front. He was shot down six times and was taken prisoner by the Russians near the end of the war. He escaped and walked back to wher the Germans were.
There were no Churchill tanks in 1940 and for that matter Shermans either. There certainly was both these tanks on the Western and Eastern fronts throughout Europe from 43 onwards. They were not to bothered by Stukas on the Western front if at all.Leo you are great on aircraft I think you should leave fighting vehicles alone.
|Paul Squires, 25.09.2009|
I saw this aircraft, in the film Battle of Britain, they made a siren sound when diving. and Dinky toys produced a model of one with a bomb you could put a cap in and release it and it would bang!
it also faced Churchills used by the reds, the ju 87 was only used where the Germans could get air superiority. quote the 1969 film Battle of Britain "its like shooting rats in a barrel".
|Leo Rudnicki, 25.08.2009|
Oops! I forgot.
Ju-87 did face shermans on the east-front though Leo-Rudnicki, and i think this is a great plane but i believe the IL-2 was better. The Germans needed something else, it became to old
|Leo Rudnicki, 16.06.2009|
Shermans and Churchills were never bothered by Stukas because they did not operate in Europe after 1940 except in the Med in anti-shipping raids away from enemy fighters. Bodenplate was an airfield strike only. Steven is never right but he is extremely imaginitive, in an alternate history sense. Rudel survived only because he wore so many medals.
Of course it was effective against Shermans and Churchills, it was simly effective against any tank-the tank destroyers attack from the dive. so they can penetrate thin armour of the engine bay and turret top. Btw.: Dear Yankees, the real grandfather of your Warthog should be Il-2 Sturmovik
Anyone know where I can find a pic showing what is what on the instrument cluster? A game manual somewhere??
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?