Junkers Ju-187

During the battle of Britain it became painfully obvious that the much praised Ju-87 Stuka was badly outdated. The aircraft was too slow and ponderous to survive a confrontation with modern fighter aircraft.

So in 1941 the RLM asked Junkers to design a successor to the Ju-87, to be named Junkers Ju-187. The first proposal of Junkers was for a very radical design featuring a rotating tail unit. This would give the rear gunner an unobstructed field of fire.

The downside of this design was its complexity. Also calculations showed that the performance would harly be better than that of the Ju-87.

Therefore Junkers went back and created a new design. This new design still retained a gull wing like the Ju-87 although less pronounced. The design was centered around a BMW-801 engine and had an internal bomb bay.

During October 1941 three prototypes were ordered the first of which flew in July 1942. The aircraft proved to be very fast and manoeuvrable, even though it was large.

Flight testing progressed without any problems and the first series production Ju-187A's were delivered to the Luftwaffe in February 1943. They were used operationally on the Eastern Front with great success. The aricraft was a lot faster than the Ju-87 and was nasty surpise to the Sobiet fighter pilots.

In June 1944 a number of Ju-187s were used to combat the Allied invasion in Normandy and they played a big role in repelling the invaders before they could establish a bridge head.

 

Last updated: 02/07/2014