Junkers Ju 87 Stuka

The Junkers Ju 87 Stuka (from Sturzkampfflugzeug, "dive bomber") was a two-seat (pilot and rear gunner) German ground-attack aircraft. Designed by Hermann Pohlmann, the Stuka first flew in 1935 and made its combat debut in 1936 as part of the Luftwaffe's Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War.

The aircraft was easily recognizable by its inverted gull wings, fixed spatted undercarriage and its infamous Jericho-Trompete ("Jericho Trumpet") wailing siren, becoming the propaganda symbol of German air power and the "Blitzkrieg" victories of 1939–1942. The Stuka's design included several innovative features, including automatic pull-up dive brakes under both wings to ensure that the aircraft recovered from its attack dive even if the pilot blacked out from the high acceleration. Although sturdy, accurate, and very effective, the Ju 87 was vulnerable to modern fighter aircraft, like many other dive bombers of the war. Its flaws became apparent during the Battle of Britain; poor manoeuvrability, lack of speed and defensive armament meant that the Stuka required heavy fighter escort to operate effectively.

The Stuka operated with further success after the Battle of Britain, and its potency as a precision ground-attack aircraft became valuable to German forces in the Balkans Campaign, the African and Mediterranean Theaters and the early stages of the Eastern Front campaigns where Allied fighter resistance was disorganised and in short supply. Once the Luftwaffe had lost air superiority on all fronts, the Ju 87 once again became an easy target for enemy fighter aircraft. In spite of this, because there was no better replacement, the type continued to be produced until 1944. By the end of the conflict, the Stuka had been largely replaced by ground-attack versions of the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, but was still in use until the last days of the war. An estimated 6,500 Ju 87s of all versions were built between 1936 and August 1944.

General Characteristics
  • Crew: 2
  • 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)
  • Wing area: 31.90 m² (343.37 ft²)
  • 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)
  • Powerplant: 1× Junkers Jumo 211D liquid-cooled inverted-vee V12 engine, 1200 PS (1184 hp, 883 kW)
  • Propellers: Three-blade Junkers VS 5 propeller

  • Never exceed speed: 600 km/h (373 mph)
  • Maximum speed: 390 km/h @ 4,400 m (242 mph @ 13,410 ft)
  • Range: 500 km (311 mi) with 500 kg (1,102 lb) bomb load
  • Service ceiling: 8,200 m (26,903 ft) with 500 kg (1,102 lb) bomb load

  • 2× 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 17 machine gun forward
  • 1× 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 15 machine gun to rear
  • 1× 250 kg (551 lb) bomb beneath the fuselage normal load
  • 2× 50 kg (110 lb) bombs underneath each wing.

** Junkers Ju 87 Stuka - Warbird Fare

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