Junkers Ju 52

The Junkers Ju 52 was a German transport aircraft manufactured from 1932 to 1945. It saw both civilian and military service during the 1930s and 1940s. In a military role, it flew with the Luftwaffe as a troop and cargo transport and briefly as a medium bomber. The Ju 52 continued in postwar service with military and civilian air fleets well into the 1980s. The Ju 52 was similar to the company's previous Junkers W33, although larger. In 1930, Ernst Zindel and his team designed the Ju 52 at the Junkers works at Dessau. The aircraft's unusual corrugated duralumin metal skin, pioneered by Junkers during World War I, strengthened the whole structure.




The Ju 52 had a low cantilever wing, the mid-section of which was built into the fuselage, forming its underside. It was formed around four pairs of circular cross section duralumin spars with a corrugated surface that provided torsional stiffening. A narrow control surface, with its outer section functioning as the aileron, and the inner section functioning as a flap, ran along the whole trailing edge of each wing panel, well separated from it. The inner flap section lowered the stalling speed and the arrangement became known as the Doppelfl├╝gel, or "double wing".

In 1934, Junkers received orders to produce a bomber version of the Ju 52/3m to serve as interim equipment for the bomber units of the still secret Luftwaffe until it could be replaced by the purpose designed Dornier Do 11. Two bomb-bays were fitted, capable of holding up to 1,500 kg (3,300 ) of bombs, while defensive armament consisted of two 7.92mm MG 15 machine guns, one in an open dorsal position, and one in a retractable "dustbin" ventral position, which could be manually winched down from the fuselage to protect the aircraft from attacks from below. The bomber could be easily converted to serve in the transport role. The Dornier Do 11 was a failure, however, and the Junkers ended up being acquired in much larger numbers than at first expected, with the type being the Luftwaffe's main bomber until more modern aircraft such as the Heinkel He 111, Junkers Ju 86 and Dornier Do 17 entered into service.

The Ju 52 first saw military service in the Spanish Civil War against the Spanish Republic. It was one of the first aircraft delivered to the fraction of the army in revolt in July 1936 as both a bomber and transport. In the former role, it participated in the bombing of Guernica. No more of the bomber variant were built after this war, though it was again used as a bomber during the bombing of Warsaw during the Invasion of Poland of September 1939. The Luftwaffe then relied on the Ju 52 for transport roles during World War II, including paratroop drops.


General characteristics
  • Crew: 3 (two pilots, radio operator)
  • Capacity: 18 troops or 12 litter patients
  • Length: 18.90 m (62 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 29.25 m (95 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 4.5 m (14 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 110.5 m² (1,190 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 6,510 kg (14,325 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 9,200 kg (20,270 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 10,990 kg (24,200 lb)
  • Powerplant: 3× BMW 132T radial engines, 533 kW (715 hp) each

Performance
  • Maximum speed: 265 km/h (165 mph) at sea level
  • Cruise speed: 211 km/h (132 mph)
  • Range: 870 km (540 mi)
  • Service ceiling: 5,490 m (18,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 17 minutes to 3,050 m (10,000 ft)

Armament
  • 1 × 13 mm (.51 in) MG 131 machine gun in a dorsal position
  • 2 × 7.92 mm (.312 in) MG 15 machine guns
  • 454 kg (1,000 lb) of bombs

** Junkers Ju 52 - Warbird Fare

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