Junkers Ju 87

Junkers Ju 87 Dive-Bombers
Junkers Ju 87 Dive-Bombers

The Junkers Ju 87 or Stuka was the most famous Sturzkampfflugzeug (German dive bomber) in World War II, instantly recognisable by its inverted gull-wings and fixed undercarriage.

The Stuka's design featured some innovative features, including an automatic pull-up system to ensure that the plane recovered from its attack dive even if the pilot blacked out from the high acceleration, and wind-powered sirens on the wheel covers that wailed during dives to scare its victims. (A similar technique is shown in the movie Apocalypse Now). Its rugged fixed undercarriage allowed it to land and take-off from improvised airstrips close to the battlefront, giving close support to the advancing German forces.

The Stuka was sturdy, accurate, and very effective, but also slow, unmaneuverable, underarmed, and vulnerable to enemy fighters. The Germans learned in the Battle of Britain that air superiority must be obtained before ground attack aircraft could be effectively used. After the Battle of Britain, the Stuka was little used in western Europe, but it remained effective further south where Allied fighters were in short supply (notably in the attacks on Crete and Malta), and was used in vast numbers on the Eastern Front, although the steady rise in Soviet airpower as the war progressed meant that Stuka squadrons suffered very heavy losses.

More than six thousand Ju 87 were built between 1936 and August 1944.

Hans-Ulrich Rudel was the most notable Stuka ace, and in fact the most highly decorated German soldier of the war.

General Characteristics

(Models not listed include the Ju 87C naval derivative of the Ju 87B, intended for use on the aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin; the Ju 87E naval derivative of the Ju 87D; the Ju 87R long-range version of the Ju 87B; the Ju 87H disarmed versions of the equivalent D-models for use as trainers; the Ju 87K export models; the Ju 87D-5/D-6 with increased wing span.)

Ju 87AJu 87BJu 87DJu 87G
Production1936-19381938-19411941-1944refitted Ju 87D
Roleground attackground attackground attacktank-buster
Length (m)10.8 m11.1 m11.1 m11.1 m
Wingspan (m)13.8 m13.8 m13.8 m13.8 m
Height (m)3.9 m3.9 m3.9 m3.9 m
Wing area (m²)31.90 m²31.90 m²31.90 m²31.90 m²
Empty weight (kg)2273 kg2760 kg2810 kg3600 kg
Maximum weight (kg)3324 kg4400 kg5720 kg5100 kg
EngineJunkers Jumo 210DJumkers Jumo 211DaJunkers Jumo 211JJunkers Jumo 211J
Maximum Power (hp)720 hp 1200 hp 1410 hp1410 hp
Maximum Power (kW)530 kW883 kW1037 kW1037 kW
Maximum speed (km/h)310 km/h340 km/h354 km/h344 km/h
Dive speed (km/h)550 km/h600 km/h600 km/h
Range with bombs (km)800 km600 km1165 km1000 km
Ceiling (m)9430 m8100 m9000 m7500 m
Climb3000 m in 8.8 min3000 m in 14 min3000 m in 13.6 min
Forward guns1×7.92 mm MG 172×7.92 mm MG 172×7.92 mm MG 172×7.92 mm MG 17
2×37 mm BK 37
Rear guns1×7.92 mm MG 151×7.92 mm MG 151×7.92 mm MG 81Z
(twin MG 81)
1×7.92 mm MG 81Z
(twin MG 81)
Maximum Bombs (kg)250 kg500 kg1800 kgnone
Typical Bombs (kg)1×250 kg1×250 kg
+ 4×50 kg
1×500/1000 kg
+ 4×50 kg

-> The Ju 87A was able to carry a single 500 kg bomb but only without the rear gunner and at short ranges.
-> The Ju 87B might have been able to carry a single 1000 kg bomb but only without rear gunner and at short ranges.
-> The Ju 87D was able to carry this huge bomb load only at short ranges.
-> The Ju 87D-5 increased wing span to 15.00 m and replaced the MG 17 with two MG 151/20 cannons to improve ground attack capability.

External links

Related content
Related Development

Ju 187 Ju 287

Similar Aircraft
Designation Series

Ar 81 - Ju 85 - Ju 86 - Ju 87 - Ju 88 - Ju 89 - Ju 90

Related Lists

List of military aircraft of Germany - List of bomber aircraft

Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

de:Junkers Ju 87 fr:Junkers Ju 87 it:Junkers Ju 87 nl:Stuka ja:Ju87 pl:Junkers Ju 87 fi:Ju 87 sv:Junkers Ju 87 Stuka


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