Junkers Ju 87 Stuka


Junkers Ju 87B (28 kb)
A Junkers Ju 87B of the I. Gruppe, Stukageschwader 1 during the French campaign in 1940.
Stuka is a short version of the german word Sturzkampfflugzeug, which designated all dive bombers. The name stuck especially to the most famous of them, the Junkers Ju 87.

The Ju 87 held a major role in the Blitzkrieg that swept across Poland, northern Europe and France. However, during the battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe realized how vulnerable the Stuka was when air superiority had not yet been achieved; for a Hurricane or Spitfire pilot, the Stukas were nothing but slow and easy targets, and the Ju 87s had to be withdrawn from operation over British ground because of heavy losses.

However, on the Russian front, the Ju 87 had a successful second life, especially as an anti-tank weapon.


Development

Junkers Ju 87B
Engine Junkers Jumo 211Da, liquid-cooled inverted V12 1,200 hp
Weight empty: 2,760 kg (6,085 lb) - with full load: 4,400 kg (9,700 lb)
Armament Two wing-mounted 7.92 mm guns, plus another for the rear gunner
Ordnance One 500 kg (1,100 lb) bomb, plus four 50 kg (110 lb) bombs under the wings
Performance Max speed: 390 km/h (242 mph) Ceiling: 8,100 m (26,575 ft)
Junkers Ju 87D Junkers Ju 87D
Engine Junkers Jumo 211J, liquid-cooled inverted V12 1,300 hp
Weight empty: 2,760 kg (6,085 lb) - with full load: 5,720 kg (12,610 lb)
Armament Two wing-mounted 7.92 mm guns, plus two for the rear gunner
Ordnance One bomb up to 1000 kg (2,200 lb), or three 250 kg (550 lb) bombs
Performance Max speed: 402 km/h (250 mph) Ceiling: 7,320 m (24,015 ft)

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