Junkers Ju87-V1 Prototype with double tail
The development of a dive bomber for Luftwaffe was strongly influenced by Ernst Udet.
Already in 1931 Udet flew the U.S. Curtiss F6 dive bomber and he became interested in using this
aircraft for his flight shows. In 1933 Udet bought two of these dive bombers with the support of the newly
formed Nazi Government. These two aircraft were tested by Udet at Rechlin in 1934. While Wolfram von
Richthofen, the brother of WW I Fighter Ace Manfred von Richthofen and the development manager
of the Reichsluftfahrtministry, was not convinced by the utilization of dive bombers, Udet gained the support
of Goering and in 1935 two requests for proposals were send to the German Aviation Industry:
a single-seated light dive bomber
Fiesler Fi 98 with a BMW132A
Henschel HS123 with BMW123A (winner of the competition)
Hamburger Flugzeugbau Ha137 with Jumo 210C
Heinkel He50 with SAM 22B
a double-seated heavy dive bomber
Arado Ar81 with Jumo 210C
Heinkel He118 with DB600
Junkers Ju87 with Jumo 210C
The original Ju87 design was already started by
Pohlmann in early 1934 due to an early Luftwaffe request for a successor of the older Heinkel He50 dive bomber.
A lot of experiences of dive bomber techniques were transfered from the K47 design and in early 1935
the design was finally adapted to the new Luftwaffe proposal for the heavy dive bomber.
The prototype Ju87V1 (c/n 4921) flew first on September, 17th 1935 with Willi Neuenhofen.
This aircraft was equipped with a 385kW Rolls Royce Krestel engine as the Jumo 210 was
not available at the time of the first flight. The prototype also was equipped with a twin tail unit. On January 24th 1936 Neuenhofen
crashed with the prototype during dive experiments. Neuenhofen and a developement engineer were killed during that crash.
One month later the second prototype V2 became available. The tail unit, which failed on V1 during dive, was changed to
that of the K47 on the V2. The V2 is also already equipped with the final Jumo 210. The further flight tests of the Ju87 were
performed by Hesselbach. A further two prototypes V3 and V4 were built during 1936
Between May and July 1936 the three competiting aircraft were tested at Rechlin by Udet himself. While the Ar81 was withdrawn
from the selection due to its instable tail unit, Udet favorised the Heinkel He118. But during a test flight, Udet crashed with the
Heinkel He118V1 at Marienehe on July 27th 1936 and therefore finally decided for the Junkers Ju87 design. A total of 10 initial
preseries Ju87A0s were built during the second half of 1936 and in 1937 the Ju87A1 production series was launched. In late 1937
three of this initial Ju87A1 were sent to Legion Condor in Spain for tests under wartime conditions. The results of these
three Ju87s convinced the leaders of Luftwaffe.
In 1938 a further improved Ju87B went into production. This version was equipped with the Jumo 211Da
and it got a modified wing and fuselage outlook. Special versions of the B2 were developed for different kinds of tasks. The Ju87B2U2 got
a strengthened armor against ground fire, while the Ju87B2U4 had skies for snow landings at the Eastern front. Special versions for
missions in tropical regions were available as Ju87B2trop and the Ju87R was a long range version with additional tanks for attacks
of sea targets. Nevertheless, it seems as if these sea versions were not built.
Another subtype of the Ju87B was the Ju87C, which
was originally a B2 with retractable wings for use on board of Germany's sole aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin. A few Ju87C were
built, but when the Graf Zeppelin project was later abondened, these Ju87C were rebuilt as Ju87B2s. The Ju87B was the
backbone of Germany's dive bomber force at the beginning of WWII. It was built until 1942.
As the experiences of the Battle of England in 1940 had shown, the Ju87B2 was to slow and it was an easy to hit target.
In 1940 a complete redesign of the Ju87 was performed. The Ju87D got a new aerodynamic fuselage and cockpit roof
and the main gear was redesigned. The Ju87D was also equipped with the stronger Jumo 211J engine.
This aircraft was better armored than the B2 and it was able to take up more g-force. This made
the Ju87 capable for a new kind of mission as a battle aircraft. The Ju87D was delivered to the front units in 1942 and became
the Ju87 subtype of which most Ju87 were built. While the first D-series were still designed as dive bombers, the later versions
were more and more redesigned as battle aircraft with stronger armours and heavier bomb loads.
Further improvements were made on the Ju87F in 1941, which got a strengthened undercarriage and an enlarged
unfolded wing as well as the more powerfull Jumo 213-A1. Nevertheless the RLM was not
interested in that version.
Finally some Ju87Ds were converted to a new Ju87G standard, which were used for tank attacks.
They were equipped with two BK37 Flak guns. As the G-Version was no longer used as a dive bomber, the Ju87-G did not have
any dive brakes. The G1-Series were converted from Ju87-D3, while the G2-Series modified from the longer D5-Series.
The Ju87H was also converted from the Ju87D standard. They were
used for blind flying trainings. In 1944 the last Ju87 were built before the production was stopped.
Junkers Ju187 Model
As the Ju87 was not strong and powerfull enough for the new demands of air war, Junkers started a complete new design
of the Ju87 in 1942. The Ju 187 got a new wing and tail unit as well as an retractable
undercarriage. This Ju187 should became about 100km/hrs faster than the older Ju87, while it was able to take onboard
additional 2000kg military payload. But like the Ju87F, also the Ju187 project was stopped by RLM in 1943 and none was built.
Some Ju87s were also built for current countries. In 1937 two Ju87K1 were delivered to Japan. These were converted Ju87A1s.
In 1940 another two Ju87B2 were delivered to Hungary as Ju87K2. Additional four Ju87A1 were also taken over by the Hungarian
air force in 1942. The license production of 26 Ju87B2 was planned at the
facilities of Manfred Weiss, Budapest, but later stopped. A total of 12 Ju87R2 were planned for delivery to Bulgaria
in 1941 as Ju87K3, but finally these aircraft went to Luftwaffe. During WWII some Luftwaffe Ju87s were transfered to air forces
in Bulgaria, Italy, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary. The final Ju87 utilization took place in Czechoslovakia after WWII.
The Czech Air Force had taken over some Ju87D5s after the end of the war and used them as B37s for some years.
While the first Ju87 serial aircraft were built at Dessau, Junkers Flugzeugwerke were asked to increase the monthly
output of this aircraft by the RLM. In 1937 it became obvious, that the existing facilities at Dessau would not be able
to fullfill this request, when the Ju88 serial production would start. Therefore the serial production of the Ju87 was
transfered to Weserflug GmbH at Bremen and Lemwerder in December 1937. Since 1942 the Ju87 production
of the Weserflug GmbH was transfered to Berlin-Tempelhof, where the new airport building was used as the production
hangar. A total of 6513 Ju87 were built between 1936 and August 1944. Just 583 of these were built at Junkers Flugzeugwerke
Jumo 211D (880kW)
Jumo 211J (1043kW)
Jumo 213A (1285kW)
Jumo 211J (1043kW)
Jumo 211J (1043kW)
*) D-version also with 15 meters span.
Ju87A0, Jumo 210Ca (470kW), 10 preseries aircraft built in 1936
Ju87A1, Jumo 210D (530kW), serial production since 1937
Ju87A2, Jumo 210Da (530kW), serial production line in 1938, about 200 built
Ju87B0, Jumo 211A1 (735kW), preseries built by Weserflug at Tempelhof in 1938, 10 built
Ju87B1, Jumo 211Da (880kW), new fuselage and wing, 952 built in 1937/1938
Ju87B2, Jumo 211Da built by Weserflug since 1939 slightly modified B1. Ju87B2Trop for tropical regions
Ju87B2U2, strengthened armor
Ju87B2U4, with skies for Eastern front
Ju87C, air carrier version for Graf Zeppelin with retractable wings, 5 built in 1938, B2-standard
Ju87D, Jumo 211J-1 (1043kW) with complete aerodynamical redesign
Ju87D1, front replacement of B2 since 1942 with larger wing and stronger undercarriage
Ju87D2, as D1 with stronger weapons, projected only
Ju87D3, with stronger armor
Ju87D4, torpedo aircraft, similar to D3
Ju87D5, increased span (15 meters), modified undercarriage and dive brake
Ju87D7, as D1 with longer span (15 meters) for night missions
Ju87D8, as D3 with longer span (15meters) and stronger weapons
Ju87F, Jumo 213, projected in 1941 with larger span, stronger undercarriage and Jumo 213, not built
Ju87G1, Jumo 211J1, tank attack aircraft, rebuilt from D3
Ju87G2, combat and tank attack aircraft, rebuilt from D5
Ju87H, training aircraft, rebuilt from D series (H1 to H8 rebuilt from D1 to D8)
Ju87K1, export version for Japan, 2 built in 1937, similar to A1
Ju87K2, export version for Hungary, 2 built in 1940 from B2, licence production at Weiss in Budapest
Ju87K3, export version for Bulgaria, 12 built in 1941 from R1
Ju87K4, export version for Hungary, 4 built in 1942 from A1
Ju87R, long range version with additional fuel tanks, based on B2
Ju87T, torpedo aircraft, projected only
Ju187, complete redesign with retractable undercarriage, Jumo 213 of 1942
B37, designator used after WWII by Czechoslovakian Airforce for ex Ju87D
Further Reading at other Sites:
Junkers Ju82 (extensive site about Ju87, photos, infos, data in Polish)
German Planes and Specifications (Ju87-D Page with interesting illustrations)
Stukageschwader 77 (with lots of infos about dive bombing)
Junkers Ju87 Stuka (Czech site with lots of photos)
Rod's Warbirds (photos of Ju87 in Action)
Articulo Ju87 C.M.P.R. (about Italian Ju87, Manuals)
Glidersusa (with a Ju87 Paper Plane Sheet)
Junkers Ju.87 Picchiatello (color schemes from Italy)
Luftwaffe 39-45 (Brazil site with background history)
Luftwaffe Resource Page (Scott Rose, detailled descriptions, lots of images)
Luft'46 (Dan Johnson, Images/Text/Data of Ju187 Project!)
Unsere Luftwaffe (color profiles and photos, text)
Die Luftwaffe (detailled review of Ju87, images, subtype descriptions)
Ted's ADC Collection (ADC Charts for Ju87-Dx)
Ferenc Vajda (Highly detailled Ju87 review, sorry in Hungarian)
Stof's Stuka Page (Christophe "stof" Arribat, detailled subtype review, images)
Luftwaffe Night Fighter Ressource Page (text about night fighter operations of Ju87)
Tadeusz Dobrewecki's Page, 2 (b+w drawings of Hungarian Ju87 schemes, photos)
Canadian Aces Home Page (brief description and image)
The Battle of Britain (text and Realplayer video of Ju87)
Panzer Page (brief description and color photos)
Tolky's Airzone (review of Ju87)
Spanish Civil War Aircraft (scroll down for Ju87 color profile)
The Great Planes (photos, infos, data of Ju87)
1st May 2003
The Hugo Junkers Homepage
© Horst Zoeller, Germany, July 1996
visitors since October 2000
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