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Junkers Ju.87 Stuka

Breda 201 Picchiatelli



The reputation of the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka (Sturzkampfflugzeug, or dive-bomber) was made during the Polish campaign in close-support operations across Europe. The Luftwaffe believed it to be virtually invincible, but this was true only after air superiority had been gained, as demonstrated during the Battle of Britain when the Stukas were mauled so severely by the RAF that they were later withdrawn from operations over western Europe.


Designed by Hans Pohlmann, the fuselage has a metal structure with top hat section stringers and stressed skin covered. The gull wings were two metal spars with a flush riveted stressed skin and fitted with double wing ailerons and flaps.


Three prototypes were started in 1934, the first with twin vertical tail surfaces and powered by a Rolls-Royce Kestrel V engine rated at 640 hp at 14,000 ft / 4267 m. This Ju 87 V1 was flown at Dessau in the late spring of 1935. During dive tests in 1935 the tail unit of this aircraft collapsed and the aircraft was destroyed. The second prototype, Ju 87 V2, introduced a single fin and rudder and was powered by a 455kW Junkers Jumo 210A, with which the flight test programme was resumed in the late autumn on 1935.
The Ju 87 V2 was powered by the intended Junkers Jumo 210Aa engine, rated at 610 hp at 8530 ft / 2600 m. This aircraft was fitted with dive brakes prior to its delivery to the Rechlin test centre of official ecaluation in March 1936. Attached beneath the wings just aft of the leading edges and outboard of the main undercarriage, these took the form of slats turning through 90 degrees. Prior to commencing the dive, the pilot had to throttle back the engine in order to close the cooling gills, switch over to the sea-level supercharger and turn the propeller to coarse pitch, a series of lines of inclination marked on the starboard front side screen of the cockpit enabling the pilot to estimate the dive angle by aligning the lines with the horizon.
The official evaluation of this aircraft and a further improved third prototype led to a pre-production batch of 10 Ju 87A-0 aircraft with the 477kW Jumo 210Ca engine. The initial Ju 87A-1 production version began to replace Hs 123 biplanes in the spring of 1937.
Ju 87A-1 of Stukageschwader 163 Immelmann in late 1937
The V3 and V4 protypes offered various refinements, the latter introducing a single 7.9mm MG 17 machine gun in the starboard wing and a crutch on swing links which, attached immediately aft of the radiator bath, lowered and swung the bomb, either 551 lb / 250 kg or 1102 lb / 500 kg, forward on release to ensure clearance of the propeller arc.
The first pre-series Ju 87A-0 dive bombers came off the Dessau assembly line before the end of 1936, 10 of these being followed by the series Ju 87A-1 early in 1937.
Late in 1937 three Ju 87A-1 dive-bombers of Stukageschwader 162 Immelmann were despatched to Spain for service under the Legion Condor. These aircraft were powered by the 477-kW (640-hp) Jumo 210Ca and were replaced in October 1938 by five examples of the Ju 87B-1, the first definitive variant of this dive-bomber series with a considerably more powerful engine, improved offensive armament, and revised structural and aerodynamic features including a recontoured fuselage, larger vertical surfaces, cantilever main landing gear units without the struts that braced the Ju 87A’s main units to the fuselage. These aircraft operated with Kampfgruppe 88 into early 1939, validating many of the dive-bomber’s tactical principles.
The Ju 87A-1 gave way to the A-2 with a Jumo 210Da engine of 680 hp for take-off in 1937, but by then a major re-design accommodated the Jumo 211A engine of 1000 hp for take-off.




The more powerful engine was installed in the pre-series Ju 87B-0, the Jumo 211A giving way in the series model, the Ju 87B-1, to the Jumo 211Da with direct fuel injection and an emergency take-off rating of 1200 hp. The substantial boost in power enabled the Ju 87B-1 to lift a 1102 lb / 500 kg bomb with both crew members in situ whereas the Ju 87A had only been able to carry this weapon when flown as a single-seater. An alternative warload consisted of a 551 lb / 250 kg bomb on the fuselage crutch and four 110 lb / 50 kg bombs on underwing racks. Forward firing armament was increased to two 7.9mm MG 17s with 500rpg, and a single 7.9 mm MG 15 was attached to a flexible mounting in the rear cockpit with 900 rounds.
Five of the first Ju 87B-1s were despatched to Spain in October 1938 with the same success as the Ju87A before them. With the transfer of the assembly line from Dessau to the Weser Flugzeugbau at Berlin-Tempelhof, production increased dramatically, exceeding 60 aircraft monthly by mid-1939, in which year 557 were to be delivered.
Ju 87B-1 of II Gruppe of Stukageschwader 77
At the beginning of World War II the Luftwaffe had 336 Ju 87B aircraft on strength, and others were supplied to Italy (which named them Picchiatello), Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. Nine Ju 98B-1 equipped Stukagruppen were included in the Luftwaffe order of battle on 1 September 1939, these possessing 336 aircraft of which 288 were serviceable. Only 31 Ju 87Bs were lost during Polish operations.
The Ju 87B-2 had succeeded the B-1 on the Weser assembly line late in 1939, this incorporating several refinements, such as a broad-bladed propeller, hydraulically-operated radiator cooling gills and ejector exhausts.
Manufactured in parallel was a longer-range Ju 87R, R for Reichweite or range, which, for extended-range missions such as anti-shipping, made provision for substantial addition fuel and oil.
The Polish campaign influenced boosted production and a total of 769 were built during 1940.


Breda also built a number of Junkers Ju 87Bs under license as the Breda 201 Picchiatelli before suspension of production soon after the Italian surrender.




Ju 87s were deployed extensively on the Eastern Front, initially with great success, but by 1943 they were suffering such severe losses by daylight that they were switched to a night assault role.


Ju-87G with the BK-37s


Later in the war a specialist anti-armour version was produced which brought havoc to the tank armies on the Russian Front.


Ju 87B


When production ended in September 1944 more than 5,700 had been built, the majority after 1940 when their vulnerability without adequate fighter cover had been highlighted in the Battle of Britain. A redesigned and improved Ju 187 was projected in 1943, but following consideration of the design no examples were built.
1939 – 134 B series
1940 – 603
1941 – 500 delivered
1942 – 960 delivered
1943 – 1672
1944 – 1012
Scale replicas:
Nessunov Ju-87B-2
Percival Proctor (modified)




Ju.87 V-1
cn 4921 – The first prototype flew for the first time on 17 Sept 1935 and was later possibly registered D-UBYR
Powered by a 640 hp Rolls Royce Kestrel and fitted with a fixed pitch two blade wooden propeller. Also with the vertical end plate tailplane surface. The aircraft was later destroyed in a crash due to tail flutter.
Length: 33 ft 1.25 in
Ju.87 V-2
cn 4922 – D-UHUH Powered by 610 hp Junkers Jumo 210A with a Hamilton Standard three blade variable pitch metal propeller. This time with the single vertical tail surfaces.
Length: 34 ft 10.75 in
Ju.87 V-3
cn 4923 – D-UKYQ – similar to the V-2
Fitted with special dive brakes under the wings
Length: 35 ft 3 in
Ju.87 V-4
cn 4924 – D-UBIP – with a larger vertical tail and flew for the first time on 20 Jun 1936
Armed with a 7.92mm MG 17 in the starboard wing
The prototype for the A-0 production series
Ju.87 V-5
cn 4925 – B-0 series prototype, first flew 14 Aug 1936
Ju.87 V-6
cn 0870027 – Powered by 1000 hp Junkers Jumo 211A
Also a B-0 series prototype, first flew 14 Jun 1937
Ju.87 V-7
cn 0870028 – Prototype for the B series which first flew on 23 Aug 1937
Powered by 1000 hp Junkers Jumo 211A
Ju.87 V-8
cn 4926 – First flew 11 Nov 1937
Ju.87 V-9
cn 4927 – D-IELZ – First flew 16 Feb 1938, later as WL-IELZ on 16 Oct 1939
Ju.87 V-10
cn 4928 – D-IHFH – First flew 17 Mar 1938
As a fixed wing test aircraft for the C series – TK+HD, as C-1
Ju.87 V-11
cn 4929 – TV+OV – First flew 12 May 1938
Folding wing test type for the C series, as C-0
Ju.87 V-15
cn 0870321 – D-IGDK
crashed during 1942
Ju.87 V-16
cn 0870279 – GT+AX
Ju.87 V-19
cn 4930 – VN+EN
used as a torpedo test aircraft for the E series types during 1941
Ju.87 V-21
cn 0870536 – D-INRF
D series prototype, first flew during February 1941
Ju.87 V-22
cn 0870540 – SF+TY
D series prototype, first flew on 1 March 1941
Ju.87 V-23
cn 0870542 – PB+UB
D series prototype, first flew during April 1941
Ju.87 V-24
cn 0870544 – BK+EE
D series prototype, first flew duringMay 1941
Ju.87 V-25
cn 0870538 – BK+EF
D series tropical variant prototype
Ju.87 V-30
cn 2296
D-5 prototype, first flew 20 June 1943
210 built
10 pre-production types, first flown November 1936
Engine: Junkers Jumo 210C, 600 hp
Prop: 10 ft 10 in two position adjustable
Ju 87A-1
Engine: Junkers Jumo 210Ca, 477-kW (640-hp).
Production type
Entered service with Sturkampfgeschwader Immelmann August 1937
Engine: Junkers Jumo 210Da, 635 hp
Max speed SL with bombload: 174 mph
Max speed 12,000ft: 199 mph
Max speed 13,120ft with bombload: 180 mph
Service ceiling: 22,960 ft
Range: 620 miles
Wingspan: 45 ft 3.25 in
Length: 35 ft 5 1/6 in
Height: 12 ft 9.5 in
Wing area: 343.38 sq.ft
Empty weight: 5104 lb
Loaded weight: 7496 lb
Armament: 1 x fixed 7.92mm MG 17, 1 x flexible 7.92mm MG 15,
Later armament: 2 x fixed 7.92mm MG 17, 1 x flexible 7.92mm win barrel MG 81z
Bombload: 1 x 550 lb bomb or 1100 lb (with one man crew)
Later bombload: 3968 lb, or 2 x pods of six MG 17 or 2 x 2cm MGFF cannon each, or 2 x packs of 92 – 4.4 lb anti-personnel bombs.
Sirens were also fitted to undercarriage fairings
Engine: Junkers Jumo 210Da, 680 hp
Larger vertical tail
200 delivered to Italy – known as Picchiatello
Evaluated by the Japanese
Supplied to Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania
Last B type produce during October 1940
Engine: Junkers Jumo 211A-1, 899 hp
Prop: controlable pitch 11 ft 5.75 in 3-blade
Length: 35.6 ft. (10.85 m.).
Wing span: 45.3 ft. (13.8 m.).
Weight empty: 6,085 lb. (2,760 kg.).
Armament: Two mg in wings, one in rear cockpit.
Bomb load: 1100 lb (500 kg.)
Max speed: 232 m.p.h. (373 km.p.h.).
Range: 370 miles (600 km.).
Crew: pilot & 1 gunner.

One aircraft trialled with 1475 hp Daimler-Benz DB 605 engine


Ten pre-production aircraft built 1938
Engine: Junkers Jumo 211A, 900 hp
1938 – fitted with larger canopy, re-designed cockpit and undercarriage wheel spats
Powerplant: 1 x Junkers Jumo 211Da, 895kW (1,200 hp).
Span: 13.8m (45ft 3.3 in).
Length: 11.1m (36ft 5in).
Max TO weight: 4340 kg (9,560 lb).
Max speed: 238 mph at 13,410 ft.
Max speed SL with bombload: 211 mph
Max speed 16,405ft: 217 mph
Cruise speed: 175 mph
Landing speed: 68 mph
Climb rate to 13,500 ft: 12 min
Service ceiling: 26,250 ft
Height: 12 ft 9.5 in
Wing area: 343.38 sq.ft
Empty weight: 6052 lb
Operational range: 490 miles.
Armament: 2 x 7.92mm Rheinmetall MG 17 mg in wings, 1 x 7.92mm MG 15 mg in rear cockpit
Bombload: 4 x 110 lb underwing racks & 1 x 551 lb or 1 x 1102 lb under fuselage
Ju.87B-1 / U-1
Standard variant
Ju.87B-1 / U-2
Alternative radio equipment
Ju.87B-1 / U-3
Additional armour
Ju.87B-1 / U-4
Similar to U-3 but ski undercarriage
Ju.87B-1 / Trop
Tropicalised variant
Fitted with automatic dive control
Modified undercarriage legs and hydraulically operated radiator cooling flaps
Later internal electrical equipment modified
Engine: Junkers Jumo 211Da, 1100 hp (1200 hp with fuel injection)
Prop: Junkers VS 5, 11 ft 1.75 in dia., 3-blade
Wing span: 45 ft 3.5 in (13.8 m).
Length: 36 ft 1 in (11.0 m).
Height: 12 ft 9.5 in (3.9 m).
Max speed SL with bombload: 211 mph
Cruise speed: 175 mph
Range 1100 lb load: 370 miles
Wing area: 343.38 sq.ft
Empty weight: 6063 lb
Loaded weight: 9321 lb / 11,023 lb max
Max level speed: 237 mph (380 kph).
Service ceiling: 26247 ft / 8000 m
Armament: 2 x 7.92mm Rheinmetall MG 17 mg in wings, 1 x 7.92mm MG 15 mg in rear cockpit
Bombload: 2200 lb (2200 lb as a single seater)
Crew: 2
87B’s converted for carrier ‘Graf Zeppelin’.
Strengthened, fitted with folding wings, arrester gear, jettisonable undercarriage, inflatable flotation bags under each wing and some carried a two seat rubber dingy.
One only, fitted with 88mm recoilless gun
Damaged while testing
Armed with two wing mounted MG 17 machine guns and an aft firung MG 15 machine gun.
Project abandoned and those being built converted to B-2s
Ground attack and dive bomber, two crew
Introduced during late 1940
Engine coolant radiator now under wing.
Oil coolant radiator replaces engine coolant radiator
Redesigned engine cowling, cockpit canopy, undercarriage fairings and improved armour protection.
Sirens fitted to undercarriage
Engine: Junkers Jumo 211J-1, 1350 hp
Propeller: VDM 3-blade controllable pitch
Wingspan: 45 ft 3.5 in
Length: 37 ft 8.75 in
Take-off weght: 12,600 lb
Max speed: 255 mph
Armament: 2 x 7.92mm MG 81 mg
Bombload: 1 x 1100 lb under fuselage or 1 x 550 lb under fuselage & 4 x 110 lb under wings
Some fitted with twin 37mm (flak) cannon, revised canopy, simplified landing gear and larger vertical tail.
Some 6000 built.


Engine: 1 x Junkers Jumo 211J-1, 1410 hp / 1051kW
Wingspan: 13.80 m / 45 ft 3 in
Length: 11.50 m / 37 ft 9 in
Height: 3.90 m / 12 ft 10 in
Wing area: 31.90 sq.m / 343.37 sq ft
Max take-off weight: 6600 kg / 14550 lb
Empty weight: 3900 kg / 8598 lb
Cruise speed: 195 mph
Endurance max load: 2 hr
Max endurance: 4 hr
Range 1100 lb load: 370 miles
Loaded weight: 12,600 lb normal / 14,550 lb max
Max. speed: 410 km/h / 255 mph at 12,600 ft / 3480 m
Service ceiling: 7300 m / 23,950 ft
Climb to 16,405 ft / 5000m: 19 min 49 sec
Range w/max.fuel: 1535 km / 954 miles
Armament: 4 x 7.92mm MG 81 mg
Bombload: 3968 lb / 1800 kg under fuselage
Crew: 2


Ju.87D-1 / Trop
Tropicalized with filters and desert survival equipment
Strengthened, sirens removed and fitted with glider towing equipment
Different armament and added armour protection
Trialled with over-wing passenger pods (pods to be released and descend by parachute – never tested)
Able to carry a torpedo
Armament: 6 x MG 81 in under-wing WB81 weapon containers.
Longer span, no dive brakes, jettisonable landing gear
Max speed: 250 mph
Service ceiling: 23,900 ft
Wingspan: 49 ft 2.5 in
Wing area:
Empty weight:
Loaded weight: 14,550 lb
Simplified version similar to D-5 – not produced
Night ground attack type
Engine: Junkers Jumo 211P, 1500 hp
Max speed 15,745ft: 248 mph
Cruise speed: 187 mph
Wingspan: 49 ft 2.5 in
Length: 37 ft 8.75 in
Height: 12 ft 9.5 in
Wing area: 362.6 sq.ft
Empty weight: 8690 lb
Loaded weight: 13,010 lb
Armament: 2 x 20mm MG 151 cannon in wings
Daytime version of D-7
Proposed two seat, catapult launched dive bomber. Able to carry bombs or torpedo. Not built.
Ju 87F
Experimental version with larger tyres, uprated engine
Modified airframe, greater wingspan
Engine: Junkers Jumo 213, 1750 hp
Ju 87G
Anti-tank variant of D-3, with dive brakes deleted during late 1942
Armament: 2 x 37mm BK (Flak 18) under wing cannon & 1 x 7.92mm MG 81 mg aft cockpit
Ju 87G-1
Anti-tank, glider tug, & transport duties
Entered service 1942
Engine: Junkers Jumo 221J-1, 1400 hp
Max speed: 195 mph
Cruise speed: 120 mph
Wingspan: 49 ft 2.5 in
Length: 37 ft 8.75 in
Height: 12 ft 9.5 in
Wing area: 362.6 sq.ft
Empty weight: 10,584 lb
Loaded weight: 14,550 lb


Ju 87G-2
Improved version
Ju 87H
Ju 87D converted as two seat dual trainers
Many had armament removed and bulged side blister pods in rear canopy
Ju 87R
Ju 87Bs converted to long range anti-ship
Entered service 1940
Engine: Junkers Jumo 211D
Ju 87R-1
Larger fuel tanks, 2 x 33 Gal drop tanks – outer wing position
Bombload: 1 x 551 lb
One trialled as cargo transport with container on main bomb crutch
Range: 875 miles
Ju 87R-2
Increased range
Ju 87R-3
Experimental glider tug with minor equipment changes
Ju 87R-4
Last R type, produced during October 1941
Engine: Junkers Jumo 211J









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