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Junkers Ju.390


junkju390


The German Junkers Ju 390 long range heavy bomber aircraft design was intended to be able to strike at locations along the east coast of the United States during World War 2. The Ju 390 itself was a further development of the Junkers Ju 290 and was also tasked to fulfill the roles of maritime reconnaissance and transport in addition to its bombing duties. The Ju 390 - also known under the unofficial name of "New York Bomber" - was developed as two working prototypes, effectively making the idea of transatlantic bombing theoretically possible for Hitler and his Luftwaffe. The Ju 390 was part of the failed "Amerika Bomber" project considered by the Germans, this including the Messerschmitt Me 264 and Focke-Wulf Ta 400 designs.

The Junkers Ju 390 heavy bomber appeared when general German wartime philosophy was still centered around medium-class bomber aircraft. Full developmental resources were never really delegated to the Ju 390 project en mass and the entire program was slow. With origins in the Ju 290 airframe, the Ju 390 basically saw its wings lengthened via extensions fitted to help accommodate the additional engines (three to a wing for a total of six installations). The fuselage was also applicably lengthened for the long-range bombing role. Defense was supplied by a pair of 13mm machine guns in a gondola position as well as 2 x 13mm machine guns in beam positions. A pair of 20mm cannons would have been mounted to a dorsal turret and a single 20mm cannon would have been installed in the tail. Crew accommodations would have amounted to ten personnel made up of the flight crew and dedicated gunners. The heavy transport model was given the proposed designation of Ju 390A-1 while the maritime patrol and long-range heavy bombers would have been assigned Ju 390B and Ju 390C respectively.

Power for the Ju 390 V01 prototype was supplied by 6 x BMW 801D radial piston engines, of 1,730 hp. Maximum speed was listed at 314 miles per hour with a range of approximately 6,030 miles. The service ceiling was a reported 19,700 feet. Empty weight was in the vicinity of 87,100lbs while maximum take-off weight topped at 166,400lbs. The Ju 390 maintained a length of 112 feet, 2 inches with a span of 165 feet, 1 inch. Her height was 22 feet, 7 inches.

First flight for a Ju 390 V1 prototype occurred on October 20, 1943, and Ju 390 V2 was also flown in October of 1943 with testing believed having gone into 1945.

An initial order of 26 Ju 390s were ordered for serial production, however, the program was cancelled in June of 1944 to allocate critical wartime resources and development to other more pressing projects. Pparticularly those of defensive in nature. The Ju 390 was officially strickened from Luftwaffe contention in 1945. Ju 390 V1 was destroyed on the ground by the Germans as the American Army closed in on the development facility.

A test flight of a Ju 390 is said to have taken the aircraft from Brest, France, to within 200 miles of New York city, and returned.

In the fall of 1944, Japanese authorities were granted local production rights to the Ju 390, though none were ever started before the Empire capitulated in August of 1945.

Junkers Ju 390 V1 (New York Bomber)
Engines: 6 x BMW 801D radial, 1268kW.
Length: 112.20ft (34.2m)
Width: 165.03ft (50.30m)
Height: 22.60ft (6.89m)
Empty Weight: 87,083lbs (39,500kg)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 166,449lbs (75,500kg)
Maximum Speed: 314mph (505kmh; 273kts)
Maximum Range: 6,027miles (9,700km)
Service Ceiling: 19,685ft (6,000m)
Armament proposed:
2 x 13mm MG 131 machine gun in gondola
2 x 13mm MG 131 machine guns in waist beam positions.
2 x 20mm MG 151/20 cannons in dorsal turret
1 x 20mm MG 151/20 cannon in tail gun position
Crew: 10

 


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