Aviation of World War II

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Long-range reconnaissance and transport aircraft


Ju-290A-4 at Orly Field Paris France 1945

The long-range naval reconnaissance and transport aircraft Junkers Ju 290 was redesigned from a Ju 90 passenger aircraft, in the conditions of the outbreak of World War II, the Luftwaffe needed a military transport aircraft. Its seventh prototype Ju 90 V7, which made its first flight in early 1941, was equipped with a descending ventral ramp, the tail section of the fuselage was raised by hydraulic cylinders of the descending ramp, thus making it possible to easily and quickly load military cargo and soldiers. The engines were replaced with more powerful BMW 801A, 1600 hp. This aircraft became the prototype for the first purely military version of the Ju 290A, which was followed by other aircraft modifications.

Ju 290 Modifications

  • Ju 290A-1 is a small series of transport aircraft designed to carry 48 soldiers with full weapons. BMW 801D engines (1700 hp) Defensive armament: two 20-mm MG FF cannons in turret mounts and nine 7.92-mm MG 15 machine guns.
  • Ju 290А-2 is a long-range reconnaissance variant, in 1943 three aircraft were converted from Ju 290А-1. These aircraft received a FuG 200 radar and an upper turret with 1 20-mm MG 151/20 cannon. Additional fuel tanks provided a range of 6,000 km.
  • Ju 290А-3 - reconnaissance variant. Engines BMW 801D (1700 hp) Small arms - 4 × 20-mm MG 151/20 cannons (one each in the two upper towers with a hydraulic drive, in the nose of the ventral nacelle and in the tail fuselage installation), 3 × 13.2 -mm MG 131 machine gun (one each in the tail section of the ventral nacelle and side windows). Crew - 7 people. Five aircraft manufactured.
  • Ju 290А-4 - engines and armament correspond to Ju 290А-3. There is no lowering ramp. The cockpit armor protection has been introduced. Five cars built.
  • Ju 290А-5 - BMW 801G engines (1700 hp). Introduced protection of fuel tanks. Machine guns in window installations were replaced by MG 151/20 cannons. The crew is nine people. Issued 11 units.
  • Ju 290А-6 - one car, made in a 50-seater passenger version.
  • Ju 290A-7 - The armament has been enhanced by the installation of an additional MG 151/20 cannon in the forward fuselage. Under the wing and fuselage, three holders are installed for the suspension of anti-ship guided missiles Hs 293 or guided bombs FX 1400 (suspension of conventional bombs with caliber up to 1000 kg is also possible). Since the summer of 1944, 19 (according to other sources, 13) aircraft have been built.
  • Ju-290A-8 differed from the A-7 by the installation of two more turrets with MG-151/20 cannons and a newly modified rear firing point. It was the most heavily armed version of the Ju-290 - the total armament was nine 20-mm MG-151/20 cannons and two 13-mm MG-131 machine guns, but in fact these improvements were not implemented in practice. Only two or three of the planned series of 10 aircraft were completed, one of which was captured by Soviet troops in May 1945 at the Ruzine airfield near Prague.
  • Ju 290A-9 - reconnaissance aircraft with increased range and reduced armament (3 x 20mm MG 151/20 cannons in the bow, tail mountings and upper turret). In the spring of 1944, 3 vehicles were built.

Modifications C, D and E were not serially built.

Junkers Ju 290 A5 Ju 290 A7
Crew 9
Wing, span, m 42.00
Length, m 28.60 29.10
Height, m 6,80
Wing area, m² 203,70
Weight, kg
Loaded weight 41,000 45,000
Gross weight 45,000 46,000
4 × PE ВMW-801D, power, hp 4 × 1700
Maximum speed, km/h 437 435
Cruising speed, km/h 360 350
Rate of climb, m/min 205 180
Service range, km 6100 6050
Service ceiling, m 6000
Photo Description

Drawing 290 A7/A8.

Junkers 290 A7 Nr FE 3400 on the ground and in flight.

Junkers 290 "Alles Kaputt" at the American air show.


  • "Aviation of Luftwaffe" /Viktor Shunkov/
  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/