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Ju 388 Störtebeker

High-altitude Multipurpose Aircraft


Ju-388 V3

The Junkers Ju 388 Störtebeker is a high-altitude multipurpose aircraft of the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. In 1943, it was planned to create three of its main variants: the Ju 388J high-altitude all-weather fighter, the Ju 388K high-altitude bomber, and the Ju 388L high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft.

The Ju 388 differed from its predecessors in that, intended for high-altitude flights, it had a pressurized cabin for the crew. Designed at the end of the war, the Ju 388 was produced in limited quantities amid production problems and deteriorating martial law.

Ju 388 J

Ju 388 J-1
  • Heavy fighter interceptor
  • First flight: 1944
  • Junkers

The creation of a high-altitude night all-weather interceptor on the basis of the Ju 388 was probably not caused by the need for such an aircraft, since the Luftwaffe already received, however, in a very limited number, an excellent night interceptor He 219 "UHU".

Power plant. All three prototypes received air-cooled engines BMW 801TJ with turbochargers, which developed 1410 hp at an altitude of 12,300 m. and giving 60 kg of exhaust thrust. They were also planned to be installed on serial Ju 388J-1. Deliveries of the latter were planned to begin in January 1945, but the situation in the war forced to curtail all work a month before the start of production. By that time, from March 1945, it was planned to produce Ju 388J-2, which differed only in the installation of a tail rifle installation with a periscope. In parallel, it was planned to produce Ju 388J-3 with liquid-cooled Jumo 213E-1 engines with an injection system of a water-methanol mixture. Two 150-liter tanks for the MW 50 mixture were to be placed in the wing, as well as a dumped tank of 725 liters.

Ju 388 J-1 Specification
Crew 4
Wing span, m 22.00
Length, m 16.30
Height, m 4.35
2 × radial BMW-801 ТJ, power h.p. 2 × 1800
Weight, kg:
Empty 10,400
Gross weight 14,700
Maximum speed, km/h 580
Cruising speed, km/h 535
Maximum rate of climb. m/min 380
Service ceiling, m 13,000
Flight duration, hour min 4.45

Armament. Two MG-151/20 cannons with 180 rounds per barrel and two 30-mm MK-108 cannons with 110 rounds per barrel in the lower fairing, two MG-151/20 cannons 200 rounds per barrel at the rear of the fuselage, at an angle of 70 ° to the horizon.

The FA tail mount was guided using a PVE 11 periscope, providing a 60° horizontal and 45° vertical view. A spark of 13 mm MG 131 machine guns in the installation had 600 rounds of ammunition. The delay in fine-tuning this setup affected the production of the Ju 388J. The first production model, the J-1, was decided to be produced without it, while the second and third prototype Ju 388 V4 and V5 fighters were also delivered without the FA 15. These aircraft were slightly different from the V2. They received a Shrage Muzyk installation from two 20-mm MG 151 cannons with 200 rounds per barrel. The guns could fire at an angle of 70 ° to the horizon. The Liechtenstein radar was replaced by a FuG 218 Neptune, the antenna of which was partially covered by a wooden fairing. There was also a radiation receiver for the British H2S radar - FuG 350 "Naxos" -Z. In addition, an additional antenna was installed in the tail section. The equipment included FuG 10 and FuG 16ZY radios, FuG 101a radio altimeter, PeGe 6 radio compass, and FuB 12 landing system receiver.

Photo Description
Drawing Ju 388 L-1

Drawing Ju 388 J-2

Ju 388 K

High Altitude Bomber

Ju-388 K-0

The prototype of the Ju 388-V3 bomber appeared almost simultaneously with the first fighter in January 1944. It received the same wooden ventral fairing as the Ju 388L-1, which made it possible to take at short distances up to 3 tons of bombs. The normal bomb load consisted of one 2t bomb or two 1000kg bombs. For defense, the Ju 388K was planned to be equipped with an FA-15 tail mount, although it was not actually installed on the first prototype aircraft and 10 pre-production Ju 388K-0s, which began leaving the assembly line in Dessau in July 1944.

Ju 388 K Specification
Crew 4
Wing span, m 22.00
Length, m 16.30
Height, m 3.60
2 × radial BMW-801 ТJ, power h.p. 2 × 1800
Maximum speed, km/h 610
Cruising speed, km/h 565
Service ceiling, m 12,850
Service range, km 1,770

Armament. Two 20-mm MG-151/20 cannons, one 13-mm MG-131 machine gun, bomb load - up to 2000 kg, maximum - up to 3000 kg.

Ju 388 L-1

High-altitude Reconnaissance Aircraft

Ju-388 L-1

Experimental vehicles of all three main Ju 388 models were ordered using Ju 188 units. Priority was given to the reconnaissance option. In fact, only this modification reached mass production, but in fact they managed to release about a dozen Ju 388L reconnaissance aircraft.

Serial Ju 388L-1 differed slightly from the installation batch. The wooden three-bladed propeller was replaced by a metal four-bladed VDM. To warn of attacks from behind, a FuG-217 "Neptun" locator was installed in the tail section. A large wooden fairing, modeled on the Ju 388K bomber, was installed under the fuselage, which housed cameras and an additional fuel tank.

Ju 388 L-1 Specification
Wing span, m 22.00
Length, m 15.20
Height, m 4.35
2 × radial BMW-801 ТJ, power h.p. 2 × 1800
Weight, kg:
Loaded weight 13,825
Gross weight 14.700
Maximum speed, km/h 413
Cruising speed, km/h 560
Maximum rate of climb, m/min 410
Service ceiling, m 13450
Service range, km 2,940
Service range, km, with 900 l tanks, km 3460

Armament. Two 13-mm MG-131 machine guns with 600 rounds per barrel in a remotely controlled installation in the fuselage tail.

Deliveries of Ju 388L-1 began in October 1944 from Merseburg. The following month, Veser began to produce them in Bremen. Although by the time the Ju 388L-1 was delivered, almost all problems with the remote installation of the FA-15 were almost resolved, tests showed that at high speed the deflection of the cannon barrels did not correspond to the line of sight through the PVE-11 bishop. As a result, the technicians put a third MG-131 machine gun in the right part of the rear glazing of the cockpit, and a fourth crew member was brought in to service it.

Ju 388L-3 differed from the L-1 in the installation of Jumo-213E-1 engines with the MW-50 injection system and with four-blade wooden VS-19 propellers. By the end of the year, the plant in Merseburg delivered 37 Ju 388L reconnaissance planes, including one or two experimental L-3s in November 1944. The Vesera plant produced five L-1s in November, and five more in December. The sharp deterioration of the situation in the war forced the production of a reconnaissance officer to be stopped at both factories. At the end of 1944, several Ju 388s were delivered to the 3rd squadron of the test unit of the Luftwaffe, but they never made it to the combat squadrons.

Photo Description
Drawing Ju 388 L-1

Drawing Ju 388 L-1


  • Night fighter Junkers Ju 388J / Andrey Firsov. AiK /
  • Luftwaffe Aviation / V.N. Shunkov /
  • Wings of the Luftwaffe (combat aircraft of the Third Reich) / William Greene. /