Aviation of World War II

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Dive Bomber


Ju 87D3

Initially, the new dive bomber was developed under the Jumo 211F engine, but the engine could not achieve the required performance. In the spring of 1940, a new Jumo 211J-1 engine was ready, to increase power, an improved centrifugal supercharger was installed on the engine, an intermediate radiator was installed, and gas and fuel injection control was completely redone. As a result, the engine developed almost 1400hp on takeoff.

On the aircraft, the capacity of the internal fuel tanks was increased, as in the R modification, the tanks were protected with a rubber sponge, which tightened holes from bullets to 12 mm.

The second task was to maximize the aerodynamics of the aircraft. To do this, the oil cooler was moved under the engine, in place of the glycol one, and the latter, divided into two parts, was placed under the wing, covered with armor plates from below. For the same purposes, the cab and chassis fairings were changed. Double struts supporting the tail unit were placed in aluminum fairings.

We improved the protection of the crew as much as possible with 4-10 mm armor plates and strengthened the armament - the radio operator was armed with a twin MG 81Z of 7.92 mm caliber. The windshield and glass of the blister unit were made of 50 mm bulletproof glass. The lower part of the fuselage was reinforced and new pylons were installed to carry bombs weighing up to 1800 kg. True, in a combat situation, the “pieces” never had to fly with such a load, usually bombs weighing 250 kg or 500 kg were hung on the plane under the fuselage and four 50 kg under the wing. Less often, a 1000-kg high-explosive bomb SC 1000 or an armor-piercing PC 1400kg was suspended.

Ju-87D-1 1942

There were seven modifications of the Ju-87D - from Ju-87D-1 to Ju-87D-8, including a glider tug (Ju-87D-2) and a night attack aircraft (Ju-87D-7).

Ju 87D-1. Special containers were suspended for attack: WB 81 with six 7.92 mm MG 81 machine guns or WB 20 with two 20 mm MG FF cannons. A total of 592 aircraft of this version were produced.

Ju 87D-3. "Dora-3" went into production at the end of 1942. On the plane, they booked the cockpit, engine, radiators. For these purposes, they did not spare the scarce chromium-nickel steel. The sirens, as useless things in the new conditions, were removed, but for some reason the air brakes, which were unnecessary for the attack aircraft, were left. On the wings, the "anti-skid" rubber track was replaced with a corrugated metal strip. As the main weapon on the D-3, containers filled with 92 SD 2 fragmentation bombs weighing 2 kg each were used. A total of 1559 Ju 87D-3s were produced and almost all of them went to the Eastern Front.

Ju 87D-4. A number of D-1s and D-3s were tried to be converted into Ju 87D-4 torpedo bombers, but flight performance deteriorated so much that all vehicles were returned to their original appearance.

Ju 87D-5. Since the front continued to receive complaints about the underarmament of the "Stuka" (it turned out along the way that the increase in the weight of the bombs used led to a threatening increase in the load on the wing), the designers had to urgently develop a new modification , which became the Ju 87D-5. The new aircraft differed from the previous version by an increased wing span (14.98 m) and a new set of weapons. Two 20-mm MG 151 cannons were now installed in the wing. Air brakes were still installed for some time, then they were abandoned forever. The last mass modification of the Dora was made until July 1944. In total, before Hitler banned the construction of bombers, 771 Ju 87D-5 aircraft were produced.

Ju 87D-7, 8. By the middle of 1943, the dive-bomber units on the eastern front were very thoroughly "pinched" by Soviet fighters. Each daytime sortie posed an immediate threat to the life of the crew. Losses kept growing. There was only one fertile time of day for flying - night. For these purposes, the Ministry of Aviation ordered the creation of a special plant for the conversion of serial Ju 87D-3s into the D-7 variant, and Ju 87D-5 into the D-8 variant. The Night Things were equipped with a more powerful Jumo 211P boosted engine, which developed 1500 hp on takeoff. The exhaust pipes were hidden in long flame arresters. Additionally, on D-8 modification aircraft, the guns received conical nozzles so that the flashes of the shots would not blind the pilots. All issued aircraft were divided into six night attack groups, and the first Ju 87D-7 appeared in the east in December 1943.

Ju 87D

Ju-87 Specification
Ju-87D-1 Ju-87D-5 Ju-87D-8
Crew 2
Length, m 11.50
Height, m 3.88
Wing span, m 13.80 15.00 15.00
Wing area, m2 31.90 33.68 33.68
Wing loading, kg/m2 206,9 196 197
Weight, kg:
Empty weight 3900 3940 3938
Maximum takeoff weight 6600 6580 6607
PE Jumo 210J-1 Jumo 211J-1 Jumo 211P
Power, hp/kW 1420/1044 1420/1044 1500/1104
Maximum speed km/h 410 400 383
at altitude, m 4100 4100 4090
Time to altitude min 19 20 12
m 5000 5000 4000
Service ceiling, m 7285 7500 8000
Service range, km 1535 1530 790
Machine guns 3
External bomb load, kg 1000
Photo Description
Drawing Ju 87 D-5

Drawing Ju 87 D-5

The Ju-87D-5 from St.G-2 at Kursk arc, summer 1943

The Ju-87D-5 from St.G-2, the Kursk arc, summer 1943.

Ju87D5 L1 CH-1 SG.1 Russia February 1944 01

Ju-87D5 L1 CH-1 SG.1 Russia February 1944 01


Trainer Aircraft

Drawing Ju 87H-1

Based on the Ju-87D-1 dive bomber, in 1943 a training Ju-87H-1 was created. Wing machine guns, bomb racks and a turret were removed from it. An instructor with a second control was put in place of the gunner. To improve forward visibility, the canopy of his cockpit received side blisters.

Subsequently, the H-1, H-3, H-5, H-7 and H-8 models, created on the basis of the Ju-87D variants with the corresponding digital index, were built in small quantities at the Lemwerder plant. In flight schools, former fighter and bomber pilots were retrained to replenish ground attack aviation groups that suffered significant losses on the Eastern Front.

The Ju-87H, not intended for combat, still managed to fight at the very end of the war, when the combat models of the "thing" were laid up due to the lack of scarce 100-octane gasoline. Its unforced, unpretentious engine ran on 87-octane fuel, which still remained in the fuel storage facilities of the Third Reich.


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