A second stored Ju 88 ladder?

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Capt. Vick, Dec 19, 2015.

  1. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Junkers Ju 88 Ladder.JPG

    I saw this picture in a recently purchased book on the Junkers Ju 88. What struck me as odd was the little collapsible (?) ladder that is leaning against the fuselage, just to the rear of the wing root. I have never seen that before. It looks too flimsy to me to be actual ground equipment, though I wouldn't rule out that perhaps it was repurposed from another aircraft. The thing is, to me anyway, it has all the hallmarks of a lightweight, fold-away ladder. The type that would be stored aboard the aircraft when not in use. Now I assume Teutonic efficiency would dictate storage at the point of attachment, but I know of no port or door at that location. Maybe it was stored in the bomb bay? What do you guys think?
     
  2. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    I'd say Wayne would probably know the answer to this puzzle. I sure don't.
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    It's not very clear in the posted pic, due to the relatively small size, but the Ju88 used a folding ladder, angled inwards (towards the aircraft interior), about 2/3rds of the length (of the ladder) from the ground. As far as I know, the construction was lightweight tube, similar to those used on the Lancaster and Mosquito, anf the ladder was stored inside the aircraft. Entry was made with the ladder placed at the open hatch at the rear of the underside gondola, the hatch swinging down and forward, to hang just beyond the vertical.
    In the posted photo, all I can see on my monitor is a dark, angled shape - but it looks roughly like the standard boarding ladder, and appears to be in use to allow the ground crew access to the top of the fuselage, to work on the dinghy compartment.
     
  4. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    I know the ladder you are talking about and that one was pretty much like a ladder should be (if you get my drift). No this one in the picture, I understand the quality and detail leaves much to be desired, speaks to me more like the Dornier Do 335 retractable wing root ladder or IIRC the Fw 189 ladder, narrow and maybe folds in half or thirds?
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    From what I can see Jim, it still looks like the standard boarding ladder, which does fold. It looks like it isn't in the 'normal' configuration as it would be when in the hatch, but leaning on the side of the aircraft, causing the top, folding section to be only slightly angled, rather than the more acute angle when locked into the lugs inside the entry hatch.
    I may be wrong, but it doesn't look like it's 'part of the aircraft', with a stowage compartment in the fuselage.
     
  6. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    We'll have to discuss it more at Duxford in 2017.
     
  7. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    What is the chance that the boarding ladder was removed from beneath and laid against the fuselage for this occasion?
     
  8. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure that's a possibility, but again to my eyes it is a much different ladder. Not a big point, just thought it interesting. For all I know it was made by the ground crew.
     
  9. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    It pays to notice details like that, honestly.

    Since that was at an airbase, it could have been liberated from another aircraft (even a captured type) or perhaps it could have come from a local source.

    It actually looks like one of those goofy multi-position (ratcheting swivels) ladders that were popular a few years back.
     
  10. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure that is a ladder in the picture at all!

    The usual ladder was a standard 8 rung affair with two hinges allowing it to be folded and also used in different configurations.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  11. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Exactly! Thank you!
     
  12. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Like I mentioned a little earlier, it may be a ladder "liberated" from another type (or source) as it doesn't seem to be the crew access ladder that's typical equipment for the Ju88.

    I am able to "zoom" a page (or image) with the ipad without too much distortion (pixelation) and capture the screen.

    Here's the ipad's screenshot showing a fairly good view of that ladder:
    Ju88_odd-ladder[800x537].jpg
     
  13. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! That helps! I just realized that some of what I assumed was the ladder is, in fact, it's own shadow cast directly behind it on the ground in line with our line of site. It's even more flimsy than I thought.

    Also, I do not believe it touches the ground.
     
  14. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I have to say that it's certainly an enigma.

    If you also look at the upper portion, it actually looks like it's attached to the hatch and folds up in multiple segments, ultimately nesting in the hatch structure.

    And I agree, it isn't touching the ground as you can see the shadow of the foot-step nearby
     
  15. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    So you would agree that it definitely attaches to the fuselage somehow, which might preclude it being from another aircraft, and it even looks as though there is a bit of substantial structure attached to the end that attached to the fuselage. Would this support the claim that it is an integral part of the fuselage? Can anyone confirm a door or hatch at that location? I can't.
     
  16. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I'm looking...

    Here's a French Ju88, and there appears to be a similar ladder in the same location (note the foot-peg nearby?)

    Ju88_no02-group_French.jpg
     
  17. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    By the way, I have been saying "foot-peg" when that's actually a fixed antenna...
     
  18. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

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    Actually it is a trailing antenna. There is a weight hanging on the end there. Good find though. Is it the same?
     
  19. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    The ladder above is the standard ladder used not only on the Ju 88.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
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