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Discussion in 'Aircraft Picture Requests' started by Dan, Apr 24, 2004.
i know it may not exist but was there actually a such thing as the German Ju390?
sorry i just found out that there was a Ju 390 but it was only a prototype
Junkers JU 390
Two more photos:
It served with KG 200.
Edit: Hmm.. the first one looks to be flipped photo above.
wow, thats a pretty imposing looking plane
As far as I know there were only V1 and V2 models of Ju 390 produced. It is beleived that one of them made the famous "New York flight" in January 1944,probably as a member of FAGr.5 (Fernaufsklarungsgruppe 5), but I am not convinced of it...
For something so big it carried such a small bomb load, almost 4,000lb. Allied medium bombers and some fighters were carrying that much!!!
.. either you load gasoline or bombs, ... and if your plan is to bomb NY from Berlin you need a lot of fuel.
Probably the expected payload for medium range missions is close to the 10.000 kg - 20.000 lb specs given for the cargo configuration.
Anyway, with an EW of 81.000 lb and MTOW of over 160.000 they have some room to load stuff, unless they use the fattest crew ever seen on a plane.
Anyway it looks to me another German example of 'nice plane that we can't afford' (or 'a waste of money and material' if you want to say it in upper-class language)
to make it perfectly clear once and for all. The Ju 390's in FAGr 5 never made the so-called mission to New York. The op is not recorded anywhere in their flugbuch. this is all a post war myth started in William Greens book Warplanes of the third recih back in the late 1960's and has been accepted as fact. the Ju 390 with KG 200 and two other units provided clandestine agent dropping
Everyone go to the WW2 mysteries thread. Me and Erich have pretty much covered everything about the Ju-390 including dispelling many myths about it.
maximum payload was 35,000kg over 9,500km, but hey if all you want is a truck to carry a single A-bomb the Ju-390 is your plane.
SORRY EVEYONE... I DIDN"T NOTICE THE DISCUSSION WAS SHIFTED TO ANOTHER THREAD UNDER WW2 MYSTERIES
The Ju-390's problem was that, thanks to the very poor German supercharging and relatively low achieved head pressure on their engines, it was closer in performance to a C-46 or DC-4 than a B-29 or B-36.
Without a solid 2,000HP per engine -at cruise height-, you could not make a 30-50Kft transit 'beyond the weather' and any kind of headwind or icing condition is gonna start taking massive amounts off the topend of your target-return radius.
This does not necessarily mean that the aircraft could not make the trip, because as men as famous as Lindberg have proven time and again, it is easily possible to use a combination of power settings, cowl flap (to maintain fuel and oil temps at suboptimal rpms), lift flap and base mixture to 'fly up' the profile from a relatively sluggardly start to almost twice the height:range nominally achievable (with a P-38 in Lindbergh's case) in the flight manual by end of radius.
Where the Ju-390 likely would have made good it's supposed payload shortcoming was in the use of 'deichsel schlepp' or literally drag tanks. What we would call towed fuel tanks. Just as with a horse, an aircraft can -pull- twice or more what it can -carry- and by exploiting existing technology base (V-1 missiles without engines or warhead) the SG-5041 (sonder gerat or 'special device') would have supplied upwards of 1,200l or more of fuel. Toss in air to air refueling using Ju-290 crews specifically trained in that role for no other explicable reason and you can easily make NYC, even with a rather unwieldy Plutonium Weapon. Probably even come back.
And that's what this ultimately comes down to. There is far too much secondary evidence (1,500 tons of Uranium gone and never accounted for from prewar held European stocks, 1,000s of troops and large runways built in Norway, late-war AAR testing, massive exchanges of key materials like Mercury, maintenance of the Ju-390 itself long after other aircraft like the Me-264 had been abandoned, the pell mell rush by Patton to secure the last 'bell' from Pilsen, the coverup as to how many Ju-390s actually were built etc.) to ignore the reality that the Germans were likely a lot closer to an atomic weapon than we would like to publically admit.
Because a nuke on London and a nuke on NYC, along with a flurry of battlefield weapon releases, is effectively the only hope the Germans had and the _only reason_ Hitler would have attacked the U.S. and Britain in The West during Watch On The Rhein while depleting Berlin defenses to hold onto the Czech corridor from which he hoped to source his weapons out of the Skoda Works.
Once you accept that this is exactly what it seems like, a play for time sufficient to _stay in the game_ with nukes, the entirety of the Ju-390's purpose and the covert flights to NYC become logical proof of concept tests to provide the '5 minutes after midnight' rescue that Hitler demanded his troops continue fighting for, long after the situation became tactically hopeless. As long as we 'never know' about the Allied Myth of nuclear supremacy; it is probable that the details of the Ju-390 missions will always remain disputed if not actively aspersioned by the 'experts'.