Ju-88: capabilities, performance, limitations, other stuff...

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by tomo pauk, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    #1 tomo pauk, Dec 7, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
    The latest discussion about the Ju-288 steered me to the venerable Ju-88, Luftwaffe's workhorse.
    I'd like to discuss aircraft's capabilities, eg. how good/bad it was compared with contemporaries, how much a limitation (both performance- and operational-wise) was the need to carry bigger bombs externally, should it have received BMW-801 engines earlier, how much an asset was the bulged bomb bay as with the A-15 version, just how good were the -S versions etc. What about the performance of the (night) fighter versions?
    Of course, we can discuss some plausible might-have-beens (Install the bulged bomb bay earlier and/or smaller? Tail gun position like at Ju-388 mounted earlier? Or just one defensive HMG? Other?).
     
  2. Greyman

    Greyman Active Member

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    ju88.jpg

    My collection so far.

    Missing labels; the red is from a German manual, orange is from a British test, and I forget what the black is from.
     
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  3. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    It couldn't take the BMW 801 any earlier due to the lack of enough engines, as they were required for the FW190. That was a major limiting factor there. Other than that it was the fastest bomber Germany had until the Do-217 got the DB603; it could have been faster without the added requirements later like dive bombing and the ventral gondola (I'm not sure how much that really added to the Ju88s defenses though). Its dive ability did give it the opportunity to undertake a steep dive to escape from enemy fighters, which improved its surviveability.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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  5. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Under test conditions without someone shooting at them. Also they had a problem with skin warping and the wings being too short so prevented proper manuevering and sheered off under combat conditions.
     
  6. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Also the Ju88S3 was pretty good, but too late; it might have been better to avoid the Me410 and use the DB603 with the Ju88 instead so as to have the S3 in 1943 when it would have been more useful, as there weren't enough BMWs to go around and the Ju88 had a better internal bomb load than the Me410, while having similar top speeds (IIRC with GM-1 boost). Also a DB603 equipped Ju88 would be a better night fighter until the Jumo 213 becomes available.

    IIRC too the Jumo 213 would have been available sooner if the Jumo 222 had died an earlier death and the engineering resources were redirected into the 213.
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Ju-88 entered service during late 1939. A year later teething problems were mostly fixed. As good or better service introduction then most other WWII era aircraft.
     
  8. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkers_Ju_88
     
  9. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    The dive-bombing ability was good for targetting but had several drawbacks - Structural strengthening added weight, there was no real internal bomb bay nor internal fuel tank (just small 50kg bombs usually replaced by aux fuel tanks), the dive brakes causes some speed loss in normal flight (and were removed from 43 on retaining glide-bombing ability of the aircraft).
    The Jumo 211 did not really have a lot of power (PS figures are just for short-term take-off, similar to 1-min rating on DB 601A). Even the first series BMW 801A saw a performance jump in so-equipped Ju 88 that was especially noticable in the 43/44 draggy radar-equipped night fighters.
    The Ju 88S was streamlined and fast )equipped with 801 G-2 + GM-1 option) although the internal load was still very much limited, the extended bombbay of the last S-series offered more but at the cost of speed.
     
  10. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    It was common for Ju-88s to fly hundreds of combat sorties. Some flew more then 1,000 combat sorties. One would expect an airframe to experience fatigue damage after that much use.
     
  11. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    By Summer 1943 FiAF Ju 88s had flown less than 100h each.
     
  12. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    How many Ju-88s flew more than 1000 combat sorties?

    From wiki's bio of Joachim Helbig, citing p 291 of 'Taghon, Peter (2004b). Die Geschichte des Lehrgeschwaders 1—Band 2—1942 – 1945 (in German). Zweibrücken, Germany: VDM Heinz Nickel':

    "In Italy on 30 January 1944, his Ju 88 L1+AM was destroyed in an aerial attack by American bombers. This aircraft, which was solely piloted by Helbig himself, was the only Ju 88 to survive more than 1,000 hours of combat operations"

    As Joachim Helbig flew only 480 missions, including some in He-111s, and if wiki is correct his Ju 88 was the only one to pass 1,000 hours, I'd be curious to know which Ju-88s flew more than 1000 combat sorties. If true, most sorties would have to be less than 30 minutes...
     
  13. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    1,000 combat sorties? That I find unbelievable, not just for the Ju88. I'd love to see something to support that contention.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
  14. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone else have anything else to say about the Ju88 besides that only one ever flew 1000 hours?
    For one, I think it should never have been made the major project it became; the He-111 should have been the largest bomber project followed by the Ju88 for specialized roles, such as speed bomber, night fighter, heavy long ranged fighter/intruder, and recon aircraft. In fact the dive bombing role added little to the aircraft, as it impacted its primary role of speed bombing and all other roles; if anything they should have gone for the Ju88S design as soon as possible.
    But primarily the serious bombing should have been done by the He-111 which had the pay load, range, and defensive armament to do the job more so than the Ju88. Then the He-111 should have been replaced by the Do-217 when it became available, while the Me-2/410 should just not have been ever built.
     
  15. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Photograph of Ju-88 crew holding a sign.
    "1000 Feindflug Im Osten"
     
  16. wiking85

    wiking85 Well-Known Member

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    Sure for the crew, not necessarily the aircraft.
     
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