Aviation Archive Issue 25 - 2016 UK

(Jacob Rumans) #1

Junkers Ju 88C-

Type: Twin-engined
night fighter
Crew: Four
Length: 47ft 2in (14.36m)
Wingspan: 65ft 10.5in (20.08m)
Height: 16ft 7.5in (5.06m)
Empty: 19,973lb (9,060kg)
Max T/O: 27,227lb (12,350kg)
Max Speed: 303mph (488km/h)
Range: 1,230 miles (1,980km)
Powerplant: Two Junkers Jumo 211Js
of 1,401hp each
Armament: Three fixed forward-firing
20mm MG FF/M cannon
and three fixed forward-
firing 7.9mm MG 17
machine guns in lower
nose section, one flexible
13mm MG 131 machine-
gun at rear of cockpit.
Optional ‘Schräge Musik’
installation in upper
fuselage with two 20mm
MG 151 cannon firing
obliquely forward

Above: The prototype Ju 88V1 made its maiden
flight on 21 December 1936 and achieved
a speed of 360mph (580km/h), much to the
delight of Hermann Göring. At last, here was an
aircraft that could finally fulfil the promise of
the Schnellbomber, a high-speed bomber. What
he did not appreciate at the time was that the
Ju 88 was so agile that it was easy to convert as a
heavy fighter and was vastly more capable than
the original Zerstörers.

Left: The specialised Ju 88C-6 was a formidable
beast and was the scourge of RAF Bomber
Command during its night raids over Europe.

the 32-dipole Matratze antennae for the much
larger eight-dipole Hirschgeweih (stag’s antlers)
aerials, required for the longer wavelength
system. At this time, many Ju 88Cs also had
their Bola gondolas modified to hold up to
three forward-firing machine guns or cannon
and in addition several night fighters were
equipped with two ‘Schräge-Musik’ upward
firing 20mm cannon from mid 1943 onwards.
Thus equipped, the Luftwaffe began to inflict
high losses on RAF’s Bomber Command.
The introduction of increasingly heavier
armament, more armour, and a radar operator
had a detrimental affect on the low-speed
handling qualities of the overburdened Ju 88C
series, and it was becoming apparent that the

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