Conceived in 1935 in response to an official requirement for a high speed medium bomber, the Junkers Ju 88 was to become the most versatile and widely produced German bomber of World War II. Although far from being the only German aeroplane to perform tasks for which it was not originally intended, few were “misemployed” with such success. The prototype Ju 88 V1 dew just before Christmas 1936, only eleven months after design work commenced, being powered by a pair of 900 hp Daimler-Benz DB600 inline engines in annular cowlings. The next year or two saw the completion of further prototypes and as with many other Luftwaffe aircraft of this period — a World record or two by the new aeroplane. Production of the first bomber series commenced in, 1938, and Ju 88 A-l, together with the few A-0 pre-production machines, were in service at the outbreak of war. The Junkers Ju88 A-1, the generally similar Ju88 A-2 and the Ju88 A-3 trainer all had a wing span of 18,25 m but this and several other details were modified, in the light of operational experience, in the Ju 88A-4. The span was increased by 1,8 m, considerable extra gunnery was installed, the bomb load was almost doubled. Many later A sub-types were completed, including the A-5 (produced before the A-4 but having the same wing and bomb load), the A-8 with balloon cable cutter, the A-12 dual control trainer, the A-13 ground attack and the A-17 torpedo bomber. Parallel with production of the A series, Junkers developed the Ju 88B around a pair of Jumo 213As; this series did not achieve full production, though the new nose of the B-1 was reflected in the tater Ju 188, for which another B sub-type acted as prototype. In order to maintain performance of the Ju 88 against that of later designs, Junkers engineers began an extensive reorientation in the middle war years, from which emerged the Ju 88S bombers. Powered by two BMW 801G radial engines of 1700 hp each, the S-1 featured a smoothly rounded nose, no gondola and drastically reduced bomb load and defensive armament. Junkers Ju88 S-2 and S-3 were generally similar except for engine and gunnery changes and a bulged bomb bay in the S-2. Altogether more than 9,000 bomber versions of the Ju 88 were built.
Parallel with the development of the Junkers Ju 88 as a medium bomber, the type was also being adapted to a variety of other roles, particularly those of night fighter, close support and reconnaissance. Approximately 6000 non bomber versions of the Junkers Ju 88 were built, and the length and diversity of this aeroplane’s career make an interesting comparison with the British de Havilland Mosquito. The first Junkers Ju 88 fighter to enter series production was the Ju 88C, comparable with the A bomber and powered by Jumo 211 inline or BMW 801 radial motors. Junkers Ju 88 C-1 featured the shorter span wing of the early Ju 88 A, but from the C-2 onwards the extended wing of the Ju 88 A-4 was employed. The early Ju88 C carried a crew of three and an armament, in a solid nose, of three 7.9 mm. machine guns and one 20 mm. cannon, with two further 20 mm. cannon in a detachable mounting below the nose. From the Ju88 C was developed the Ju 88G, a specialist night fighter carrying an additional crew member, which entered service in 1944. Another parallel to the Ju 88 A-4 bomber appeared as the long range reconnaissance Ju 88D-1, with fuel and cameras in the bomb bay and further fuel in undenving drop tanks. Altogether, nearly 2000 Ju 88 D-1, -2 and -3 aircraft were built. Another long range model was the Ju 88H, both the H-1 (reconnaissance) and the H-2 (fighter). Several Ju 88H aircraft ended their days as the lower half of a Mistel composite, with a Bf 109 or Fw 190 fighter on top of the fuselage. The ubiquitous Ju88 A-4 lent itself to yet another specialised development in the Ju 88P anti-tank aircraft which carried a heavy calibre cannon (two smaller ones in the case of the Ju88 P-2) in a special housing under the fuselage. The final photographic reconnaissance variant, the Ju 88T, was a development of the S bomber.
Total production: 15 183.
“A” – Bombers
A-0 – Pre-production series of 10 bombers for testing
A-1 – Initial production variant similar to the A-0
A-2 – A-1 with attachments for Walther Rb 202 R-Geräte booster rockets under the wings
A-3 – trainer A-1 fitted with double control columns, throttlequadrants and partially with double instrument. No armament.
A-4 – The major variant produced in the highest numbers. The wing span was extended by 1.62 m (5 ft 4 in) to improve handling, and the undercarriage was strengthened to permit the carriage of heavier loads. VDM metal propellers replaced by wooden VS-11. Mass balance fitted in top of redesigned rudder. Armoured pilot’s seat and light armor protection of cockpit. The aircraft had a new antenna mast, FuG 25a identification device, EZ-G Peil-Geraet radio direction finder (in top of rear fuselage) and FuG 101 altimeter. Asymetric bulged engine fairing applied and extra air intake in the lower portion of the front ring- shaped cooler.
A-4/torp – torpedo bomber with PVC 1000B launchers for two LT F5b torpedoes
A-4/trop – A tropicalized version of the A-4 with specialized equipment including extra water tanks sun and mosquito protection gear.
A-5 – A-1 fuselage with longer wings (20.08 m) and other equipment. Powered by Jumo Jumo 211B-1, G-1 or H-1 engines all rated at 1,200 hp (895 kW) for take-off.
A-6 – A-5 equipped with a balloon cable fender “Kuto-Nase”. The installation weighed 322 kg. A 58 kg counterweight was mounted in the rear fuselage. Extremely vulnerable to fighter interception because “Kuto-Nase”. reduced speed by 30-32 km/h (20 mph). Most aircraft reverted to the normal bomber A-5 version.
A-6/U – retired A-6 converted for the maritime role with Jumo 211J engines and FuG 200 “Hohentwiel” radar. Also equipped with FuG 217 “Neptun” warning radar, 900l external fuel tanks. Crew were reduced to 3 and ventral cupola was removed.
A-7 – Dual control trainer based on the A-5, not armed.
A-8 – A-4 with Kuto-Nase balloon cable cutters fitted to the wings. Crew were reduced to 3. Later converted to the normal bomber version powered by Jumo 211J
A-9 – tropicalized A-1 fitted with desert survival equipment (Increased rations of water, tent and rifles), sand filters on air intakes and sun blinds.
A-10 – tropicalized A-5
A-11 – tropicalized A-4 similar to A-10
A-12 – trainer based on the A-4 with dual control. Ventral gondola, dive brakes and all armament removed.
A-13 – new A-1 and converted A-4s for low level assault. Dive brakes and bomb sight removed. Additional armor for crew, engines and fuel tanks. Under the center wing section could be attached (2 or 4) AB 250. AB 500 or AB 1000 pods with 2kg SD2 anti-personnel bombs. Also fitted with WB-81A (3xMG81Z), WB 81B (3 x MG81Z with the muzzles pointing down at 15°) and ZWP 151/20 (2 x MG 151/20 cannons) gun-pods.
A-14 – fitted with a fixed forward-firing 20-mm MG FF cannon (120 rounds) in the ventral gondola, more armor for the crew, engine and fuel tanks. Dive brakes removed.
A-15 – One A-4 with enlarged wooden bomb bay, capable of holding 3290 kg of bombs. Ventral gondola removed, crew were reduced to 3.
A-16 – Trainer based on the A-14 with doubled instruments and control wheel. Armament, ventral cupola and dive brakes removed
A-17 – Torpedo bomber based on A-4 without ventral gondola. One PVC torpedo rack under each wing replaced the two bomb racks. Aircraft carried two LT F5b or F5w torpedoes. A long housing on the starboard side of the nose contained the torpedo aiming mechanisms. Crew reduced to three. Some A-17s were equipped with the FuG 200 “Hohentwiel” radar.
“B” – Prototype with all-new fully glazed nose
B – Prototype. A-1 with the more streamlined nose and larger wing span, developed into Ju188. Jumo engines replaced by BMW 801MA
B-0 – 10 pre-production aircraft with with lengthened forward fuselage and long wings of A-4. Used by 4,/ObdL in the long-range reconnaissance role.
B-3 – destroyer. Rb 50/30 or 20/30 cameras could be used for reconnaissance purposes.
“C”- heavy fighters, fighter-bombers and night fighters
C-0 – Heavy fighter, converted A-1 for tests
C-1 – Heavy fighter, 20 converted from A-1. Jumo 211 engines and glazed nose. Bombing and diving equipment removed.
C-2 – Heavy fighter 62 converted from A-1. Solid nose and Jumo 211B engines. Fuel tank or 500 kg bombs in bomb-bay.
C-3 – Heavy fighter, planned version with BMW801MA engines, none built
C-4 – Heavy fighter and reconnaissance plane based on A-4. Aircraft with the increased wing span, Jumo 211 F or J engines and FuBI 2 antenna under the fuselage. Sometimes fitted with two MG FF in ventral cupola. 130 built.
C-5 – 10 C-4 with BMW 801 D engines
C-6 – Heavy fighter and night fighter based on the A-4 bomber with a solid nose. Powered by Jumo 211J engines with 1420 hp and equipped with EZ-6 direction-finding FuG 101 radio-altimeter. FuBI 2 antenna moved forward.
Built in large numbers
C-6a – C-6 for daylight operations
C-6b – C-6 for night operations. Plane with flame concealing exhaust and without Fubl 2. Fitted with the FuG 202 Lichtenstein BC or FuG 212 Lichtenstein C-1 radar. Late aircraft with 2 x MG 151/20 Schrage Musik cannons mounted in the fuselage
C-6c – C-6b with the FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2 and FuG 227 Flensburg radar. Some equipped with FuG 350 Naxos Z
C-7a – C-6 for daylight operations with removed cupola. Gun pod with two MG FF under fuselage. 500 kg of bombs could be carried in the bomb bay.
C-7b – C-7a with underwing racks
C-7c – daylight powered by BMW 801MA
“D” – photo-reconnaissance variants
D-0 – long-range photo-reconnaissance variant based on A-5, built in the summer of 1940. External fuel tanks could be attached under the wings. Engines: Jumo 211 B-1, G-1 or H-1. Cameras mounted in central fuselage and dive brakes deleted.
D-1 – long-range photo-reconnaissance variant based on A-4 with Jumo 211J-1 or 2 engines. Could carry bombs or fuel tanks under the wings. The forward bomb bay was sealed off to house a extra fuel tank. Rear bomb bay accommodated two or three aerial cameras.
D-2 – long-range photo-reconnaissance variant based on A-5 with Jumo 211 G-1.
D-3 aka D-1/Trop – tropicalized D-1 with dust filters and extra equipment for the crew.
D-4 aka D-2/Trop – tropicalized D-2 similar to D-3
D-5 – based on D-1 with two cameras on the left side of the fuselage.
“G” – night fighters
G-0 – prototype for night fighter series with BMW801D and FuG 212 radar. Fuselage and undercarriage from R-2 without cupola under the cockpit. Tail section from the Ju188.
G-1 – Production series of the G-0 fitted with FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2 radar and only 4 MG 151/20 under the fuselage. Sometimes with “Schrage Musik” installation and extra FuG 217 Flensburg radar.
G-2 – experimental and similar to G-1. Jumo 213A engines and 30mm cannons
G-3 – G-1 with DB603 engines, not build
G-4 – G-1 with “Schrage Musik” as standard
G-5 – G-3 with Jumo 213A, not build
G-6a – G-4 with Jumo 213A engines with 1750 hp and wooden VS-11 propellers – designation never existed in reality
G-6b – G-6a with the FuG 350 Naxos Z radar – designation never existed in reality
G-6c – G-6a with FuG 218 Neptun and FuC 240 Berlin radars. Schrage Musik installation moved forward – designation never existed in reality
G-7a – G-6 with Jumo 213E high-altitude engines, MW 50 and outboard sections of the wings taken from the Ju 188 – designation never existed in reality
G-7b – G7a with FuG 228 Lichtenstein SN-3 or FuC 218 Neptun VR radars in a wooden nose housing – designation never existed in reality
G-7c – G-6 with a FuG 240 Berlin N-1a radar in a wooden housing, 10 built – designation never existed in reality
G-8 – A long range day fighter with fuselage from H-1. For Mistel project.
G-10 – similar to G-8 for Mistel programme.
“H” – Long-range photo-reconnaissance and fighters
H-1 – ultra long-range maritime reconnaissance variant powered by BMW 801D engines. A-4 fuselage lengthened to 17,75 m for extra fuel tank. Remotely controlled Robot Rb 70/30 and 50/30 cameras in the aft fuselage. Also fitted with FuG 220 Lichtenstein SN-2 radar. Only 10 bulit
H-2 – „Atlantikzerstörer“ ultra long-range fighter without radar operate against Allied maritime patrol aircraft hunting U-boats in the Atlantic. Armed with two MG 151/20 cannon in the closed nose and four in a ventral pod. Fuselage extended to 17.88m. Wing span extended to 20.08m. Only 5 bulit
H-3 – Ultra-long-range maritime reconnaissance variant similar to H-1 with tail from the G series. Fuselage with an additional section forward of the wing.
H-4 – long-range fighter variant similar to H-3.
“P” – tank and bomber destroyers
P-1 – modified to carry a single 75 mm Bordkanone BK 7,5 gun with an enlarged muzzle brake for low-altitude attacks on Russian tanks. Engine undersides and cockpit were armored. A few of these aircraft were tested in combat conditions on the Eastern Front
P-2 – heavy gun fighter variant with twin 37 mm Bordkanone BK 37 cannon in ventral gun pod. Ju 87 and Hs 129 equipped with the same weapon proved to be more suitable for anti-tank attacks. A few of these aircraft were tested in the ground attack role, and also against USAAF heavy bombers.
P-3 – similar to P-2 with with increased armor protection (cockpit, engine and armored windshield).
P-4 – similar to the P-1 with single 50 mm Bordkanone BK 5 gun in ventral gun pod.
P-5 – only proposed variant with single 88 mm gun
“R” – night fighters
R-1 – heavy fighter C-6 powered by BMW 801MA engines. Ventral cupola was removed. Equipped with FuG 212 and FuG 202 radars. Built in small numbers.
R-2 – heavy fighter C-6 powered by BMW 801D engines. Equipped with FuG 220 radar, FuG 25 identification device and FuG 16ZY.
“S” – High-speed bombers
S-0 – High-speed bomber based on A-4 powered by BMW 801D engines. Ventral cupola dive brakes and external racks were removed.
S-1 – Plane with more streamlined nose section and minimum of armor protection. Armament reduced to one MG131. Powered by BMW 801G-2 engines with the GM-1 system. Also fitted with dive brakes, external racks FuG 217 radar, FuG 25, FuG 16ZY and FuG 101 radio altimeter.
S-2 – similar to S-1 powered by turbo-supercharged BMW 801TJ engines with GM-1 injection. Fitted with enlarged wooden bomb bay for 3000 kg of bombs. In the rear of the bay were 2 fixed MG 81.
S-3 – powered by Jumo 213A engines with GM-1 and VS-111 propellers
S-5 – S-2 powered by Jumo 213T with turbosuperchargers, not build
“T” – photo-reconnaissance variants
T-1 – High-speed photo-reconnaissance variant of S-1 with Robot Rb 20/30, 50/30 or 70/30 photo cameras in the rear of the bomb bay.
T-2 – BMW 801J-0 engines with turbocharger. Not produced
T-3 – photo-reconnaissance variant of S-3
|variant||Ju 88 A-1
|Ju 88 A-4
|Ju 88 A-5
|Ju 88 A-15
|wing area (m2)||52,50||54,70||54,70||54,7|
|gross weight (kg)||7250||8550||8050||9000|
|normal take-off weight (kg)||8958||12105|
|max take-off weight (kg)||10360||14000||12450||12800|
|bombs (kg)||2500||2400 – 3600||2500||3000|
|engines||Jumo 211 B-1, 1175 hp for take-off||Jumo 211 J-1 or J-2, 1410 hp for take-off (1060 hp at 5200m)||Jumo 211 G-1, 1200 hp for take-off||Jumo 211 J|
|max speed (km/h)||450 (at 5500 m and 8958 kg weight)||470 (at 5300 m and 12490 kg weight)||475||410|
|cruising speed (km/h)||365 (at 0m)||398 (at 5000 m)||370||370|
|economical speed (km/h)||349 (at 5500 m)||370 (at 6000 m)|
|landing speed (km/h)||140||140||140||140|
|service ceiling (m)||9800||8200||8500||8250|
|range (km)||1500 – 1700||1790 – 2730||2950||2000|
|climb to||5400 m / 23 m|
|takeoff run (m)||1800||1150||1800|
|armament||3 or 4 x MG 15||4 – 5 x MG 15, MG 81, MG 81Z + 1 z MG 131||5 x MG 81+ 1 z MG 131||3 x MG81 or MG15|
|radio equipment||FuG 16, FuG 25||FuG 16, FuG 25||FuG 16, FuG 25|
|variant||Ju 88 B-0
|Ju 88 C-4
|Ju 88 C-6
|Ju 88 D-1
|wing area (m2)||54,70||54,70||54,70||54,7|
|gross weight (kg)||9100||8000||9069||8480|
|normal take-off weight (kg)||11450|
|max take-off weight (kg)||12470||11350||12349||11490|
|engines||BMW 801 MA, 1560 hp for take-off||Jumo 211 F, 1420 hp for take-off||Jumo 211 J, 1410 hp for take-off (1060 hp at 5200m)||Jumo 211 B-1, 1175 hp for take-off|
|max speed (km/h)||540||495||488 – 494 (at 5300 m)||475|
|cruising speed (km/h)||510||485||449 (at 6000)||425|
|economical speed (km/h)||423 (at 6000)|
|landing speed (km/h)||175||140||145||140|
|service ceiling (m)||9050||8600||9900||8600|
|range (km)||2850||3050||1038 – 1980||2950|
|climb to||6000 m / 12,7 m|
|takeoff run (m)||750||870||875||875|
|armament||3 x MG 81Z||1x MG15, 1x MG FF, 3x MG17||1x MG81 Z, 3x MG 151/20, 3x MG17||3 x MG 15|
|radio equipment||FuG 16, FuG 25||FuG 16, FuG 25||FuG 16, FuG 25||FuG 16, FuG 25|
|variant||Ju 88 D-5
|Ju 88 R-2
|Ju 88 G-1
|Ju 88 G-6
|wing area (m2)||54,70||54,70||54,70||54,70|
|gross weight (kg)|
|normal take-off weight (kg)|
|max take-off weight (kg)||11300||11500||12100||12292|
|engines||Jumo 211 J, 1410 hp for take-off (1060 hp at 5200m)||BMW 801 D-2, 1700 hp for take-off||BMW 801 D-2, 1700 hp for take-off||Jumo 213 A, 1750 hp for take-off (1440 hp at 6000 m)|
|max speed (km/h)||480||580||540||533 – 538 (at 6000 m)|
|cruising speed (km/h)||430||510||480||510|
|economical speed (km/h)|
|landing speed (km/h)||140||160||165||170|
|service ceiling (m)||8700||9200||9400||9550|
|climb to||6000 m / 11 m|
|takeoff run (m)||875||750||750||720|
|armament||2 x MG 17||4 x MG 151/20, 1 x MG 81Z||6 x MG 151/20, 1 x MG 131||6 x MG 151/20, 1 x MG 131|
|radio equipment||FuG 16, FuG 25, FuG 200||FuG 220||FuG 220||FuG 220, FuG 227|
|wing area (m2)||56||54,70||54,70||54,70|
|gross weight (kg)|
|normal take-off weight (kg)|
|max take-off weight (kg)||13109 – 13825||11400||12215|
|engines||Jumo 213 E, 1750 hp for take-off (1608 hp at 9100 m)||BMW 801 D-2, 1700 hp for take-off||Jumo 211 B-1, 1175 hp for take-off||BMW 801 G, 1700 hp for take-off|
|max speed (km/h)||626 – 647 (at 9100 m )||445||390||640|
|cruising speed (km/h)||590||410||370||570|
|economical speed (km/h)|
|landing speed (km/h)||175||140||140||175|
|service ceiling (m)||9800||8500||8000||9800|
|climb to||9200 m / 26,4 m|
|takeoff run (m)||875||1250||1300||700|
|armament||6 x MG 151/20, 1 x MG 131||2 x MG131 or MG 81||2 x MG 81Z|
|radio equipment||FuG 220, FuG 228 or FuG 240||FuG 200||FuG 16, FuG 25||FuG 16, FuG 25|
|Source: “Die Ju 88 und ihre Folgemuster” Heinz Nowarra|