Junkers Ju288A

Junkers Ju288A (Ju288V-1)

This was a german high-speed medium bomber. Maiden flight in 1940 or early 1941.
The german air force called in 1939 for a 600km/h, 3600km, 2000-6000kg bombload bomber,
and several firms designed planes for this "Bomber B" program. The Ju288 and Fw191 were the most promising.
Focke-Wulf was forced by the RLM to implement a lot of unnecessary electric systems, so the Ju288 was in effect the better plane.
It was expected to enter quantity production in january, 1942 with an output of 80 planes per month, but the necessary Jumo222 engines
needed raw materials and high qualified production personnel that germany hadnīt under 1941/42 war conditions. The Ju288A was
enlarged to the Ju288B and later even powered by the unreliable and overweight DB610 engines in the Ju288C version
(same engines as in the He177A). 22 prototypes.
No quantity production ever. The Ju288A prototype (V-1) demonstrated outstanding flying characteristics before it was destroyed
by a fire in march, 2nd 1941.
The Ju288A had a pressurized cabin for a crew of three, engines that could be separated by explosives for improved swimming capabilities,
surprising small dimensions, modern twin wheels and one of the heaviest defensive armaments of all german two-engine bombers.

My comment:
I believe that this was possibly the only piston engined bomber of World War 2 that could have flown strategical bombing raids without
fighter escort and high losses over a long period, and this in the time of 1942/1943 against the british air defense!
The top Speed of a Spitfire IX was just around 11km/h higher than that of a Ju288A with already released bombload, and the combination of
relatively short penetration until hitting a british target (compared to attack on germany) and the extremely high cruise speed (probably 500km/h
with two 1.000kg guided bombs) would have reduced the time from first echo on british CH radar until release of bombs down to half an hour!
In my eyes, this was by far the best medium bomber of World War 2 and all nations. Only the North American XB-28 Dragon project (inferior
cruise speed) and the Heinkel He343 jetbomber project out of 1944 (much smaller range and bombload) were serious rivals.
In the arsenal of the western allies, it would have become one of the most famous World War 2 combat planes of the world!

Junkers Ju288A german medium bomber
Wing span: 22.00m
Length: 16.60m
Height: 4.58m
Wing Area: 60 square meters
empty: 11.000kg
Maximum Take-Off: 17.200kg
Maximum Speed: 645km/h at 4.800m altitude
Maximum Cruise Speed: 565km/h
Service Ceiling: 10.300m
Range: 3.850km (this most probably without bombload)
Two 2.000PS Jumo222A/B liquid-cooled quadruple radials
probably each two 13mm MG131 in three remote-controlled (periscope sights)
turrets in top, belly and tail position plus up to 3.000kg internal bombload

Ju288B three-side drawing (B variant was only similar to A variant)

Ju288V-1 D-AACS(A variant prototype) photo

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