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"The Ju-188" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A report on the Luftwaffe Ju-188 twin-engine bomber, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 39, December 2, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]

THE JU-188

A specimen of the Ju-188, twin-engine bomber, which is currently being encountered in small numbers over England, has been examined, and a number of probable differences from its predecessor, the Ju-88, are described below.

The nose appears to have been re-designed to accomodate the increased armament and provide better pilot vision, showing a smoothly curving line in place of the usual angular faceted nose and stepped-up windshield.

The wing span is believed to be approximately 72 feet 6 inches and the wing tips nearly pointed, although those of the stabilizer and elevators are square. The fin and rudder are higher and wider than the Ju-88 and square in appearance, resembling somewhat the Ju-87. A large trimming tab is a noticeable feature of the rudder. Some modification of the top line of the fuselage is effected by a power-operated gun turret which is incorporated in the cockpit, similar to the installation in the Do-217. The landing gear is of the standard oleo-pneumatic retractable type and the tail wheel is also fully retractable. The leading edge of the wings were fitted with balloon cable cutters.

The aircraft is powered by two BMW 801 G-2 14-cylinder aircooled radial engines, fully rated and fitted with three-bladed metal propellers. The fuel tank installation is the same as in the Ju-88 with a normal capacity of 146 U.S. gallons in the wing tanks. Possible additional capacity of 325 gallons in the forward bomb compartment and 181 in the rear bomb compartment gives a maximum supply of 952 gallons. The fuel of any individual tank may be jettisoned through the operation of a selector switch on the instrument panel. Performance estimates, which are approximately 15 per cent higher than corresponding figures for the Ju-88 equipped with Jumo 211 J engines, include maximum emergency speeds of 285 mph at sea level and 325 mph at 20,000 feet. Ranges, with 771 gallons of fuel are 800 miles at cruising speed of 254 mph and 1,200 miles with a weak mixture economical cruising speed of 232 mph. Service ceiling is estimated to be between 33,000 and 34,000 feet.

The armament is considerably more powerful than that of the Ju-88. There are two 13-mm MG 131s, one in a dorsal power-rotated turret with a perspex dome, similar to that installed in the Do-217, and the other in a manually-operated ring fitted with a bullet-proof glass shield in the dorsal rear of the cockpit. One 20-mm MG 151, with limited movement, is mounted in the nose and twin 7.9-mm MG 81s are installed in the ventral position, firing aft.

As the forward bomb compartment was apparently fitted with a long-range tank, the bomb load probably consisted of ten 110-pound bombs carried in the rear bomb compartment and two 2,200-pound and two 1,100-pound bombs in four carriers, two fitted externally under each wing. The bomb doors are operated by an electric motor, a new feature in German aircraft.

The armor found consisted of plate protection for the back, shoulders, and head of the pilot, a bullet-proof windshield for the radio operator, another plate behind the radio set, and a curved plate on the floor.

The presence of A.S.V. (air-to-surface vessel apparatus) may indicate the use of the aircraft for antishipping operations.

The Ju-188 has participated in the recent hit-and-run raids over England and may be encountered by convoys in the near future.


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