Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka dive-bomber

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka dive-bomber

The RAF Hendon Ju-87 is thought to have been built 1943-4 as one of 1,178 Ju87 D-5 ground-attack variants ordered by the German Luftwaffe, but later modified to G-2 standard. The work number may have been changed from 2883 (D-5) to 494083 when rebuilt as a G-2, of which 210 were produced.

This Ju-87 was captured in Germany, May 1945. The British Disarmament Wing located 59 Ju-87s at the end of the war.  This was one of 12 German aircraft selected by the Air Ministry for museum display, rather than as evaluation aircraft. According to RAF Hendon nine of these museum aircraft still survive. However, only two “intact” Ju-87s appear to remain anywhere in the world, one in Chicago, USA, and the other, this one, at RAF Hendon, UK.

This Junkers Ju-87 dive-bomber, often referred to simply as a “Stuka” was still in running order in 1967 and was intended for use in the film Battle of Britain. However, the filmmakers decided that restoration of the airframe was too expensive. Instead, the film uses model replica Ju-87s. The aircraft suffered some damage in transit during the 1970s but otherwise appears in good condition. There are no Ju-87s flying anywhere in the world today, which is a great shame.

Junkers Ju-87 on the Eastern Front

Junkers Ju-87 on the Eastern Front

German Ju-87 Stuka in Russia

Attribution: Bundesarchiv Bild 101I-329-2984-05A, Russland, Junkers Ju-87, Creative Commons Licence 3.0

Ju-87 G2 Stuka

Ju-87 G2 Stuka

German Luftwaffe Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka dive-bomber photographed at Hendon, RAF Museum, London, UK.

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka Dive Bomber Walkaround

In this The War Years video we take a walk around RAF Hendon's Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka dive-bomber. Captured in May 1945 on the German-Russian border this was one of 59 Stukas recovered at the war's end by the British. Today just two intact Ju-87s remain.

Luftwaffe Ju-87 G2 Stuka

Luftwaffe Ju-87 G2 Stuka

The Junkers Ju-87 or Stuka (Sturzkampfflugzeug or dive-bomber) was a German ground-attack aircraft. Designed by Hermann Pohlmann, the Stuka first flew in 1935 and made its combat debut in 1936 as part of the Luftwaffe's (German air force) Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War.

Ju-87 Stuka Dive-Bomber

Ju-87 Stuka Dive-Bomber

The Ju-87 was easily recognisable by its inverted gull wings and fixed spatted undercarriage. The aircraft became infamous for its trumpets of Jericho sirens designed to terrify and demoralise those on the receiving end of an attack.

Junkers Ju-87 Stuka Dive-Bomber

Junkers Ju-87 Stuka Dive-Bomber

In a near vertical dive a Stuka could pull nine-g causing the pilot to blackout. To overcome the problems of g-force before the introduction of modern flying suits, the Stuka was equipped with automatic dive breaks that enabled the aircraft to recover after an attack even if the pilot had temporarily lost consciousness.  

Junkers Ju-87 in Flight

Junkers Ju-87 in Flight

Attribution: BundesarchivBild 183-1987-1210-502, Polen, Stukas - Creative Commons Licence 3.0

WW2 German Luftwaffe Ju-87 G2 Dive-Bomber

WW2 German Luftwaffe Ju-87 G2 Dive-Bomber

Although sturdy, accurate and very effective against ground targets, the Ju-87 was very slow in level flight making it vulnerable to enemy fighter aircraft.

Ju-87 Stuka Dive-Bomber

Ju-87 Stuka Dive-Bomber

It is estimated that around 6,500 Ju-87s of all types were built between 1936 and August 1944.  According to the RAF Museum, London, 59 Ju-87s were captured by the British. Many of these aircraft became guinea pigs being tested to destruction by the Air Ministry. Twelve Ju-87s were designated for museum display purposes, but only one intact example remains in the UK.

Hans-Ulrich Rudel, Ju-87 Pilot

Hans-Ulrich Rudel, Ju-87 Pilot

The most highly decorated German serviceman of the war, Oberst Hans-Ulrich Rudel was a Ju-87 Stuka pilot. In his amazing wartime career Rudel flew 2,530 combat missions claiming a total of 2,000 targets destroyed; including 800 vehicles, 519 tanks, 150 artillery pieces, 70 landing craft, nine aircraft, four armoured trains, several bridges, a destroyer, two cruisers, and the Soviet battleship Marat. He was shot down or forced to make emergency landings 32 times (sometimes behind enemy lines), was wounded five times and rescued a number of fellow aircrews in his own plane. He was even the subject of a German propaganda film. In later life he contributed to the development of the American A-10 ground-attack aircraft. However, Rudel remained an unrepentant Nazi until his death in 1982. 

Ju-87 Stuka Dive-Bomber

Ju-87 Stuka Dive-Bomber

WW2 German Luftwaffe Junkers Ju-87 Stuka Dive-Bomber - learn more.

Junkers Ju-87 Stuka Dive-Bomber

Junkers Ju-87 Stuka Dive-Bomber

The most common bomb-load for a Ju-87 Stuka was a single SC250 general purpose high-explosive bomb beneath the fuselage and four SC50s under the wings. The Stuka was particularly effective against shipping rather than land forces.

Ju-87 Stuka Dive-Bomber

Ju-87 Stuka Dive-Bomber

Junkers Ju-87 Stuka dive-bomber, RAF Museum, London.

Stuka Ace - Hans-Ulrich Rudel

The most highly decorated German serviceman of the entire Second World War, Stuka pilot Oberst Hans-Ulrich Rudel. 

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka dive-bomber

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka dive-bomber

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka dive-bomber, RAF Museum, London.

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka Dive-Bomber

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka Dive-Bomber

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka dive-bomber, RAF Museum, London.

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka dive-bomber, RAF Museum, London.

Junkers Ju-87Ds October 1943

Junkers Ju-87Ds October 1943

Attribution: Junkers Ju-87Ds in flight Oct 1943 undesarchiv, Bild 183-J16050CC-BY-SA - Creative Commons Licence 3.0

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka Dive-Bomber

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka Dive-Bomber

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka dive-bomber, RAF Museum, London.

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka Dive-Bomber

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka Dive-Bomber

Junkers Ju-87 G2 Stuka dive-bomber, RAF Museum, London.