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German Balkenkreuz

Germany's Junkers Ju 388L photo-reconnaissance
Junkers Ju 388K high altitude bomber
Junkers Ju 388J "Störtebeker", night fighter

Design

The Junkers 388 fulfilled a requirement for a high speed long range bomber. It was based on the Ju 188S and Ju 188T.

Prototypes

The reconnaissance prototype first flew at the end of 1943.

The night fighter prototype first flew in January 1944.

The bomber prototype first flew in 1944 (after the night fighter prototype).

Production

  • Prototypes: 5
  • Junkers Ju 388K-0: 10
  • Junkers Ju 388K-1: 5
  • Junkers Ju 388L: 37
    • Production: October 1944 - December 1944
  • Junkers Ju 388L-0: 10
    • Production: 1943 - ?
  • Junkers Ju 388L-1: 45
  • Junkers Ju 388L-3: 2
  • Junkers Ju 388: 77
    • Manufacturer: Junkers Flugzeug und Motorenwerke A.G.

Variants

  • Junkers Ju 388J: High altitude day and night fighter. Was given high production priority but none were delivered before the end of World War II. Pressurized cabins. There were fairings in the nose for the radar aerial arrays.
  • Junkers Ju 388K: High altitude bomber. Had a bulged bomb bay.
  • Junkers Ju 388L: High altitude photo reconnaissance.
  • Junkers Ju 388L-0: Pre production. First flew in May 1944.
  • Junkers Ju 388L-1: Delivery started in August / October 1944.
  • Junkers Ju 388L-3: Had Junkers Jumo 213 V 12 engines (1,750 HP).

Usage

Germany used the Junkers Ju 388s. They were nearly unreachable at height by any Allied interceptor.

Specifications

  Junkers Ju 388
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801TJ
Cylinders Radial 14
HP 1,810 each
Propeller blades 3 each
  Junkers Ju 388J
Type Night fighter
Crew 4
Pilot, observers (2), radio operator
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801 TJ
OR 2: Jumo 213 E
OR 2: Jumo 213 E/F
Fuel capacity 720 gallons
Weight  
Loaded 30,000 - 30,700 lb
13,650 - 13,940 kg
Loaded - Maximum Takeoff 32,500 lb
14,760 kg
Performance  
Speed at 29,600' /
9,000 m with Jumo 213E
402 mph
643 kph
Speed at 37,700' /
11,500 m with Jumo 222 E/F
414 mph
662 kph
Speed at 40,300' /
12,300 m with BMW 801 J
362 mph
580 kph
Endurance at 26,300' /
8,020 m with BMW J
4.45 hours
Armament  
Upward Firing (Schrage Musik) 2: MG 151/20
Under fuselage pod 2: 20 mm, MG 151/20
2: 30 mm
2: MK 108
OR 2: MK 103
  Junkers Ju 388K
Type Bomber, High altitude bomber
Crew  
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801 G
OR 2: Jumo 222 A/B
OR 2: Jumo 213 E
Weight  
Loaded 31,400 - 35,200 lb
14,260 - 15,980 kg
Performance  
Speed at 33,400' /
10,200 m with Jumo 213 E
368 mph
590 kph
Speed at 37,700' /
11,500 m with Jumo 222 E/F
432 mph
690 kph
Speed at 38,000' /
11,590 m with BMW 801 G
378 mph
607 kph
Speed at 39,400' /
12,000 m with Jumo 222 A/B
394 mph
630 kph
Service ceiling with BMW 801 G 42,200'
12,870 m
Range at 26,300' /
8,020 m with Jumo 222 A/B
1,290 miles
2,060 km
Range at 30,200' /
9,210 m with Jumo 213 E
1,340 miles
2,140 km
Range at 36,100' /
11,000 m with BMW 801 G
1,100 miles
1,760 km
Range at 37,700' /
11,500 m with Jumo 222 E/F
1,130 miles
1,700 km
Armament  
Turret - Tail 2: MG 131
Bombs 6,614 lb
3,000 kg
  Junkers Ju 388L
Type Reconnaissance
Crew 3
Pilot, observer, radio operator
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801 TJ
OR 2: Jumo 213 E
Fuel capacity 866 gallons
Weight  
Loaded 30,450 - 30,820 lb
13,825 - 14,000 kg
Performance  
Speed at 29,900' /
9,090 m with Jumo 213 E
407 mph
646 kph
Speed at 40,300' /
12,290 m with BMW 801 TJ
383 mph
613 kph
Range at 30,200' /
9,210 m with Jumo 213 E
2,285 miles
3,660 km
Range at 36,000' /
10,980 m with BMW 801 TJ
2,160 miles
3,460 km
Armament  
Turret - Tail Twin MG 131
  Junkers Ju 388L-1
Type Photo reconnaissance, Reconnaissance
Crew 3
Engine (Type) 2: BMW 801 TJ
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 1,800 each
Dimensions  
Span 72' 2"
22 m
Length 49' 0.5", 49' 10"
14.95 m
Height 14' 3", 14' 7.25"
4.45 m
Weight  
Empty 22,600 lb
10,251 kg
Loaded 30,450 lb, 32,352 lb
14,675 kg
Performance  
Speed @ 29,790' /
9,080 m with water
methanol boost
407 mph
655 kph
Speed @ 40,300' /
12,285 m
383 mph
616 kph
Cruising speed 280 mph
540 kph
Climb 1,330'/minute
405 m/minute
Climb to 36,090' /
11,000 m
30 minutes
Service ceiling 44,095', 44,100'
13,440 m
Range 1,414 miles, 2,160 miles
3,476 km
Armament 2: MG
Tail barbette 2: 13 mm MG

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 1, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, 1989
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site