Junkers Ju 88S

The Ju 88S was the result of an attempt to increase the speed of the aircraft. Work began in the new design late in 1942 and production aircraft began to appear late in 1943. Performance was improved by removing any items that would cause unnecessary drag, such as the dive brakes and external bomb racks. The original glass nose was replaced by a smooth transparent nose cap, modelled on the solid nose used on the fighter variants. Powered by two 1,700hp BMW 801D radial engines, the prototype aircraft reached a top speed of 332mph, good but not good enough.


The S-1 saw even more weight removed. The ventral gondola was removed, and the crew reduced to three. All but the most important protective armour was removed, and the defensive armament was reduced to one MG 131 in the rear cockpit position. Even with all of these changes, the normal top speed was only increased to 340mph. A more important increase came from the use of BMW 801G-2 engines with GM-1 nitrous oxide boost. Under boost the S-1 could reach a top speed of 379mph, not enough to escape from allied fighters, but perhaps enough to make interception more difficult. The S-1 entered production in late 1943 and was the most numerous of the S series aircraft. It was used during Operation Steinbock, the last German bombing offensive against Britain (early 1944) as a pathfinder.


The S-2 was a modified S-1 with an enlarged under-fuselage wooden bomb bay similar to the one used in the A-15. It had no external bomb rack. GM-1 boost was removed, but the new 1,810hp BMW 801TJ engines did use exhaust driven turbo-superchargers. The S-2 entered limited production in the spring of 1944.


The S-3 was the last model of Ju 88 bomber to see production. The BMW radials of the S-1 and S-2 were replaced by Jumo 213A 12 cylinder liquid cooled inline engines, with turbo-superchargers and GM-1 boost. These engines could provide 2,300hp with wartime emergency boost, and also gained 340 pounds of thrust from their carefully designed exhausts. The S-3 had a top speed of 382mph at 27,900 feet, but although a small number did enter service in late 1944, they arrived at a time when virtually every German bomber was grounded due to lack of fuel.

Aircraft of the Luftwaffe 1935-1945, Jean-Denis G.G. Lepage. Combines a good background history of the Luftwaffe with a comprehensive examination of its aircraft, from the biplanes of the mid 1930s to the main wartime aircraft and on to the seemingly unending range of experimental designs that wasted so much effort towards the end of the war. A useful general guide that provides an impressively wide range of information on almost every element of the Luftwaffe (Read Full Review)
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 June 2007), Junkers Ju 88S, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_ju88S.html

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