Junkers Ju 86R

The Junkers Ju 86R was an improved version of the Ju 86P high altitude bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, capable of reaching 14,800m (48,500), an increase in service ceiling of 10,000ft over the earlier aircraft.

Development of the Ju 86R began well before the first successful interception of a Ju 86P, on 22 August 1942 in the skies over Cairo, and the first five aircraft had been delivered to the Luftwaffe by April 1942.

The Ju 86R differed from the Ju 86P in three main ways. It was powered by two 1,000ph Jumo 207 B-3 engines which added GM-1 (nitrous oxide) injection to the superchargers of the 207 A. All-metal four-blade propellors were used in place of the three-blade propellors of the Ju 86P. Finally the wing span was increased from 83ft 11 7.8in to 104ft 11 7/8in (32m).

The Ju 86R was produced in two models. The R-1 was a reconnaissance aircraft equipped with two cameras, while the R-2 had four bomb bays that could each carry one SC 250 or four ZC/SC 60 bombs, giving it a total payload of 1,000kg.

The Ju 86R had a short operational career. By September 1942 it could already be reached by the Spitfire IX, and so only a small number were ever produced. It was withdrawn from service in July 1944.

A third model was proposed by Junkers. The Ju 86R-3 would have been powered by two 1,500hp Jumo 208 diesel engines. These would have been boosted by a large two-stage supercharger mounted in the fuselage and powered by a third 1,500hp DB 605 T-0 inverted-vee supercharged engine. This plan had to be abandoned when it became clear that there was not room in the fuselage for all of the extra equipment.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (12 November 2009), Junkers Ju 86R , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_junkers_ju86R.html

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