Junkers Ju 89

The Junkers Ju 89 was a long range bomber that was developed in 1935-36, part of an early German attempt to develop a strategic bomber force that was abandoned early in 1937.

When the Luftwaffe was first formed the strategic bomber had a number of important advocates, amongst them Generals Wever and Milch. With their backing a specification was developed for a heavy bomber, to be capable of carrying two tons of bombs over 1,550 miles. Dornier and Junkers were both asked to submit designs, responding with the Do 19 and Ju 89. Junkers received a development contract on 24 January 1935, although their chief designer, Ernst Zindel, had already begun work on the project.

The Ju 89 was a low-wing monoplane. The wings had a swept back leading edge and straight trailing edge, with the controls on the standard Junkers second wing. The aircraft had a twin rudder and tail. It was to be powered by four engines, but in the mid 1930s the most powerful engines, in particular the DB 600 series, were really reserved for fighter aircraft.

The V1 made its maiden flight on 7 December 1936, powered by four 680hp Jumo 210A engines. It was followed by the V2 in the spring of 1937, this time powered by four 960hp DB 600A engines, and work was already underway on the V3, which was to have been the first version to carry guns.

By this point the strategic bomb had lost its main supporter, General Wever, who was killed in an air crash on 3 June 1936, while Milch was increasingly out of favour, losing control of the technical department of the RLM early in 1937. This combined with the lack of suitable engines available for use in bomber aircraft meant that on 29 April 1937 work was officially cancelled on both the Ju 89 and Dornier Do 19.

Junker's work on the Ju 89 didn't go entirely to waste. Once it was clear that the heavy bomber was out of favour the company switched its efforts to a transport aircraft, the Ju 90. This was produced in small numbers, and was the precursor to the Ju 290 transport and eventually the Ju 390 bomber.

Engine: Daimler-Benz DB 600 (V2)
Power: 960hp
Wing span: 115ft 8in
Length: 86ft 11in
Height: 24ft 11in
Empty Weight: 37,435lb
Take-off Weight: 61,275lb
Max Speed: 242mph (390 km/h)
Service Ceiling: 22,950ft
Range: 1,850 miles
Armament: Three 20mm MG FF cannon and two 7.9mm MG 15 machine guns (proposed)

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 (14 November 2009), Junkers Ju 89 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_junkers_ju89.html

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