The Ju 88V1 had an all-metal, stressed skin construction; Junkers hired two American engineers to acquire knowledge about the latest structural developments. The Ju 88V1 had a compact, well-streamlined cockpit roof and a pointed nose.
It was powered by Daimler-Benz DB engines, installed in cowlings with circular radiators. The inverted V engines were installed in front of the wing leading edge, not under the wing. Because of the long cowlings the Ju 88 earned the nickname Dreifinger , three fingers. The Ju 88V1 was lost before performance tests could begin, but the type had already shown great promise.
From the third prototype onwards the engines were changed to Junkers Jumo , because the scarce Daimler-Benz engines were reserved for fighters. The fourth prototype, the Ju 88V4, featured the "beetle eye" cockpit of the production aircraft, a four-seat cockpit covered with a large number of small, flat transparencies. It also had the ventral gondola under the nose, from which a gunner could fire rearwards. It was a sensational public debut. Meanwhile, the general staff of the Luftwaffe made some fateful decisions.
On the one hand the Ju 88 was given the highest possible priority, with increasing concern expressed as the war came nearer and production still remained behind schedule. On 15 October Dr. Heinrich Koppenberg was put in charge of it, and given the authority to requisition any production facilities he needed; but the results were still disappointing. On the other hand the Luftwaffe had requested that the Ju 88 would be converted into a dive bomber.
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This inevitably slowed down the development and reduced flight performance. Installing dive brakes under the wing was the smallest problem: The need to reinforce the structure for dive bombing attacks caused a considerable increase in weight. Larger internal bomb bays and external bomb racks for four kg bombs increased the problems, and when the first production aircraft came off the line in August , a number of restrictions had to be imposed. Even after all necessary modifications had been carried out, pilots did not usually achieve dives steeper than 60 degrees, although the excellent flying characteristics and automatic dive bombing equipment of the Ju 88 did not make such attacks particularly difficult.
But there was little operational need for dive-bombing, except for anti-shipping missions. The Ju 88 was certainly an excellent aircraft. It was easy to fly, gentle, responsive, and manoeuverable, without vices. These were the characteristics which also made it an excellent nightfighter. A point of criticism for allied test pilots was the cockpit. The extensive framing of the many panels resulted in a fairly restricted view.
In the bomber versions it was also rather cramped and inefficient, although the close grouping of the crew made communication easier. When the war broke out the Ju 88 was an excellent bomber, but only a handful were available and production was not more than one per week. Just one Gruppe was equipped with Ju 88s. In the third week of the war four Ju 88A-1s attacked British warships at Scapa Flow, but they caused no damage.
A Ju 88 had the dubious honour to be the first German victim of RAF fighters, on 9 October , but nevertheless the RAF recognised it as the most formidable bomber of the time. The most important bomber version was the Ju 88A-4, with longer span wings, a stronger airframe, and Jumo J engines. It appeared in the summer of The strong points of the Ju 88 were speed and a significant bomb load. Its weak points were its short range this was often extended by carrying additional fuel tanks in the bomb bays , a cramped and inefficient cockpit, and poor defensive armament.
During the Battle of Britain the Ju 88 proved that it was the best German bomber, but operations from bases in Norway, without fighter escort, still resulted in heavy losses. Reduced shipping charge may be applicable depending on country of destination and contents of shopping cart.
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This decision was influenced by the success of the Ju 87 Stuka in this role. The Junkers development center at Dessau gave priority to the study of pull-out systems and dive brakes. These models became the planned prototype for the A-1 series. The V5 made its maiden flight on 13 April , and the V6 on 28 June Both the V5 and V6 were fitted with four-blade propellers, an extra bomb bay and a central "control system". Aircraft and bomb sights were accordingly modified and dive brakes were removed.
With an advanced Stuvi dive- bombsight , accuracy remained very good for its time. However, the variant lacked the undernose Bola gondola for a ventral gun position.
It was without a doubt, the finest German bomber to see extensive service throughout the war. The fourth prototype, the Ju 88V4, featured the "beetle eye" cockpit of the production aircraft, a four-seat cockpit covered with a large number of small, flat transparencies. And as a main artery for Allied shipping convoys, Luftwaffe activity remained a threat throughout the war. He has been drawing since he could hold a pencil and throughout his life he has worked in many mediums creating artwork on a variety of subjects. The first prototype took off on December 23, The Ju 88 was then pressed into action - along with Do 17s and He s - in the Battle of Britain where losses of medium bombers and fighters proved quite heavy for the attacking Germans. Note the "beetle eye" cockpit glazing and the ventral gondola with gun position.
The Ju 88C series of standard fighter-bomber versions from the C-2 onwards culminated in the Ju 88 C-6 , applying experience acquired with the A-4 bomber, equipped with the same Jumo J engines but replacing the "beetle's eye" nose glazing with a smoothly curved all-metal nose, pierced only by the barrels of its forward-firing offensive armament. The C-6 was used mostly as fighter-bomber and therefore assigned to bomber units.
As a reaction to the increasing number of attacks on German shipping, especially on U-boats in the Bay of Biscay, from July it started flying anti-shipping patrols and escort missions from bases in France. Kampfgeschwader 40 being formed to operate the C The aircraft of V. Between July and July , the Ju 88s of KG 40 and ZG 1 were credited with confirmed air-to-air victories,  at a cost of losses. The Ju 88P was a specialized variant for ground attack and to function as a bomber destroyer , designed starting from  and produced in small numbers, using examples of the Bordkanone heavy calibre aviation autocannon series.
The prototype, derived from a standard Ju 88 A-4, was armed with a 7.
watch This was followed by a small batch of Ju 88 P-1 , which standardized the solid sheet metal nose of the C version for all known examples of the P-series, and used the new 7. The Ju 88P-1 was produced in some 40 units, but with the massive cannon installation resulting in a slow and vulnerable aircraft,  it was soon replaced by the Ju 88 P-2 , featuring two Bordkanone 3. This aircraft was used by Erprobungskommando The Ju 88C was originally intended as a fighter-bomber and heavy fighter by adding fixed, forward-firing guns to the nose while retaining some bomb carrying ability of the A-series bomber.
The C-series had a solid metal nose, and retained the A-series style vertical tail, as well as the ventral Bola gondola under the crew compartment, although this was sometimes removed at unit level in order to reduce weight and drag and thus enhance aircraft performance. The JuC was later used as a night fighter and this became its main role.
The first four C-6b fighters were tested in early by NJG 1. The trials were successful and the aircraft was ordered into production.
In October , many C-6bs were upgraded with new radar systems. Many JuC's had their Bola gondolas modified to hold up to 3 forward firing machine guns or cannon. The rear gondola gun position being eliminated. In addition several night fighters were equipped with two "Schrage-Musik" upward firing 20mm cannon in trial fittings and from mid onward, there was an official field modification kit available for this arrangement. A small number of the C-series day fighters had their new solid-metal noses specially painted to resemble the bomber A-series' "beetle's eye" faceted clear view nose glazing, in an attempt to deceive Allied pilots into thinking the fighters were actually bombers; the unusual "camouflage" attempt did result initially in a number of Allied aerial losses.
One of the first aircraft from the R-1 series that went into service Werknummer was involved in one of the most significant defections which the Luftwaffe suffered. On 9 May , this night fighter, which was stationed with The fact that Spitfire fighters escorted it towards the end of its flight could indicate that its arrival had been expected.
The Luftwaffe only learned of this defection the following month when members of the crew, pilot Oberleutnant Heinrich Schmitt and Oberfeldwebel Paul Rosenberger made broadcasts on British radio.