The first production models of the Ju87 served with the Legion Kondor in the Spanish Civil War from 1936-1939 in support of the Nationalists. The Ju87b, the second production model, evolved from lessons learned in that conflict. The major improvement was the installation of the Jumo 211A engine, which was rated at 1,100hp versus the paltry 680hp of its predecessor. Other improvements included redesigned landing struts, which reduced the drag of the aircraft, a larger radiator which reduced overheating problems and the installation of an automatic pull out device safety feature. The latter was designed to keep pilots who blacked out during the steep dives from following their bomb payload into the ground. Finally, in addition to the 7.92mm MG 15 facing aft, it was equipped with two 7.92mm MG 17 machine guns in the wings.
Ju87b's served admirably in support of the Blitzkrieg attacks in Poland and France, but like their He111 cousins, found themselves quite a bit more vulnerable in the Battle of Britain. Thereafter, they were primarily used in North Africa and on the Eastern Front.
Junkers Ju.87B-2 Stuka
- Wingspan: 45 ft. 3 in.
- Length: 36 ft. 5 in.
- Height: 13 ft. 2 in.
- Engine: Junkers Jumo 211D rated 1,200 hp.
- Loaded Weight: 9,560 lb.
- Maximum Speed: 238 mph.
- Service Ceiling: 26,250 ft.
- Combat Radius: 245 miles
- Armaments: 2,000 lbs. of bombs, 2 x 7.9mm MG-17 machine guns, 1 x 7.9mm MG-15 machine gun in rear cockpit
Defensive Fire Arc:
This material was included in the original 1998 release of European Air War by Microprose.