All Images Copyrighted 2012.   All Unauthorized Use Prohibited.
All Images Copyrighted 2012.   All Unauthorized Use Prohibited.
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JU-87

The Junkers Ju 87 or Stuka (from Sturzkampfflugzeug, "dive bomber") was a two-man German ground-attack aircraft. Designed by Hermann Pohlmann, the Stuka first flew in 1935 and made its combat debut in 1936 as part of the Luftwaffe's Condor Legion in the Spanish Civil War.

The aircraft was easily recognizable by its inverted gull wings, fixed spatted undercarriage and its infamous Jericho-Trompete ("Jericho Trumpet") wailing siren, becoming the propaganda symbol of German air power and the blitzkrieg victories of 1939–1942. The Stuka's design included several innovative features, including automatic pull-up dive brakes under both wings to ensure that the aircraft recovered from its attack dive even if the pilot blacked out from the high acceleration.

Although sturdy, accurate, and very effective, the Ju 87 was vulnerable to modern fighter aircraft, like many other dive bombers of the war. Its flaws became apparent during the Battle of Britain; poor maneuverability and a lack of both speed and defensive armament meant that the Stuka required heavy fighter escort to operate effectively.