POWER PLANT: Two BMW 801G-2 air-cooled radial engines, rated at 1,700 hp each
PERFORMANCE: 310 mph
COMMENT: A modified torpedo bomber version of the German Luftwaffe high-performance medium bomber Junkers Ju 188 was the Junkers Ju 188E-2. These aircraft differed from the Junkers Ju 188E-1 by mounting a small, low-UHF-band FuG 200 “Hohentwiel” sea-search radar set under the nose (not shown on these pictures) and shackles for a torpedo for naval strike missions. The aircraft were delivered as the Ju 188 E-2 with BMW 801 air-cooled radial engines, and with the Jumo as the Ju 188 A-3. The only other difference was the removal of the outer pair of wing bomb shackles (Ref.: 24).
POWER PLANT: Two Wright GR-2600 radial engines, rated at 1,700 hp each
PERFORMANCE: 305 mph at 11,600 ft
COMMENT: Derived from the Martin A-22 “Maryland” the “Baltimore” had a deeper fuselage and more powerful engines. It met the needs for a light to medium bomber, originally ordered by the Anglo-French Purchasing Commission as a joint project in May 1940. The French Air Force sought to replace the earlier “Maryland”; 400 aircraft being ordered. With the fall of France, the Royal Air Force (RAF) took over the order and gave it the service name “Baltimore” To enable the aircraft to be supplied to the British under the Lend-and-Lease Act the U. S. Army Air Forces designation A-30 was allocated. In total 1.175 aircraft provided to the RAF.
The first British aircraft were delivered in late 1941 to equip Operational Training Units. Later, the RAF only used the “Baltimore” operationally in the Mediterranean theater and North Africa.
Many users were impressed by the step up that the “Baltimore” represented from older aircraft like the Bristol “Blenheim”. The users of the “Baltimore” praised the aircraft for its heavy armament, structural strength, maneuverability, bombing accuracy, and relatively high performance, but crews complained of cramped conditions similar to those in the earlier “Maryland” bomber. Due to the narrow fuselage it was nearly impossible for crew members to change positions during flight if wounded – the structure of the interior meant that the pilot and observer were separated from the wireless operator and rear gunner. This was common for most light bombers of the era like the Handley Page “Hampden”, Douglas “Boston” and Bristol “Blenheim”. Pilots also complained about the difficulties in handling the aircraft on the ground. On take-off, the pilot had to co-ordinate the throttles perfectly to avoid a nose-over, or worse. Thrown into action to stop Rommel’s advance, the “Baltimore” suffered massive losses when it was utilized as a low-level attack aircraft, especially in the chaos of the desert war where most missions went unescorted. However, operating at medium altitude with fighter escorts, the “Baltimore” had a very low loss rate, with the majority of losses coming from operational accidents.
Undertaking a variety of missions in the Middle East, Mediterranean and European theaters, the “Baltimore’s” roles included reconnaissance, target-towing, maritime patrol, night intruder and even served as highly uncomfortable fast transport. The “Baltimore” saw limited Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm service with aircraft transferred from the RAF in the Mediterranean to equip a squadron in 1944. More than 1.500 aircraft with a variety of subtypes rolled out of the Martin Company. The “Baltimore” Mk.III depicted here was supplied under Lend-and-Lease Act to the RAF, two 0.50 in machine guns in a Martin-built electrically powered dorsal turret (Ref.: 24).
POWER PLANT: Three BMW 132T-2 radial engines, rated at 830 hp each
PERFORMANCE: 168 mph at 2,000 ft
COMMENT: The Junkers Ju 52/3m (nicknamed “Tante Ju”, “Aunt Ju”) was German trimotor transport aircraft manufactured in Germany from 1931 until the end of WW II. In total 4.845 aircraft have been built.
Initially designed with a single engine but subsequently produced as a trimotor, Junkers Ju 53 /3m – suffix “3m” means “Drei Motoren” (Three engines) it saw both civilian and military service from mid1930 onwards.
In service with Lufthansa, the Junkers Ju 52/3m had proved to be an extremely reliable passenger airplane. Therefore, it was adopted by the Luftwaffe as a standard aircraft model. The Luftwaffe had 552 Ju 52/3ms in service at the beginning of WW II. Even though it was built in great and production continued until approximately the summer of 1944; when the war came to an end, there were still 100 to 200 aircraft available.
In a military role, the Junkers Ju 52/3m flew with the Luftwaffe as a troop and cargo transport. The seaplane version, designated Junkers Ju 52/3mg5e, was equipped with two large interchangeable floats and served during the Norvegian Campaigne in 1940, and later in the Mediterranean theatre. Some Ju 52/3m’s, both floatplanes and landplanes, were also used as minesweepers, known as “Minensuchgerät” (“mine-search” aircraft). This variant, designated Junkers Ju 52/3mg6e MS, and was fitted with a 14-metre diameter current-carrying degaussing ring under the airframe to create a magnetic field that triggered submerged naval mines. The suffix “MS” was usually given to aircraft to designate them as minesweepers, like the similarly equipped Blohm & Voss Ha 139B/MS float plane, and Blohm & Voss Bv 138C-1 MS flying boat, respectively (Ref.: 24).
TYPE: Transport, reconnaissance and mine-swiping floatplane
ACCOMMODATION: Crew of four to five
POWER PLANT: Four Junkers Jumo 205C opposed piston diesel engines, rated at 600 hp each
PERFORMANCE: 179 mph at 9,850 ft
COMMENT: The Blohm & Voss Ha 139 was an all-metal inverted gull wing floatplane. With its four engines it was at the time one of the largest float-equipped seaplanes that had been built. The inboard engines were mounted at the joint between the inboard anhedral and outboard dihedral wing sections, above the pylon-mounted floats.
The aircraft were flown by Deutsche Luft Hansa (DHL) on transatlantic routes between 1937 and 1939. Catapult-launched from an aircraft tender they were able to transport 500 kg of mail over a distance of up to 5,000 km.
On the outbreak of WW II, the planes were transferred to the Luftwaffe and used for transport, reconnaissance and minesweeping work over the Baltic Sea. They were not particularly suited for military use. After service with DLH, the Ha 139B was modified as the Ha 139B/Umbau (Reconstruction) with an extended glazed nose accommodating a navigator and a spherical Ikaria mount for a machine-gun. Further machine guns were mounted in the cockpit roof hatch and in lateral mountings on either side of the rear fuselage. The Ha 139B/Umbau was later modified into a mine sweeping (Minensuch) aircraft Ha 139B/MS fitted with a large magnetic sensing loop strung between the nose, floats, wing-tips, and tail unit.
Further development of the Ha 139 led to the land based version Blohm & Voss Bv 142 which had its first flight in October 1938 (Ref.: 24).
POWER PLANT: Four BMW 132H-1air-cooled radial engines, rated at 870 hp
PERFORMANCE: 232 mph at sea level
COMMENT: The Blohm & Voss BV 142 was a civil aircraft developed for the transatlantic airmail service, originally designed for the Deutsche Luft Hansa (DHL). The first prototype was flown on 11 October 1938. The aircraft had four engines mounted on a low inverted gull monoplane wing, high horizontal stabilizer, and a double vertical tail, based on the Blohm & Voss Ha 139 float plane.The wing center section was strengthened by a typical Blohm & Voss cross-girder, which consisted of a large-diameter pipe. This transverse tube (divided internally into five sections) also acted as a fuel tank. The center wing was metal-covered, while the outer wings were fabric-covered. The fuselage was of metal and had an approximately circular cross-section. Each main landing gear leg had dual wheels and was fully retractable, as was the tailwheel. The landing gear was hydraulically lowered and retracted.
Only four prototypes (V1 through V4) were built. These aircraft were tested by Lufthansa and used briefly in the postal service. However, the outbreak of WW II ended further development of the civilian project. Soon after, it was proposed to convert all four prototype BV 142’s to long-range maritime patrol aircraft. The BV 142 V2 thus underwent a trial modification. It was fitted with an extended nose section with extensive glazing (like the Heinkel He 111H-6), defensive armament (MG 15 machine gun in the nose, twin-beam positions, a ventral cupola, and a powered dorsal turret), a compartment for ordnance in the fuselage, and navigation and military radio equipment. The BV 142 V2 was redesignated BV 142 V2/U1 while the V1 was similarly converted. Both were used operationally from late 1940 and were posted to the Luftwaffe’s Second Surveillance Group. However, their performance was disappointing, and after only a few missions, they were withdrawn from service in 1942. The two other aircraft (V3 and V4) were used as transport aircraft and could transport 30 fully equipped soldiers over 4,000 km. The ultimate fate of V3 and V4 is unknown. It was later planned to use the V1 and V2 to carry the Henschel GT 1200C guided torpedo, but the plan was scrapped (Ref: 24).
ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only in prone position in pressurized cabin
POWER PLANT: One Walter HWK 109-509 bi-fuel liquid rocket engine, rated at 1,650 kp at 40,000 ft
PERFORMANCE: 559 mph (estimated)
COMMENT: The rocket-powered high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft DFS 228 (Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug, German Institute for Sailplane Flight) was designed to climb to altitudes up to 75,459 ft and was than – due to this extreme height – far beyond the operational limits of any other aircraft at its time.
The DFS 228 design was a mid-wing monoplane, using wood whenever possible, with the exception of the pressurized nose compartment, which was an all-metal construction. Fins were plywood covered, ailerons and rudder fabric covered. A landing skid was housed in the center fuselage and could be extended for landing. For take-off a “Mistel” (Mistletoe) pick a pack configuration with landing skids retracted on a carrier Dornier Do 217K was proposed. Equipped with Zeiss infrared camera the aircraft was to be used for powerless reconnaissance missions. To perform these missions the DFS 228 was carried to an altitude of 33,000 ft. After ignition of the Walter HWK 109-509 liquid-fuel rocket engine and separation from its carrier the aircraft was able to reach its service ceiling of app. 75,000 ft within five minutes. The actual reconnaissance mission was done in powerless flight. Descending to its release height of 33,000 ft the aircraft could cover a distance of app. 466 miles and another 218 miles until landing. In case of emergency the pressurized nose compartment, equipped with all life-supporting systems, could be jettisoned by means of four explosive bolts, the module descend to an altitude at which the pilot could survive without oxygen supply. The pilot was ejected through the front windscreen and at the same time a parachute was deployed to bring the pilot safely to the ground.
By the end of WW II several prototypes had been built. However, flight testing was only performed in a non-powered glide and a height of 33,000 ft resp.75,000 ft was not exceeded (Ref 17, 24).