Category Archives: Cargo


Junkers Ju 52/3mg14e (Italeri)

TYPE: Cargo and troop transport aircraft

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of two plus 18 troop

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.
The Ju 52 was similar to the company’s previous Junkers W 33, although larger. Designed in 1930 at the Junkers works at Dessau, Germany, the aircraft’s featured an unusual corrugated duraluminium  metal skin, pioneered by Junkers during WW I, strengthened the whole structure.
The Ju 52 had a low cantilever wing, the midsection of which was built into the fuselage, forming its underside. It was formed around four pairs of circular cross-section duralumin spars with a corrugated surface that provided torsional stiffening. A narrow control surface, with its outer section functioning as the aileron, and the inner section functioning as a flap, ran along the whole trailing edge of each wing panel, well separated from it. The inner flap section lowered the stalling speed and the arrangement became known as the “Doppelflügel” ( “double wing”).
The outer sections of this operated differentially as ailerons, projecting slightly beyond the wingtips with control horns. The strutted horizontal stabilizer carried horn-balanced elevators which again projected and showed a significant gap between them and the stabilizer, which was adjustable in-flight. All stabilizer surfaces were corrugated.
The fuselage was of rectangular section with a domed decking, all covered with corrugated light alloy. There was a port side passenger door just aft of the wings, with windows stretching forward to the pilots’ cockpit. The main undercarriage was fixed and divided; some aircraft had wheel fairings, others not. There was a fixed tailskid, or a later tailwheel. Some aircraft were fitted with floats (Junkers Ju 52/3mg5e) or skis instead of the main wheels.
Originally powered by three Pratt & Whitney R-1690 “Hornet” radial engines, later production models mainly received 770 hp BW 132 engines, a license-built refinement of the Pratt & Whitney design. The two wing-mounted radial engines of the Ju 52/3m had half-chord cowlings and in planform view (from above/below) appeared to be splayed outwards, being mounted at an almost perpendicular angle to the tapered wing’s sweptback leading edge (in a similar fashion to the Mitsubishi G3M bomber (Allied code “Betty”) and Short “Sunderland” flying boat; the angled engines on the Ju 52 were intended to make it easier to maintain straight flight should an engine fail, while the others had different reasons). The three engines had either “Townend” ring or NACA cowlings to reduce drag from the engine cylinders, although a mixture of the two was most common, with deeper-chord NACA cowlings on the wing engines and a narrow “Townend” ring on the center engine, which was more difficult to fit a deeper NACA cowl onto, due to the widening fuselage behind the engine. Production Ju 52/3m aircraft flown by Luftwaffe usually used an air-start system to turn over their trio of radial engines, using a common compressed air supply that also operated the main wheels’ brakes.
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 and flew as a troop and cargo transport.. 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 (Ref.: 24).

Gotha Go 242A-1 (Huma Models)

TYPE: Assault and transport glider

ACCOMMODATION: One or two pilots + 23 troops or equivalent freight



COMMENT: The Gotha Go 242 was designed in response to a ReichsLuftfahrt Ministerium (RLM) requirement for a heavy transport glider to replace the DFS 230 then in service. The requirement was for a glider capable of carrying 20 fully laden troops or the equivalent cargo.
The aircraft was a high-wing monoplane with a simple square-section fuselage ending in clamshell doors used to load cargo. The empennage was mounted on twin booms linked by a tail plane. The fuselage was formed of steel tubing covered with doped fabric. The flight characteristics of the design were better than those of the DFS 230. Cargo versions of the glider featured a hinged rear fuselage loading ramp that could accommodate a small vehicle such as a “Kübelwagen” (Jeep) or loads of similar size and weight.
Two prototypes flew in 1941 and the type quickly entered production. At the end of 1942 253 Gotha Go 242A-0 and A-1A have been delivered primarily used for freight transportation. For take-off a two wheel jettisonable landing gear and for landing three landing skids were provided. In total 1,259 Gotha Go 242A-0 and A-1 were produced.
In service, Go 242s were towed into the air by Heinkel He 111s or Junkers Ju 52s. Most saw service in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and Aegean. Occasionally, Junkers Ju 87D-2 were used as tow plane. These had strengthened rear fuselage and combined tailwheel and hook for towing the Gotha Go 242.
Furthermore, the glider was tested with rockets for overloaded take offs. A jettisonable rack of four 48 kg Rheinmetall RI 502 solid fuel rockets each developing at 153 kp thrust for six seconds was attached to the rear of the cargo compartment. These were ignited in sequence to provide a continuous 153 kp thrust for 24 seconds.
A second rocket assisted system called the “R” (Rauch) Gerät (“Smoke” Decice)  was also used with the glider. This was a liquid-fuel Walter KG R I-203 (HWK 500A) “Starthilfe” (Take-off Assist) monopropellant, RATO podded rocket engine which was mounted beneath the wing on either side of the body and was jettisoned after takeoff, parachuting down to be recycled (Ref.: 24).

Gotha-MMW Ka 430A-0 (Huma)

TYPE: Medium Assault and Freight Glider

ACCOMMODATION: Crew of two + 12 troops or 1,600 kg freight



COMMENT: The Gotha Ka 430 was a medium assault and freight glider, first built in 1944. The glider was designed by A. Kalkert and Gotha design team as a potential successor of the Gotha Go 242 glider. Somewhat smaller than the earlier glider, the new design introduced a rear loading ramp, some armor protection for the crew and a manually-operated gun turret.
The Ka 430 had a conventional structure with a wing of laminated plywood construction and plywood and fabric cowering, and a welded steel-tube fuselage covered by fabric aft of the cockpit, the nose being a moulded plywood shell fitting over the metal frame work and bolted in place. The undercarriage was of fixed, levered-suspension tricycle type, and the cargo hold extended from the cockpit to just aft of the mainwheels and terminated in a loading ramp hinged  at the point where the rear fuselage swept upwards to merge with the tail-carrying boom, a section of the decking aft of the ramp hinged upwards to enlarge the opening. Slatted airbrakes were provided in the wings to steepen the glide angle and provision was made in the extreme nose for the installation of a battery of braking rockets.
To evaluate the rear fuselage and integral loading ramp a Go 242A-2 was modified to serve as a Ka 430 prototype, and the successful trials led to the placing of an order for 30 pre-production Ka 430A-0 gliders which were to be built by the Mitteldeutsche Metallwerke (MMW) at Erfurt.
The first Ka 430 A-0 (without gun turret) were completed late in 1944, successful towing trials being performed with Heinkel He 111H and Junkers Ju 88A as tugs, but only 12 of the pre-production gliders had been completed when the war situation necessitated the abandoning of the construction program (Ref.: 7)