Construction of three
Ju 252 prototypes began in July 1940, the design being a result of
various studies to provide a Ju 52/3m follow-on for Deutsche
Lufthansa. When it emerged, the Ju 252 V1 bore little resemblance to
its illustrious forebear other than the trimotor layout. The
Trapoklappe hydraulic rear loading ramp was an important feature,
enabling the carriage of light vehicles and the dropping of para-retarded
loads in flight. Power came from a three 1,340 hp (1000 kW) Junkers
Jumo 211F liquid-cooled engines in annular cowlings and had
accommodation for 21 passengers in a pressurised cabin.
The Ju 252 V1 (D-ADCC)
first flew in October 1941, followed by the V2 and V3 in the winter
months. Despite an order from DLH for 25 aircraft, the needs of the
Luftwaffe were by now far greater than the airline, and Junkers was
ordered to develop the aircraft for military needs. Consequently the
first production prototype, the Ju 252 V4 (DF+BP), featured defensive
armament of one 13 mm (0.51 in) MG 131 machine-gun in a EDL 131 dorsal
turret and two 7.92 m (0.31 in) MG 15 machine-guns in the beam
position. Maximum speed was 272 mph (438 km/h) with a maximum cruising
speed of 242 mph (390 km/h). The service ceiling was 20,670 ft (6300
m). Range of 2,473 miles (3980 km) with maximum payload. With only
4,410 lbs (2000 kg) of payload range increased to 4,100 miles (6600
km). Empty the aircraft weighed 28,880 lbs (13100 kg), with a normal
loadout it weighed 49,560 lbs (22480 kg) and with maximum overload it
weighed 52,910 lbs (24000 kg). It had a span of 111 ft 10 in (34.09
m); length 82 ft 4 in (25.10 m); height 18 ft 10 1/4 in (5.75 m) and a
wing area of 1,320 sq ft (122.3 sq m).
The hydraulically-operated loading ramp (Trapoklappe) beneath the rear
fuselage of the Junkers Ju 252
The Ju 252 V4
underwent acceptance trials at Rechlin, before being used for special
transport tasks, these including the delivery of DB 606 engines to KG
40 at Bordeaux-Mérignac for its He 177s. Junkers proposed that the Ju
252 should replace the Ju 52/3m with transport units, but the
transport situation was so desperate that it was felt imprudent to
upset the production lines. Furthermore, the Ju 252 would place a
greater strain on the supply of strategic materials.
Major assemblies for
11 further aircraft had been completed when work on the Ju 252 was
called to a halt, although Junkers was allowed to complete them.
Assigned prototype numbers V5 to V15, they were officially designated
Ju 252A-l and were delivered during the latter part of 1942. The
Trapoklappe installation, good range and high internal capacity
made them naturals for covert missions. One was delivered to the
viermotorigen Transportstaffel (later Lufttransportstaffel 290) to fly
alongside the Ju 290, while others joined the Gruppe Gartenfeldt,
which used them for special missions such as agent drops in North
Africa on behalf of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt. By the time this
unit was redesignated I./KG 200 in February 1944, two Ju 252s were
still on charge.
(Junkers Ju 252A-1)
Crew: Three or
Four depending on loadout
Flugzeug un Motorenwerke AG Design Team
Junkers Flugzeug un Motorenwerke AG
Three 1,340 hp (1000 kW) Junkers Jumo 211F inverted Vee 12-cylinder
Maximum speed 272 mph (438 km/h); maximum cruising speed 242 mph (390
km/h); service ceiling 20,670 ft (6300 m).
Range: Range of
2,473 miles (3980 km) with maximum payload. With only 4,410 lbs (2000
kg) of payload range increased to 4,100 miles (6600 km).
28,880 lbs (13100 kg) with an absolute maximum take-off weight of
52,910 lbs (24000 kg). Normal loadout it weighed 49,560 lbs (22480
Span 111 ft 10 in (34.09 m); length 82 ft 4 in (25.10 m); height 18 ft
10 1/4 in (5.75 m); wing area 1,320 sq ft (122.3 sq m).
13 mm (0.51 in) MG 131 machine-gun in a EDL 131 dorsal turret and two
7.92 m (0.31 in) MG 15 machine-guns in the beam positions.
252 V1-V15 (later all were designated Ju 252A-1) .
flight (Ju 252 V1) October 1941.