It would be fair to say
that the Junkers Ju 86 was already obsolescent at the beginning of
World War 11, and was accepted rather grudgingly by the Luftwaffe,
which preferred the Heinkel He 111. It is all the more surprising,
therefore, that within two years the type was operating in the
reconnaissance role at higher altitudes than other Luftwaffe aircraft
Like the contemporary
He 111, the Ju 86 was developed as an airliner and bomber, and five
prototypes of each were ordered in 1934. The Junkers aircraft flew five
months later, four months ahead of its competitor, and had been
designed around the new Junkers Jumo 205 diesel engine.
Initial flight trials
were disappointing, handling in particular being poor, and during
subsequent modifications (which may have improved but not eradicated
the problems) gun positions were installed. The third prototype was
completed as a bomber and flew in January 1935, four months before the
second prototype that was built as a commercial aircraft with 10
passenger seats. The fourth prototype, destined to become the first
definitive Ju 86B airliner, flew in May 1935, followed three months
later by the fifth prototype, the production prototype for the Ju 86A
A Junkers Ju 86D-1 medium bomber of 5/Kampfgeschwader 254, based at
Eschwege in September 1937
Production at Junker's
Dessau factory began on both versions in late 1935 with an initial
batch of 13 Ju 86A-0 and seven Ju 86B-0 pre-production aircraft, the
first deliveries being made in February 1936. Bombers carried a crew of
four and had a defensive armament of three machine-guns. The first
export delivery was of a Ju 86B-0 to Swissair in April 1936 for night
mail service, and the balance of six of these pre-production aircraft
went to Lufthansa. In February 1937 a second aircraft went to Swissair
under the export designation Ju 86Z-1, but when re-engined subsequently
with BMW 132De radials it was redesignated Ju 86Z-2. Lufthansa also
received an additional six aircraft in 1937 and these, powered by Jumo
205C diesel engines, had the designation Ju 86C-1.
Junkers had received
some export orders for military models with alternative powerplants.
Sweden acquired three Ju 86K-1 aircraft with 875 hp (652 W) Pratt &
Whitney Hornet radial engines, and subsequently 16 more were built
under licence by SAAB in Sweden and powered by either Swedish or Polish
built Bristol Pegasus engines, both variants having the designation Ju
86K-13. Other versions of the Ju 86K were sold to Chile, Hungary and
Portugal and the (wit Gnome-Rhone, Bristol Pegasus 111 or Swedish built
Pegasus XII engines) had the respective designations Ju 86K-9, Ju 86K4
and Ju 86K-5. Hungary later assembled 66 more aircraft under licence,
powered by licence-built Gnome-Rh6ne radials, and these had the
designation Ju 86K-2.
modifications to the military models resulted in the Jumo 205C-engined
Ju 86D-1, five of which served with the Legion Condor during the
Spanish Civil War, but the diesel engines were not standing up well to
combat conditions and the aircraft had proved markedly inferior to the
He 111. Disenchantment with the Ju 86D and the very poor serviceability
of its engines led the Luftwaffe to make savage and sudden cuts in the
Junkers programme and the diesel engines were dropped. Instead, the 810
hp (604 kW) BMW 132F radial was installed, resulting in the designation
Ju 86E-1, this type being followed by the Ju 86E-2 with uprated 865 hp
(645 kW) BMW 132Ns. Performance showed little improvement but
reliability was greatly improved.
In 1938, in an attempt
to improve pilot visibility, Junkers redesigned the entire nose
section, bringing the pilot farther forward and shortening and lowering
the nose to provide a fully glazed enclosure of more streamlined
contours. The revisions were included on the final 40 production Ju
86E-2s under the designation Ju 86G-1, and manufacture of the Ju 86
ceased in 1938 with a total of about 390 aircraft (excluding licence-
manufacture). Withdrawal of the type from Luftwaffe front-line service
began in late 1938, but at various times during World War 11 it was
found necessary to recall groups from training establishments, for
instance in the relief of Stalingrad, but casualties were heavy. In
spite of its unsuitability for front-line service, the Ju 86 still had
one useful (and unique) role to fill for the Luftwaffe.
Junkers had been
experimenting for some time with a high-altitude version of the Jumo
diesel engine, together with pressure cabin design, and in September
1939 submitted proposals for a high-altitude reconnaissance version of
the Ju 86. The go-ahead was given, and two Ju 86D airframes were
converted, gun positions faired over (since no fighter would be able to
reach the aircraft at its operation al altitude) and a two-seat
pressure cabin was fitted. The prototypes flew in February and March
1940 as Ju 86P aircraft, and reached altitudes of more than 32,810 ft
(10000 m). A third prototype with wing span increased by 10 ft 2 in
(3.10 m) reached 39,700 ft (12100 m), and the success of the trials
earned an order for the conversion of 40 Ju 86Ds to Ju 86Ps. Two models
were built the Ju 86P-1 bomber with a load of 2,205 lbs (1000 kg) and
the Ju 86P-2 reconnaissance aircraft with three cameras. One of the
prototypes flew a reconnaissance mission over the UK at 41,010 ft
(12,500 m) in the summer of 1940 and was undetected, and other
production models both followed this over the UK and USSR.
While standard Allied
fighters were unable to reach them the Ju 86Ps remained unscathed, but
in August 1942 a stripped-down Spitfire Mk V caught a Ju 86P at 37,000
ft (11275 m) over Egypt and after a chase to 42,000 ft (12800 m) shot
it down. In an effort to gain more altitudes, a higher aspect ratio
wing was designed, increasing the span to 104 ft 113/4 in (32.00 m),
and uprated Jumo engines with four- blade propellers were installed.
Two versions were again built, the Ju 86R-1 reconnaissance aircraft and
the Ju 86R-2 bomber, each comprising conversions of the respective Ju
86P types. Only a few aircraft reached service, but during tests an
altitude of 47,250 ft (14400 m) was reached. Further development of the
Ju 86R-3 with 1,500 hp (1119 kW) supercharged Jumo 208s and designed to
reach 52,500 ft (16000 m), and of a proposed Ju 186, with four Jumo
208s or two Jumo 2 18s (which were coupled Jumo 208s) was abandoned.
Probably the last surviving Ju 86s were those with the Swedish Air
Force which completed their service as transports in 1956. One is
preserved in the Swedish Air Force museum.
The Junker Ju 86abl was
the first bomber prototype. It was powered originally by Siemens SAM 9
radial engines. The Ju 86bal was the second prototype developed as a
transport, with Junker Jumo 205C diesel engines. The Ju 86cb was the
third prototype, developed as a bomber, similar to the Ju 86abl, but
with Junkers Jumo 205C diesel engines.
The Ju 86V-4 was a
production prototype for the commercial Ju 86B, and the Ju 86V-5 was
the prototype for the Ju 86A bomber.
The Ju 86A-0/A-1
totalled 13 aircraft designed for use as bombers with the Luftwaffe.
Designed for civilian
use. The Ju 86B was a transport produced for use by Swissair. These
were delivered in April 1936. The Ju 86B-0 was made of up of seven
pre-production aircraft for use by the Luftwaffe as transports.
Six transport aircraft
for Lufthansa with Junker Jumo 205C diesel engines.
A bomber version with
improved Junkers Jumo 205C engines, five of which served with Legion
Condor during the Spanish Civil War, but the powerplant did not stand
up well to combat conditions and the aircraft soon proved to be
markedly inferior to the He 111.
dissatisfaction with the capability of the Ju 86D led to the
development of the far more reliable Ju 86E-1 with BMW 132F radial
engines. The Ju 86E-2 had BMW 132N engines.
during production brought redesignation of the last 40 Ju 86E's to be
produced as Ju 86G-1 aircraft with round glazed noses. Production ended
The Ju86K-1 was the
designation given to the export aircraft for South Africa and Sweden.
The Ju86K-2 was a Saab built (under licence) aircraft for export to
Hungary (66 aircraft total). The Ju 86K-6, also Saab built (under
licence) were exported to Chile and Portugal.
Similar to the Ju 86K-1
but with Bristol Pegasus Ill radial engines for Sweden (B 3A). Ju 86K-5
was similar to the Ju 86K-4 but with Swedish-built Pegasus XII engines
(8 3B). The Ju 86K-13 was a Swedish-built bomber with Swedish and
Polish-built Pegasus engines .
In 1939 two Ju 86D
airframes were used for conversion as the Jumo 207A engined prototypes
of a high altitude version with a two seat pressurised cabin.
Successful trials led to two initial production versions, the Ju 86P-1
(bomber), and the Ju 86P-2 (reconnaissance) aircraft. The Ju 86P-2 had
a ceiling of about 42,000 ft (12800 m) and in an effort to gain more
altitude a high aspect ratio wing spanning 104 ft 11 3/4 in (32.00 m)
was introduced to produce the Ju 86R-1 (reconnaissance) version and the
Ju 86R-2 (bomber) version.
Type: Four Seat
design team headed by Dipl-Ing Zindel
Junkers Flugzeug und Motorenworke AG; also built by Henschel, and built
under licence by Saab, Sweden
600 hp (447 kW) Junkers Jumo 205C-4 vertically opposed diesel engines.
Maximum speed 202 mph (325 km/h) at 9,840 ft (3000 m); cruising speed
177 mph (285 km/h) at 11,480 ft (3500 m); service ceiling 19,360 ft
Range: 932 miles
(1500 km) with full bombload.
equipped 11,354 lbs (5150 kg); with a maximum take-off weight of 18,078
lbs (8200 kg).
73 ft 9 3/4 in (22.50 m); length 58 ft 7 1/2 in (17.87 M); height 16 ft
7 1/4 in (5.06 m); wing area 882.67 sq ft (82.00 sq m).
7.92 mm (0.31 in) MG 15 manually aimed machine guns in nose, dorsal and
ventral positions, plus an internal bombload of up to 1,764 lb (800 kg)
86abl, Ju 86bal, Ju 86cb, Ju 86V-4, Ju 86V-5, Ju 86A-0, Ju 86B
(commercial aircraft built for civilian use by Swissair), Ju 86B-0
(seven pre-production transports), Ju 86C-1, Ju 86D-1, (bomber) Ju
86E-1/E-2, Ju 86G-1, Ju 86K-4/K-5, Ju 86K-13, Ju 86K-1 (export variant
for South Africa and Sweden), Ju 86K-2 (exported to Hungary by Saab),
Ju 86K-6 (exported to Chile and Portugal by Saab), Ju 86P-1/P-2.
Development of the Ju 86R-3 with super charger Jumo 208 engines and of
the proposed Ju 186 four engine high altitude bomber based on the Ju 86
were abandoned. A six engined Ju 286 high altitude bomber did not
progress beyond the the initial planning stage.
flight (Ju86V-1) 4 November 1934; (V-5 bomber prototype) January 1936;
(production D-1) late 1936; (P-series prototype) February 1940.
Germany (Luftwaffe, Lufthansa), Chile, Hungary, Manchukuo, Portugal,
South Africa, Sweden.