Bomber A contenders


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25 October 2007
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Hello guys,

what about the Bomber A? Yes, Heinkel He177 Greif, right? Ok, and the others? Most literature tells of a tailor-made requisition by the RLM to meet Heinkel`s already made plans of the heavy bomber, dive bombing capable Projekt P 1041.

Vajda/Dancey`s book "German Aircraft Industry and Production 1933-1945" they refer to contenders in this application such as:
the Blohm&Voss P.33, the Junkers EF71, an unspecified Henschel project and BFW entered the future Me261 Adolfine.

Griehl also identified the engines considered to this project:
DB601 / Jumo211 / Jumo206 / BMW139 / SAM 329 / Argus 412.

Well, I couldn`t positively identify the EF71 in my books ( It did not made sense ), the B&V project would have Jumo206, but... Does anyone knows more on this? Bye.
P.33 :langstreckenbomber mit 2 Jumo-206 (long range bomber)
EF71:aerodynamic test model with two fuselages for the investigation of the airflow
at the wingstip.

sources :Flugzeuge von HFB(Blohm&Voss) Walter Zuerl-Steinebach-Wörthsee-Deutschland
EF71:aerodynamic test model with two fuselages for the investigation of the airflow
at the wingstip.

Thanks a lot Lark, you're brilliant. Then, EF-71 was not a langstreckenbomber design?
Dose anyone know what the BV P.33 Design looked like?

hello chaps,

that`s what I meant about the EF71. A test model for airflow experiments. It just does not fit the long range bomber specification (or does it?). About the Bv P.33, the scarce information available is that already referred.
There's something strange about EF71...

As told before , the purpose of this design was for wingtip airflow research.
But, in "Hugo Junkers, Pionier der Lufthafrt-seine Flugzeuge" Reihe :Die Deutsche Luftfahrt-heft 24
this design is mentioned as the EF71-5.....(page 536)
Thus , there should be at least five variants of the EF71.

To my chagrin,no further info is found about..

I`ve just bought "Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugwerke", by Volker Koos. Herr Koos is certainly an authority on Heinkel, and added some hints at this subject.

He includes the Junkers Ju 85 in the "Bomber A" contest, mentioned along the Heinkel project in a October the first 1937 FEP (Flugzeugentwicklungsprogramme). On November 26th representatives from Heikel and Junkers met, leading to a redesign of the plans.

Yes, the Ju 85 was more than just a Ju 88 with twin fins B)!
Junkers Ju85 windtunnel model:


Smurf said:

Which doesn't look Greif sized.

I stick with the sources. Anything other than the sources is just personal toughts, no matter cleaver they are.
The wind tunnel model is a source.
Herr Koos is certainly an authority on Heinkel, and added some hints at this subject.
He includes the Junkers Ju 85 in the "Bomber A" contest, mentioned along the Heinkel project in a October the first 1937 FEP (Flugzeugentwicklungsprogramme). On November 26th representatives from Heikel and Junkers met, leading to a redesign of the plans
Does Herr Koos provide any details, beyond these hints?
I agree that the dimensions aren`t much the same, but many official specifications don`t even mention it, sticking most of the time to weight, bombload, speed, range etc. Some don`t even appeal to the number of engines. ArtieBob refered to a Rechlin document, and V.Koos to a RLM FEP. That`s two official docs mentioning the Ju 85 along the future "Greif", inserted both in the "Bomber A" context.
On November 26th [1937] representatives from Heinkel and Junkers met, leading to a redesign of the plans.
Yes, the Ju 85 was more than just a Ju 88 with twin fins

Turner and Nowarra, in "Junkers, an aircraft album" Ian Allan 1971 say
Development by Junkers of a high speed medium bomber began in 1935, and first studies took place under the designation Ju 85. This design envisaged two engines, twin fin and rudder, and extensively glazed "glass-house" nose. Powerplant was to be the 1050hp DB600, enabling a 1500kg (EDIT-sorry for slip)bombload to be carried with two MG15 machine guns as defensive armament. Progress with this project reached the mock-up stage, at which point it was succeeded by a revised design, the Ju 88, to a broadly similar specification.this was also to be powered by two DB 600s, but it featured a single fin and rudder unit, and more conventional stepped cockpit, together with a glazed nose turret.
The prototype Ju88V1 first flew on 21 December 1936.
In the thread,5027.0/highlight, Ju-85.html
Nowarra is quoted as saying the Ju 85 was derived from the Ju 88V3 (which seems the wrong way round?) and what is said there does not agree with what is in the book I have quoted. Apart from the captions to photos of the wind tunnel model and the mock-up, the text of the Luftwaffe Album (Dressel and Griehl) gives no information on the Ju 85.
Can you tell us how the redesign you describe came about as late as the end of 1937? Have you any figures, dimensions etc to say how the Ju 85 was redesigned, how it differed then from Ju 88, and how it could be placed in the same class as the He Greif, which was about twice as heavy with twice the power? Or have Turner and Nowarra got it quite wrong? I am greatly puzzled, and apart from Dressel and Griehl referring to "the next stage was a complete redesign [of the Ju 88] to produce a heavy dive-bomber" can see no hint that Ju85 was comparable to Greif.
The site comes to no definite conclusion saying "the correct allocation of this designator is not ensured today"
What is the date of Heinz J.Nowarra Die Deuutsche Luft-Rustung 1933-1945 . Vol 3.? (Borovik's post on,5027.0/highlight, Ju-85.html ) He changed his mind, it seems. Which way?
Does the data in the following post by Justo Miranda come from that book, or another source?
It all seems quite a puzzle, compared to the simple logical picture in "Junkers, an aircraft album". Which is right?
The Ju 85 is also mentioned as a contender in the "Bomber A" program in an article
about the Ju 288, written by Peter Achs and published in Flugzeug Classic 2/2006.
It is said, that the Ju 85 withdrew from the contest at the end of 1937, but, of course
the authors sources aren't mentioned explicitly. But as he's a member of another forum,
I'll try to ask him there .
First, IIRC, none of the Ju 85 references in books to date, identify sources. The two main primary sources I have seen are the Rechlin status documents (Microfilm copies at NARA-College Park). and photos from the JFM factory binders (Microfilm copies at NASM). The Rechlin documents specifically identify the Ju 85 as Bomber "A" contender. JFM photos show several quite different configurations of models and mockups identified as JU 85. One of these has a cockpit area much larger than any version of the Ju 88 and similar in some respects to the He 177 early versions. Unfortunately the photos do not have dates, only sequence numbers. IIRC, there are at least 15 to 20 photos of the JU 85 ""large cockpit" mockup. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, no accurate, documented list of the JFM EF series exists. There are also two completely independent series, with no overlap. One must recognize that some of these projects probably went through several iterations, so publishing material that purports to be definitive about something that was never built can be rather ridiculous, particularly in the case of JFM, where much of the documentation was just destroyed or lost at the end of WWII.

Best Regards,

Artie Bob
Thanks AB for those indications of primary sources. The confusing story seems to be the true one.
Got an answer from Peter Achs, the author of the mentioned article in FlugzeugClassic.
He confirms, that the Ju 85 was contender to the "Bomber A" contest. More will be said
about this subject,he told me, when his book about the theme will be published, although
there still is no date. ;)
this is the Junkers Ju-85B (Source: Nowarra "Die Deutsche Luftrüstung")


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Maveric said:
this is the Junkers Ju-85B (Source: Nowarra "Die Deutsche Luftrüstung")
In Junkers 88 there was all experience about this project except the dorsal turrett resumed on Junkers 188.
regarding the Ju 85, two references,
the first, from Putnam's 'German Aircraft of the Second World War', page 394, :-

"Work began on the projects on 15 January 1936, the first designated Ju 85, had twin fins and rudders, and the second, designated Ju 88, a single fin and rudder.
After some deliberation, the RLM decided on the Ju 88 project, and the construction of the first prototype was begun in May 1936."

and the second, from 'Warplanes of the Third Reich', page 448, :-

"...initially two parallel project studies were made, these envisaging basically similar aircraft, but one, designated Ju 85 by the RLM,featured a twin fin and rudder assembly, and the other, designated Ju 88, having a single fin and rudder assembly.
Some delay resulted while the Technische Amt considered the merits of the alternative proposals, but the Ju 88 was finally selected,..."

Junkers Ju-85 mock up...

(Source: [Motorbuch] - Junkers - Bildatlas aller Flugzeugtypen 1910-1945)

Servus Maveric


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Good find indeed !

I've got the feeling, that the 3-view hasn't many relations to the actual Ju 85. Comparing it
with the Ju 88 seem to show, that it really isn't anything else, than a Ju 88 with a modified
cockpit and twin fins. Maybe an early layout, or at first just an alternativ to the Ju 88 ?
But the windtunnel model and the photos of the mockup cockpit sections are showing some-
thing else, I think. The proportions may be closer to the later Ju 88H model, but the cockpit
actually seems to be smaller, than that of the Ju 88. Tried to make a (very !!) provisional
sideview, based on the windtunnel model and the mockups. For the stepped cockpit, of course,
it's a little bit difficult to decide, what are cockpit windows and what are just wooden frames.
The straked-in cockpit seems to have a circular window, probably for a nose gun.
But again, quite a lot of guessing !


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very impressive artist impressions. Once again, as in the Bf165, a very reallistic approach. Thanks.
Remember that awesome rendering Jens did on the Ju85? Well, I will kindly ask Jens to change it a bit ??? !

Reading the excellent book "Junkers Ju88: From Schnellbomber to Multi-Mission Warplane", published by Classic and authored by our own forum member William Medcalf ( Artiebob, where are you?), on page 26 we can read that at the end of 1937 this project was still in competition within the "Bomber A" contest, along with the future He177, "both designs using two of the same Daimler-Benz coupled engines". William uses RLM documents to prove this.

He also shows that this project might have carried the internal EF56 designation (before the jU88`s EF59) and submitted to a 1934 "Kampzerstörer" specification, carrying twice the bombload at a longer range. It would have "four gun positions, including a power turret".

Don`t you love this?
Well, I'll try to transplant the He 177 engines to the ju 85. About the weapons stations, there
may be no difference to the design with the "glasshouse" cockpit, I think. Two gun positions in the
nose, one in the lower aft part and the owered turret.
BTW and not to spoil medcalfs book. In the German Flugzeugforum we had a review of it, starting with
the authors question „Can a non-German produce a good book about Luftwaffe aircraft?“ and the very
clear answer, at least for this one : NO ! I For fairnes it should be added, that the review was written
by Peter Achs, himself an expert for Junkers aircraft, but working on the same subject, too. So, his
opinion may be somewhat biased by competitiveness. Nevertheless he pointed to a lot of errors !
I`ve read it, as well as one Amazon reader review on this Achs vs Medcalf subject. I believe herr Achs is extremelly biased, since he his working on a book relating also the to same aircraft. Too bad he wasn`t the first to publish. And we learned that only a national could produce a good insight into the Luftwaffe :p .
That aside, the Ju 85 part was "complimentary" judged by Achs as ok. He didn`t refute what Medcalf wrote, they are the experts, so we can assume it is true. I wonder what Holger Lorenz, another "domestic" expert, knows about it.
It was indeed that question, that made me perk my eyebrows.
But that dispute between experts aside, any other thoughts about the alocation of the weapons ? Not sure
anymore about the two guns in the nose. The mockup shows something like a circular frame, which I took
for a gun position. And as it's off-center, I thought of two such weapons in the nose. But a closer look didn't
show the one on the other side.

(please note,4795.msg296768.html#msg296768)
The book by Medcalf includes a photo of one of several Ju 85`s cockpit interiors, but no clues about the gun positions.
Changed the engines (it's just an indication of the size !) and added, what
could be the gun positions.


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These could well be the original gun positions. Great job!! If the project had continued, the tail would have received another battle station for sure.
Wurger said:
These could well be the original gun positions.

My problem, or better reason for my doubts is, that in the 3-view we've see in Maverics post #18 there's just a single weapon
off-centre in the nose.
Not sure about this. In his article about the HS 128 on,
Volker Koos wrote, that the designation "Hs 128" was allocated to that type in May 1937, after this
project for a 4-engined long range bomber was cancelled in January 1937.
So it could hardly have been a contender to Bomber A, I think.
I think so my dear Jemiba,

and my dear Wurger can give us a more info about P.25,I have only a small Info about
P.26 from Henschel book.


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Wurger said:
Hesham, please state the Henschel book.

Here it's my dear Wurger;

Henschel Die Geschichte der Henschel Flugzeug-werke in Schonefeld 1933-1945
"It was indeed that question, that made me perk my eyebrows, although I agree, that working on original documents is difficult for someone, who cannot, or can only hardly read them."

Jemiba, complete ignorance is a great thing, allowing people to make negative implications with absolutely no factual evidence. I am certainly not German as a first language person, although my mother's maiden name was Meyer. I did pass German at the university with good grades and later when completing my Master's degree in history (specializing in modern Germany), I passed the graduate level German language exams. I for some time was an engineer with a German company, working with drawings and manuals, translating both sales literature and technical documents into USA english (it is different). My in-house library includes over two thousand hard copy aviation books, profiles, etc. not counting copies of Luftwaffe documents, microfilms, periodicals, flight logs, and photo albums. When you put it all together, there are probably over a hundred thousand pages of German language aviation material, essentially all of which I have read through, some of it many times. Perhaps not too bad for "someone someone, who cannot, or can only hardly read them." But consider that although turning 80, I also still teach every year at the local university and among my colleages is at least one real German, who on occasion was asked to review my translations. Within 100 meters of my residence when writing the Ju 88 books were two German-born and speaking friends who were available to answer questions. So, my translation tasks were not done in a vacuum, but there certainly is a possibility that I made translation errors.

There are mistakes in my books, for which I have complete responsibility. Although research began on original German documents over 60 years ago and material has been gathered since that time (and continues yet today), actually writing a manuscript is a different issue. In my case, although it had been discussed for several years, there was less that a year given to meet the publishing deadline for the first volume and a bit more for the second. A writing day could be as long as 14 hours and every horizontal surface in my house was covered with stacks of research material. I would have liked a lot more time to recheck the manuscript. Also in hand were original JFM drawings of most Ju 88 sections, which were intended for use to dimensionally check the book drawings, that did not happen ( I also have 1:1 tracings of wing tips, rudder outline, etc. made from the Air Force Museum Ju 88, they gave me complete access to the aircraft to measure and photograph, including letting me use a stepladder). The problem was not a shortage of material, but trying to summarize a huge amount of data into a logical and rational presentation of specified length. For example, Ju 88 production data comes from 4 parallel sets of primary documents, none of them agree exactly!

So, can someone who is not a German write a book about a German aircraft? In response, I ask, can someone who is not a pilot, an engineer, a historian, never worked in manufacturing, R&D or never having served in the military, produce a proper historical manuscript about a military aircraft? I am not an "expert", but rather an aircraft nut, having grown up during WW II, My first flight was over 70 years ago, became a licensed pilot over 60 years ago, apprenticed as an aircraft mechanic, flew in the military, designed components for aerospace, PE ME, taught history at a university,.have a Ju 88 database with over 15,000 individual aircraft. If you don't have the book or haven't read it, then please do not judge it. If you have read the book, any constructive comment or criticism will be appreciated.

BTW, there are a number of additional images of the Ju 85 mockup, originally from the JFM factory photo albums. The shots are from several angles , inside and out.

Best regards

A scholary dispute, I don't want to adopt party. But what about forwarding your post to
Peter Achs ? Wouldn't it be more advantageous, if the cases of doubt are discussed directly
by the experts ?

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