Junkers Ju-87 Sturzkampfflugzeug D and G
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The Ju-87 Stuka was introduced into service in 1936 with the A model. Various improvements to its power and weapons had by 1941 bought about the D model.
Thought its design seems somewhat clunky and old fashioned the Stuka provided good service to the Luftwaffe and her allies in the ground attack role. Despite the initial perception the Stuka included some innovative features, such as an automatic pull-up system to ensure that the plane recovered from a dive even if the pilot lost consciousness from the G-forces.
Its landing gear, while doing nothing for its aerodynamics, was very strong and allowed it to land on rough improvised airfields near the front line. Of course there were the famous sirens. Junkers named them the "Trumpets of Jericho", they were fitted to the wheel covers and would screech loudly when diving, warning of their imminent arrival and spreading terror.
The Stuka suffered from low manoeuvrability and slow speed, making it highly vulnerable to enemy fighters. During 1942-3 the Stuka served in the Desert War and also on the Eastern Front. Soviet airpower increased as the war progressed and the Stuka squadrons suffered very heavy losses.
Over six thousand Ju-87 Stukas were built between 1936 and August 1944.