|Maiden Flight||16 July 1942|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseThe Ju 290 aircraft were developed from the Ju 90 passenger airliner design by Konrad Eicholtz of the firm Junkers Flugzeug-und-Motorenwerke AG as a possible replacement for Fw 200 Condor maritime patrol aircraft, which were too slow and too weak when being pursued by British fighters. The designed called for the lengthening of the Ju 90 fuselage, upgraded engines, and Trapoklappe hydraulic rear loading ramp. The first prototype, Ju 290 V1 BD+TX, took flight in Jul 1942, and they were introduced into German Air Force, Luftwaffe, service in the following month. The first production variant aircraft, A-1, were unarmed; these aircraft were tasked with transporting supplies to, and evacuated wounded from, Stalingrad in Russia and Tunisia. Aircraft of the second variant, A-2, were built at the Letov aircraft factory in Prague, occupied Czechoslovakia. They were equipped with auxiliary fuel tanks, defensive armament, and FuG 200 Hohentwiel low-UHF band search radar, thus fulfilling the original purpose as Fw 200 replacements. The Hohentwiel radar sets were very effective, allowing the detection of Allied convoys up to 80 kilometers (50 miles) distant from an altitude of 500 meters (1,600 feet) or up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) from an altitude of 1,000 meters (3,300 feet), out of the range of anti-aircraft weapons and carrier fighters. The design for the third production variant, A-3, was completed shortly after A-2 went into production; these aircraft featured additional navigation equipment and additional defensive armament. Aircraft of the A-5 variant were optionally fitted with the FuG 203 Kehl radio guidance system for Fritz X and Hs 293 weapons. The A-6 variant design was that of a passenger aircraft, with capacity of 50 passengers. The final variant was the A-7 dated spring 1944, which saw 13 examples; these aircraft were built to be long range reconnaissance aircraft. Around the same time, the Luftwaffe command announced that the production of Ju 290 aircraft was to be suspended so that the resources could be redirected to fighter production; part of the reason for this was due to the feud between Hermann GÃ¶ring and his political opponents. A total of 65 examples were built in the design's production life time.
ww2dbaseA single Ju 290 aircraft, of the A-5 variant, was assigned to Adolf Hitler as his personal transport in early 1945; he would never ride in it.
ww2dbaseThe Ju 290 design was also considered as a candidate for the "Amerika-Bomber" project, and later it was considered as the refueling tanker for the "Amerika-Bomber". The entire project was canceled in Jul 1944.
Last Major Revision: Jul 2017
Ju 290 Timeline
|16 Jul 1942Â||Ju 290 aircraft took its first flight.|
|26 Nov 1943Â||Ju 290A-5 aircraft, among other aircraft types, was shown to Adolf Hitler at Insterburg, OstpreuÃŸen (East Prussia), Germany. Hitler liked the designed and asked to have one as his personal transport. One such aircraft was delivered to Hitler's personal pilot Hans Baur, but Hitler would never fly in it.|
|24 Mar 1945Â||Adolf Hitler's personal Ju 290A-5 transport aircraft was destroyed by Allied bombing at MÃ¼nchen (Munich), Germany.|
|8 May 1945Â||A German pilot landed a Ju 290 aircraft at MÃ¼nchen-Riem airport in southern Germany and surrendered to US troops. The aircraft carried women auxiliary personnel of the German Luftwaffe.|
|10 May 1945Â||Harold Watson flew a captured Ju 290 aircraft from MÃ¼nchen-Riem airport in southern Germany to another airfield near NÃ¼rnberg, Germany.|
|28 Jul 1945Â||Pilot Harold Watson and co-pilot Captain Fred McIntosh, supported by 8 additional crew members, flew a captured Ju 290 aircraft from Orly Field near Paris, France toward the United States.|
|12 Dec 1946Â||Ju 290 aicraft "Alles Kaput" was scrapped in the United States.|
|Machinery||Four BMW 801G/H 14-cyl radial engines rated at 1,700hp each|
|Armament||2x20mm dorsal 20mm MG 151/20 cannon, 1x20mm tail MG 151/20, 2x20mm waist MG 151/20, 1x20mm gondola MG 151/20, 2x13mm gondola MG 131 machine guns|
|Wing Area||203.00 mÂ²|
|Weight, Empty||33,005 kg|
|Weight, Maximum||44,970 kg|
|Speed, Maximum||440 km/h|
|Service Ceiling||6,000 m|
|Range, Normal||6,150 km|
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George Patton, 31 May 1944
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