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Another WW2 story. The Junkers 88 came as an unpleasant

by Rob_Boyter / April 1, 2014 12:49 AM PDT

surprise to the British in WW2 because it was fast, could act as a dive bomber, and was very manoeuverable. The British, lacking a representative example, assembled one from the wreckage of a number of other Ju 88's and then planned on testing it. It was just that the aircraft looked a little "off", a little peculiar, that stopped them, and caused them to consult with a clearly anti-Nazi pilot shot down previously. They approached him and asked if he would be willing to examine what they had assembled. Off they drove to Farnborough then near London, now actually inside the Metropolitan District. It was, then as now, the primary Air Research Establishment in Britain (and established in 1910).

The German pilot took one look and then completely fell apart, laughing uproariously. Because of the hodge-podge of bits fastened together, the British hadn't clued in to the fact that beside the standard dimensions of most Ju-88 there was a high altitude photo reconnaissance version with a longer wing. They had the regular wing on one side and the extra long wing on the other. If they'd taken off that way, they might not have been able to get off the ground without the a/c ground looping or flipping over in a blaze of glory or, had they been able to get up, It might have been tough to get it back onto the ground.

The standard early sequence of Ju-88 A through C versions had a wingspan of 60 feet 3 inches The Ju 88 A-4 experimental version and the long range high flying Ju-88 D series had wingspans of 65 feet 7 inches. In other words one wing was nearly 3 feet longer than the other.

If by some misfortune they had gotten the outer wing panel of a Ju-88 E-0 then it would have been 10 feet longer than the other. This seems unlikely, because the E-0 wing tip was pointed, whereas both the A-0 and the A-4 and D series were rounded.

If all of this sounds terminally geeky to you, it is. All I can say is that I was much worse 50 years ago when I was really immersed in all this.

Rob

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