Junkers Ju 290

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Junkers Ju 290
Ju 290 A-7 in flight
Ju 290 A-7 in flight
Type: Military multipurpose aircraft
Design country:

German Reich NSGerman Reich (Nazi era) German Empire


Junkers aircraft and engine plants

First flight:

July 16, 1942


December 1942

Production time:


Number of pieces:


The Junkers Ju 290 is a further development of the four-engine Ju 90 passenger aircraft into a military transporter, which was started in early 1941. Because of the urgent need for a long-range reconnaissance aircraft for sea reconnaissance, the aircraft was further developed accordingly from February 1943. A long-range combat aircraft with guided missiles for use against sea targets was also planned. It differed from the Ju 90 mainly in its more powerful engines, simplified and larger wings , longer fuselage, new rudder and horizontal stabilizer and a greatly increased range .

The new development of the military transporter was originally called the Ju 90 V11. As early as October 1941, the name Ju 290 V1 was used. The first flight took place on July 16, 1942 in Dessau. The first transport series A-1 aircraft flew for the first time on December 2, 1942. The series was designed for eight aircraft, but the last three were converted to the reconnaissance aircraft A-2. All other aircraft built were reconnaissance aircraft. With the last aircraft delivered, W.-Nr. 110196 production ended in July 1944. Junkers officially billed 51 series aircraft - six of which had been destroyed before delivery - as well as one or two break cells and the test model V1.

As a further development of the Ju 290, several designs were made from 1942 onwards, with only the enlarged Ju 390 with six engines being implemented in 1943. Some copies of the Ju 290 survived the Second World War and were captured by the Allies .

Another Ju 290 was built after the Second World War by the Czech Letov works (looked after by Junkers from 1938 to 1945, but independently) from existing components in 1945/46 as the Letov L-290 Orel .


The Ju 290 was first used to supply the enclosed 6th Army during the Battle of Stalingrad . The Ju 290 V1 was used there by the Kampfgeschwader 200 from the beginning of January 1943 . The machine crashed in the boiler when taking off from Pitomnik Airfield on January 13, 1943 . The airfield was already under heavy artillery fire during the landing. The loading with the wounded therefore had to be done very quickly. A proper lashing was not possible in the short time and was probably not seen as urgent from the experience with the good-natured Ju 52 . The runway was still under fire during take-off. The pilot had to pull hard on the elevator when the well-motorized aircraft took off due to impacts lying in front of him, which caused the stretchers with the wounded to slide backwards, making the machine extremely tail-heavy and thus uncontrollable and sagging. Five members of the six-person crew and 40 of the 75 wounded flying with them were killed. This made it one of the most serious aircraft accidents in the Wehrmacht's air force .

From March 1943, Lufttransportstaffel 290 (LTS 290) deployed two Ju 290 A-1s in the Mediterranean, where they were lost in Tunisia in April and May 1943.

A significant part of the reconnaissance planes built were used by long-distance reconnaissance group 5 (FAGr 5). The aircraft were equipped with the FuG 200 Hohentwiel ship search device. The first enemy flight took place on November 15, 1943 over the Atlantic. Until August 16, 1944, the Mont-de-Marsan military airfield was used as the base . During this time the FAGr 5 flew a total of 191 Atlantic missions with 2438 flight hours. Nine machines were lost in the process.

The KG 200 had already received one of the transport aircraft in February 1943 and used it to drop agents in the enemy hinterland. By the end of the war, a total of seven Ju 290s probably flew for long-range missions with this squadron and, for example, supplied the alleged Schernhorn combat group behind enemy lines.

As part of the planning for a flight connection to the Japanese axis partner, the Ju 290 also came into play, namely the version A-9, which had a range of 7500 km and was therefore suitable for a direct connection to Manchuria . However, this air connection - in the planning of which Deutsche Lufthansa played a leading role - never came about because the Reich government did not issue any approval for the project. In October 1944 Lufthansa received three Ju 290 A-5s that were used on the route to Spain. After the Allied invasion of southern France in August 1944, a considerable part of the route had to be flown over enemy-occupied territory. The aircraft were able to carry 20 passengers and 5 tons of cargo. The D-AITP (W. No. 110174) broke on December 27, 1944 in Munich, the D-AITR (W. No. 110178) on April 6, 1945 in Barcelona. The following day, the D-AITQ in Munich-Riem was damaged in a low -flying attack. All aircraft could not be repaired until the end of the war. The D-AITR was rebuilt after the war and was used by the Ejército del Aire (Spanish Air Force) from 1950 to 1953 .


Captured Ju 290 A-7 used by the US Army Air Forces (USAAF)
Ju 290 during loading / unloading with the rear loading ramp extended
  • V1: Work number: 290000001; Engine: BMW 801 A ; First flight: July 16, 1942; Crash: January 13, 1943 in Stalingrad
  • A-1: unarmed transporter; Engine: BMW 801 L; Work numbers: 110151–110154, 110156–110159, the last three were converted into reconnaissance A-2; V2: work number: 110151; V4: serial number: 110153
  • A-2: Recon, converted from A-1; Engine: BMW 801 L; Work number: 110157–110159 (3 built)
  • Break cell: serial number: 110155
  • A-3: Recon; Engine: BMW 801 L / D; Serial numbers: 110160–110164 (5 built)
  • A-4: scout; Engine: BMW 801 D; Serial numbers: 110165–110169 (5 built); V7: serial number: 110165
  • A-5: Recon; Engine: BMW 801 D; Serial numbers: 110170–110180 (11 built)
  • A-6: Transporter, not built
  • A-7: Reconnaissance aircraft, missile mounts provided; Engine: BMW 801 D; Serial numbers: 110181, 110184 (became Ju 290 B), 110186–110202 (28 planned, 19 built, 6 of which were destroyed by bombing before delivery)
  • A-8: Long-range combat aircraft with guided missiles, not built, but fuselages completed (from serial number: 110211, possibly four fuselages built)
  • A-9: Recon; Engine: BMW 801 D; Serial numbers: 110182, 110183 and 110185 (3 built)
  • B (V8): engine: BMW 801 D; rebuilt from serial number: 110184; First flight: May 10, 1944
  • Rupture cell: Ju 290 B; Work number: 110213; only hull built

45 series aircraft and one test aircraft were produced. The production took place only at Junkers in Dessau. The Junkers monthly reports name 44 series aircraft delivered and two test models that were delivered in December 1942 (V1) and in March 1944 (possibly serial number 110170, model aircraft A-5). Test samples other than those given above have not been proven. However, it can be assumed that the missing types (e.g. V5 and V6) were the first aircraft of the versions A-2 and A-3. The V3 may have been serial number 110152.

The scouts differed only slightly from each other in terms of armament, equipment, radio equipment and tank system.

The fuselage with the serial number 110212 was completed after the war in Czechoslovakia as a Letov L ​​290 Orel passenger aircraft . The first flight took place on August 1, 1946. Since the aircraft was not approved, it was later scrapped. Individual assemblies, including the fuselage and landing gear, were handed over to the Technical Museum in Prague . However, the hull had to be scrapped later due to lack of space. One of the landing gear legs could be viewed on loan as part of an exhibition in Hamburg in 1991.


There are numerous persistent literary tales about this airplane: Among other things, the airplane was not built by Letov in Prague; the Ju 90 V7 and V8 were not converted to the Ju 290 V2 and V3; there were no flights to New York or to the Far East in the Japanese sphere of influence; a mat. 150 never existed; there was no plan to build a strategic bomber .

Technical specifications

Parameter Data of the Ju 290 V1 (1941)
length 28.70 m
span 42.00 m
Wing area 205.30 m²
height 6.83 m
Top speed
  • loaded: 388 km / h
  • unloaded: 420 km / h
Marching speed 340 km / h
Service ceiling 6850 m
  • 6000 km
  • 2500 km (with 8000 kg payload)
Engines four 14- cylinder twin radial engines BMW 801 A with 1560 hp starting power each
Armament B-Stand HD 151 , C-Stand 2 × MG 81 Z , H-Stand hand-held MG 151

See also


  • Karl Kössler, Günther Ott: The great Dessau. Aviatic-Verlag, Planegg 1993, ISBN 3-925505-25-3 .
  • PW Stahl: "Secret Squadron" KG 200 . The truth after over 30 years. 7th edition. Motorbuch Verlag, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-613-01034-8 .
  • Heinz J. Nowarra : The German Air Armament 1933-1945. Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Koblenz 1993, ISBN 3-7637-5464-4
  • Wolfgang Wagner: Hugo Junkers aviation pioneer - his aircraft. From the series: German aviation. Volume 24. Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Bonn 1996, ISBN 3-7637-6112-8

Web links

Commons : Junkers Ju 290  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Wolfgang Dietrich: Chronicle of Kampfgeschwader 55 “Greif”. Motorbuchverlag, ISBN 978-3-613-03425-9 .
  2. casualty list, Federal Archive / Military Archive Freiburg, RL 2III.
  3. ^ Documents from the Lufthansa archive, Cologne
  4. ^ Production programs , Federal Archives / Military Archives Freiburg, RL 3; Junkers Monthly Reports, National Archives, Washington, Reel T177.
  5. The entire article is based on the information from Karl Kössler, Günther Ott: The great Dessauer. Planegg 1993.
  6. Helmut Bukowski, Fritz Müller: Junkers Ju 90: a Dessau giant. Memories and reports from a Junkers aircraft inspector. Brandenburgisches Verlagshaus, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-89488-083-X p. 52.