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German Junkers Ju 87 Stuka

German Junkers Ju 87 Stuka


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The Junkers Ju 87 or 'Stuka' (from Sturzkampfflugzeug, 'dive bomber') was a two-seat German ground-attack aircraft easily recognisable by its inverted gull wings, fixed undercarriage and infamous Jericho-Trompete ('Jericho Trumpet') wailing siren. The Stuka's design included several innovative features, including automatic pull-up dive brakes under both wings to ensure that the plane recovered from its attack dive even if the pilot blacked out from the high acceleration. Although sturdy, accurate and very effective in the dive-bombing role, the Ju 87 was vulnerable to fighter aircraft and its flaws became apparent during the Battle of Britain - poor manoeuvrability, lack of speed and defensive armament meant that the Stuka required a heavy fighter escort to operate effectively.

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