The Junkers Ju 52 was originally designed and produced as a single-engine civil
transport which first flew in October 1930. But in 1931, Junkers modified the
design to one with three engines. It was designated Ju 52/3m, with the 3m indicating
Dreimotoren or three motors. The Ju 52/3m first flew in April 1932, and it was
produced in large numbers for use by Lufthansa and the airlines of over twenty
other nations. In 1934, the first military version, designated the Ju 52/3mg3e,
was produced as a transport and a medium bomber. It could carry a bomb load of
approximately 1,300 pounds, and it was defended by machine guns in the dorsal
position and a retractable "dust bin" under the fuselage. When the Spanish Civil
War began in July 1936, Ger- many provided twenty Ju 52/3mgs to the Nationalist
forces, and they later served with the Legion Condor. These aircraft were used
primarily as transports, but they also saw duty as bombers as well. Combat
operations illustrated the fact that although the Ju 52/3m was an excellent
transport aircraft, it was not well suited to be a bomber. As a result, it was
soon replaced in the bombing role by other aircraft that were specifically designed
for that mission. The Ju 52/3m remained the most important transport aircraft
in the Luftwaffe throughout World War ll, delivering men and supplies wherever
needed by Wehrmacht. The Ju 52/3m was also the Luftwaffe's primary air assault
aircraft, and it dropped thousands of paratroopers as the German army moved into
Poland, Norway, France, Russia, The Netherlands, and other countries. For the
transport versions, the lower "dust bin" gun position was deleted, but a single
machine gun remained as a defensive weapon on top of the fuselage. The Ju 52/3m6e
variant also had an enclosed gun mount above the cockpit. During World War II,
several specialized versions of the Ju 52 were developed. These included aircraft fitted with floats for operations on water, and a special mine warfare variant had a large hoop antenna to explode magnetic mines that jeopardized German shipping. Ju 52/3ms also served as glider tugs for air
assault operations, while others were employed as VIP transports. Adolf Hitler
often used one as his personal aircraft. In the Spanish civil war the Ju52 was used
as a bomber and for transport, but in WWII more capable aircraft were available for
the bomber role. As a transport in WWII it was the Luftwaffe's main aircraft.
The Ju52 was a rather ugly, slab-sided aircraft with a low cantilever wing, three
engines, and a seating capacity of 18. It was Junkers's last aircraft built with
their characteristic corrugated metal fuselage that the company started in WWI.
They were virtually defenceless against fighters and required continual fighter
escort. In the invasion of Crete the Luftwaffe lost some 82 Ju52s. Over 4,800 were
made from 1933 to 1945.
My JU52 Page model is a ProModeler kit comes with optional parts and markings for two different aircraft. One is a Ju 52/3mg4e which was used by Spain's Nationalists Grupo de Bombardeo, Nocturno, 2-G-22 during the Spanish Civil War. The second is a Ju 52/3mg7e assigned to 2.Staffel, KgzbV 1 at Milos, Greece in May 1941. It was one of 493 Ju 52/m3 used in the invasion of Crete. Known as Opera- tion Merkur, this was the last major airborne assault of German paratroopers during World War II.
Military transport and bomber Specifications:
Dimensions: span 95 ft 11 in; length 62 ft 0 in Powerplant:
Three 600hp BMW Hornet or three 830hp BMW 132T engines Performance:
Max. Speed: 168 mph
Range: 570 miles Armament: Usually none; in combat zones it had one 13mm MG 131 from dorsal position and two 7.92mm MG 15s in windows
G-BFHG Casa 352L North Weald 1992 Marked as VZ+NK To Kermit Weeks, Miami.