Junkers Ju 488

lthough not having seen the need for one early on, the Luftwaffe did not abandon the concept of a strategic bomber until relatively late in the war, beyond the point where such an aircraft, had it existed operationally, would have had the chance to play a major role in the conflict. The Junkers Ju 488 could have been a realistic avenue towards fielding a heavy bomber, relying heavily on components from other Junkers aircraft – the forward fuselage would have come from the Ju 388K, a new center fuselage built in France by Latecoere, a Ju 188E aft fuselage, the tail of the Ju 288C, and the Ju 88A-15’s bomb pannier, with power being provided by four BMW 801TJs.

French sabotage destroyed the new components for the first two prototypes, and construction of a third with a steel tube/fabric fuselage was abandoned. Aside from the new structural materials, the 488A would have been a new aircraft in most respects, with four Jumo 222s, a revised, deeper fuselage able to carry the bomb load internally without a pannier, and much more fuel.