Junkers Ju 90 / 290 / 390

Created to meet the Air Ministry's requirement for a "Ural Bomber", the Ju 89 built on Junkers' experience with the Ju 86, and was in competition with the Dornier Do 19. A pair of prototypes were built, with V1 D-AFIT being powered by Jumo 211As, and V2 D-ALAT having DB600As. The cancellation of the Ural Bomber project did not mean that the company's work had been in vain, as studies were already underway for an airliner derivative, and the incomplete third Ju 89 was finished as the Ju 90V1, D-AALU. This had a new fuselage and DB600As.

Ju 90S: Plan for a much revised version with BMW 139s - these later gave way to the Ju 290, which used the Ju 90 V11 airframe as a prototype. This had a squared off tail, and a new and larger wing.

Ju 90Z-2: Two aircraft with Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasps intended for South African Airways; not delivered.

Ju 90B-1: Possibly eight BW 132-engined production aircraft, for service with Lufthansa.

Ju 290 By 1939, the circle had turned again, as Junkers flew the Ju 90V5, fitted with BMW 801s on a revised wing, this being a prototype for a series of long range military transports and reconnaissance bombers.

Ju 290A-0/A-1: Heavy transports.

Ju 290A-2: Maritime patrol variant, with heavy defensive armament consisting of a half-dozen MG 131s and five MG 151 cannon.

Ju 290A-6: Solitary aircraft intended as Hitler's personal transport; projected as being pressurized, but this feature was not fitted. Flown to Spain in the last days of the war, where it was operated by Spanish forces into the 1950s.

Ju 290A-7: Maritime patrol version, able to carry Hs 293, Hs 294 and Fritz-X antiship missiles. A total of 25 aircraft were projected, but most were never completed.

Ju 290B: Projected bomber variant with pressurization and additional turrets - progressed no further than the unpressurized Ju 290B-1 prototype.

Bibliography: Ju 89 side view photo and a scale 3-view drawing Flieger Revue 12-1976 p.525 Richard A. Franks "Sea Eagle: Building Revell's 1/72 Junkers Ju 290-A5" Scale Aviation Modeller July 2004

Bill Gunston Illustrated Encyclopedia of Combat Aircraft of World War II p.70-71: Ju 290A-7 3-view, Ju 290A-2/A-8, B-1 side-view drawings, photos of an A-3 and A-5.

Jim Winchester Classic Military Aircraft: The World's Fighting Aircraft: 1914-1945 p.269: color profile of a Ju 290A-5 of Fernauklärungsgruppe 5, small color profiles of a Ju 90B-1 in Iraqi markings, a Ju 290A-5, and the solitary Ju 290A-6

Phil Butler War Prizes: The Album p.54: Photos of captured Ju 290A-5s at Farnborough (1950) and Freeman Field (1946)

Monogram Close Up 3: Junkers 290 Includes a Ju 290A-7 3-view camouflage diagram, Ju 290B-1 and B-2 side-view drawings