The single-engine two-seater Junkers Ju-87 Stuka dive bomber was plagued with low speed and maneuverability and was extremely vulnerable without fighter support, but due to its high accuracy and a number of unusual design choices, it became one of the most famous of the Luftwaffe’s aircraft.
Even though the S-87 had such outdated technology as fixed landing gear, its design included new automatic air brakes which allowed the plane to escape a dive even if the pilot lost consciousness. An unusual decision was to install sirens, filling the vicinity with a deafening roar to strike fear into the enemy’s heart.
The Ju 87R-2 was a modification of the Ju 87B-2 and was manufactured during the same period of time. The Ju 87R-2 (Reichweite, “long-range”) had increased range due to the installation of two additional 150-liter wing fuel tanks and two disposable 150-liter fuel tanks under its wings, instead of the usual four 50-kg bombs. Like the B-2, the R-2’s engine had a capacity of 1,200 horsepower, and its bomb load was reduced to one 250-kg bomb.
5,752 “Stukas” were constructed, 616 of which were Ju 87R-2s.