Wednesday, August 10, 2011

JUNKERS Ju-87 Stuka part2


Early German experiments had been conducted with the Ju 87 s legitimate predecessor, the Junkers A 48. This machine was the brainchild of Dipl. Ing. Karl Plauth, the former leader of the Jasta 51 with seventeen 'kills' to his credit, and he had originally intended his design to he a two-seater fighter, with a secondary dive-bombing capability. All production of military aircraft in Germany was banned under the terms of the Versailles Treaty, but when Plauths aircraft first appeared in 1927 it was a civilian sports plane under the designation Junkers A 48. Actually the ban was easily evaded, for, under the able guidance of General von Seeckt, the nucleus of a future military air arm had already been formed in the Weimar Republic as early as 1920, and selected officers were sent to the aviation ministry from where they organized a reserve of trained aviators. Further, a secret agreement with the Soviet Union within the Treaty of Rapello on 16 April 1922, saw the establishment of a testing centre for both the pilots and machines of the German Reichswehr at Lipezk airfield near Voronyezh, and through this clandestine school passed the majority of the front-line crewmen of the future Luftwaffe and its leaders� Thus, within a few years of the Versailles Treaty, which under its Begriffsbestimmungen clauses of 1922 fore-bade Germany military aviation, ways had been found to evade it. Nor was the willing co-operation of the USSR the only option; many German aircraft companies set up subsidiary factories in friendly countries and continued their work there. Among those who did this was Professor Hugo Junkers, who built one aircraft plant close to Fili near Moscow, a second in Turkey and, in January 1925, established a third branch with Flygindustri AB at Limhatnn, near Malm� in Sweden.