Junkers Ju88R-1

The Ju88 was the most versatile German combat aircraft in World War Two. It began life as a bomber, became a night fighter and intruder; undertook anti-shipping operations and flew long-range reconnaissance missions. It is one of the truly great multi-role combat aircraft.

This Ju88R-1 was a C-series night fighter with BMW 801 engines and was on display at RAF Cosford.

Deliveries of the first production aircraft took place in September 1939 and on the 26th it undertook its first operational mission against British shipping in the Firth of Forth. It was not until the Battle of Britain, however, that the Ju88A played a major role in German operations. At the time of the Battle of Britain the Ju88 was at the beginning of its service career and its remarkable adaptability, particularly as a night fighter, had still to be exploited by the Luftwaffe.

This aircraft is thought to have been built in mid–1942 as a model A bomber, before being converted to a model R–1 fighter in early 1943. It was flown to Scotland by its defecting crew in May 1943; two of the three crew on board (who may have been British agents) had taken the decision to defect after being ordered to shoot down a civilian BOAC Mosquito courier flight from Sweden to the UK.

The surrender of this aircraft was of great intelligence value at the time, as it was fitted with the latest UHF-band FuG 202 Liechtenstein BC A.I radar. The Ju 88R-1 was operated by the RAF’s No. 1426 (Enemy Aircraft) Flight and evaluated in depth by various British groups.