Japanese Junkers Ju 87 A/K-1 Irena

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Junkers Ju 87 A/K-1 (ユンカース Ju 87 A/K-1)
Japan brought two Ju 87 A bombers to Japan in 1939 for testing. In the country, they received the designation K-1 and tests were carried out on them and their introduction into service was considered, but due to low speed and range, this idea was abandoned.
History in Germany
Work on the future Ju 87 aircraft began in 1933 as part of the Sturzbomber program. The new aircraft was to be a dive bomber, which was to be used for precise bombing of enemy positions. The first prototype of the Ju 87 was built in 1934 in Sweden, and at the end of that year it was secretly imported to Germany. Upon reaching Germany, it turned out that the plane had to be modified and was ready for flight only in September 1935. This aircraft was powered by the British Rolls-Royce Kestrel V12 engine, which the Reich Ministry of Aviation (RLM) did not like, so at the end of 1935 the Junkers works began the construction of a second prototype, which was to be equipped with a temporary V-12 DB 600 engine, and then matted the Jumo 210 engine. During the work on the second prototype, the first prototype (Ju 87 V1) crashed on January 24, 1936. Soon after the accident, it was determined that the cause was that the horizontal and vertical stabilizers were too weak. This caused the plane to spin during a dive and crash to the ground, killing both crew members. Immediately after this accident, the redesign of the second prototype began. The vertical stabilizer has been changed from a double one on the ends of the horizontal stabilizer to a single one in the classic layout. In addition, it was decided to install diving brakes on the wingtips and strengthen the structure of the main wings. These changes meant that the aircraft was ready to fly with a delay. The plane took off on February 25, 1936 equipped with a temporary BMW “Hornet” engine. It was not until March 1936 that the Ju 87 V2 aircraft received the Jumo 210 engine. After the aircraft was equipped with a new engine, it turned out during tests that it now has very satisfactory performance. However, the head of the Technical Service of the Reich Air Ministry (Wolfram von Richthofen) told the Junkers plant that it was unlikely that the Ju 87 would win the competition with the better He 118 aircraft. However, during dive tests of the He 118 aircraft, it disintegrated in the air, which caused Junkers to win the competition for a new Reich dive bomber. In 1936, the aircraft was commissioned as the Ju 87, and the prototype and the first production series were designated Ju 87 A-0, of which a total of 11 copies were ordered. This version struggled with a weak engine, so it was quickly decided to improve this model. This is how the Ju 87 A-1 version was created, which was equipped with a better Jumo 210D engine, in addition, two fuel tanks with a capacity of 220 l were installed in the wings. The plane was equipped with a propeller larger by 3.3 meters. The rear gunner’s bullet supply was also increased, which was 900 rounds (150 rounds more). The last variant of the A version was the Ju 87 A-2, which had a Jumo 210Da engine equipped with a compressor and a controlled pitch propeller. 262 examples of the Ju 87 A-1/A-2 were built by mid-1938. The German Ju 87 sowed terror in Europe from 1938 until the end of the war, although it soon became apparent that their obsolete design caused heavy losses if the enemy was in the air. They were used until 1945, and a lot of variants were created.

Photos of the German Ju 87 A



Japanese History
Probably at the end of 1938, the Japanese delegation purchased two Ju 87 A aircraft from the Germans for testing. Both aircraft arrived in Japan in 1939, where they received the designation Ju 87 K-1 and their tests began immediately. Even before the tests, the possibility of purchasing a production license was considered, but the tests showed that the aircraft had insufficient speed and range, so the implementation of the Ju 87 into service with the Japanese army was abandoned. One of the Ju 87s was transferred to the Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Hall (航空記念館), where it remained until around the end of the war, when it was destroyed in an American air raid. The second Ju 87 K-1 aircraft in 1940 was exhibited at the “Great Aviation Exhibition of Japan” (航空日本大展観) at the Ayame Pond amusement park. The second Ju 87 K-1 aircraft in 1940 was exhibited at the “Great Aviation Exhibition of Japan” (航空日本大展観) at the Ayame Pond amusement park. Through this display of this aircraft, the Allies gave it the code name Irene and thought that the aircraft served in the Imperial Japanese Air Force. It is not known what happened to this plane afterwards.

Photos of the Japanese Ju 87 K-1

OIP (1)
Ju87 in Japanese markings 1
Ju87 in Japanese markings

OIP (2)

The art of the Japanese Ju 87 K-1



Construction description
The Ju 87 A/K is a German all-metal aircraft with a low-wing design. The wing is based in a gulll arrangement, and in the bend of the wing there is a fixed landing gear with characteristic covers. The aircraft is powered by a Jumo 210 engine. The armament of the aircraft consists of one fixed MG 17 rifle in the wing with a supply of 500 rounds, and one movable MG 15 rifle operated by a rear gunner with a supply of 900 rounds. The plane could carry a 250 kg or 500 kg bomb under the fuselage, but when carrying a 500 kg bomb, the plane had to fly without a rear gunner. The aircraft for diving flight was equipped with air brakes on the wingtips.

Technical sketches of the Ju 87 A

Version confirmation
Almost all sources say that the Japanese bought the Ju 87 A-1, but the photos do not confirm this. Photos show that the Japanese got the A-2 version, which can be recognized by the vertical stabilizer.

OIP (1)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2 or 1
  • Length: 10,78 m
  • Wingspan: 13,60 m
  • Height: 3,89 m
  • Wing area: 31,90 m2
  • Empty weight: 2300 kg
  • Gross weight: 3400 kg
  • Powerplant: Jumo 210Da with a two-stage turbocharger with 680 hp (500 kW)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed constant-speed propeller


  • Maximum speed: 320 km/h
  • Cruise speed: 275 km/h
  • Maximum diving speed: 450 km/h
  • Maximum range: 1000 km
  • Service ceiling: 7000 m
  • Time to altitude: 3000 m in 23 min


  1. Guns:
  • 1 × 7.92 mm MG 17 machine guns mounted in the wing (500 rounds spare)
  • 1 × Flexible 7.92 mm MG 15 rear-firing machine gun (900 rounds spare)
  1. Bombs:
  • 1x 500 kg bomb (without rear gunner) or 1 x 250 kg bomb

The Junkers Ju 87 K-1 aircraft would be a very interesting aircraft for Japan. It would be the perfect low-tier premium aircraft that wouldn’t just be copy and paste from the Germans. This aircraft differs in design, and equipment from the German versions which are later development versions based on this aircraft. I encourage you to discuss in the comments and to share your own knowledge on this subject.
Finally, I apologize for the linguistic and logical errors because unfortunately English is not my main language and I had to use google translator.

Internet sources

Ju 87 (航空機) - Wikipedia
Junkers Ju 87 - Wikipedia
Stukas delivered to Japan - Axis History Forum
Junkers Ju 87 A : Junkers (armedconflicts.com)
Aircraft Nut: JU 87: Part 4: Stuka in Foreign Service
JAPON_JU-87A_JAPONES_1940 | Aircraft of World War II - WW2Aircraft.net Forums
Reddit - Dive into anything
Ju87 シュトゥーカ: River Of No Return (air-nifty.com)
大本営発表(`・ω・´) : ドイツの急降下爆撃機Ju87スツーカ、日本国内で配備されていた可能性を示す写真を発見 (doorblog.jp)
Junkers Ju-87 Stuka: What Made the Luftwaffe Vulture so Fearsome (warfarehistorynetwork.com)
Уголок неба ¦ Junkers Ju.87A Stuka (airwar.ru)
Asisbiz Junker Ju 87K-1 Stuka Japanese Army Air Force, Japan 1940
Luftwaffe Lovers: The hakenkreuz in the rays of the rising sun.

Book sources

Glad this is getting suggested once more. Hope it does get added. Though wish it was a Tech Tree given that the info helped develop and improved the original design for the D3A1 “Val”

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You are wrong, my friend, for several reasons. 1. Junkers Ju 87 was purchased by the Japanese Army, not the Navy 2. the first flight of the D3A took place in 1938, about a year before Junkers arrived in Japan 3. Most likely, the Ju 87 was used to develop the B7A

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The first flight does not count Grze. First Flight was not when officially in service the official date of its introduction was 1940 but it was adopted in 1939. However, the first Ju-87 was delivered to Japan in 1938, the D3A was still in development when this happened. There’s still documentation mentioning that the Japanese Evaluated the Ju-87, and tested it for information but deemed it not worth mass-produced due to it being too slow for Carrier Borne Take Offs but too fast for landing on Carrier Air strips.



+1, but as premium

This would make for a neat, low-cost premium. It doesn’t really have a place in the TT since Japanese dive bombers offer far more superior performance

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