Junkers Ju 390

1943

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Junkers Ju 390

Six-engined long-range development of the Ju 290. A wing section was inserted with an additional engine, and the fuselage was stretched. One made a transatlantic test flight to within 20km of New York. Two built.

Junkers Ju 390

Specification 
 CREW10
 ENGINE6 x 1268kW BMW 801D radial engines
 WEIGHTS
  Take-off weight75500 kg166450 lb
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan50.30 m165 ft 0 in
  Length34.00 m112 ft 7 in
  Height6.90 m23 ft 8 in
 PERFORMANCE
  Max. speed505 km/h314 mph
  Ceiling6100 m20000 ft
  Range9700 km6027 miles
 ARMAMENT5 x 20mm cannon, 3 x 13mm machine-guns

Comments1-20 21-40
Dr. Hans Ziegler, BERLIN, e-mail, 06.05.2016 05:45

Dear Christopher Shores,
Does anyone out there know what happened to Robert Arndt Jr.?? Most of our research backs up what Robert Arndt was saying about the Junkers JU-390.
First we have pictures of a Junkers JU-390 flying supplies to the Afrika Korp in 1942. This picture was taken by British Naval Intelligence.
Next we have the complete diagram of the RECON Junkers JU-390 that flew over New York on August 28th, 1943. It clearly states that it was designed for a four man crew, with eight huge fuel cells in the fuselage, this aircraft could stay airborne for 33 hours.
Again I am hoping that Robert Arndt is alive and doing well.

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Vahe David Demirjian, e-mail, 05.08.2020 Dr. Hans Ziegler, BERLIN

The claim about a Ju 390 flying within 12 miles of New York to test the Ju 390's capability to hit Manhattan is false; the only Ju 390 version designed for air raids on Manhattan was the Ju 390C.

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Jack Hudson, London, 07.01.2014 07:02

We now have photographic proof of a Junkers JU-390 flying supplies to North Africa in 1942. The white bands of the Afrika Korp are clearly seen and the photograph is from 1942. So this concept that the Junkers JU-390 first flew in October of 1943 is not true.

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Vahe David Demirjian, e-mail, 05.08.2020 Jack Hudson, London

The Ju 390 wasn't yet built when the Allies were fighting the Nazis in North Africa. The rear fuselage of the plane in the photograph that you state is from 1942 doesn't seem to be as stretched as that of the first Ju 390 prototype. After all, Kossler and Ott (1993) state that the fuselage of Ju 390 V2 was several feet longer than the first Ju 390 prototype.

Kössler, Karl and Günther Ott, 1993. Die großen Dessauer: Junkers Ju 89, Ju 90, Ju 290, Ju 390 " Die Geschichte einer Flugzeugfamilie (in German). Berlin: Aviatik-Verlag. ISBN 3-925505-25-3.

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Kenneth Westerly, Detroit, 29.08.2013 19:10

I have just finished building a 1 /72nd Junkers JU-290 Tanker Aircraft. A very beautiful and large airplane! Also a Junkers JU-390 Six engined Recon Aircraft which I have flying underneath it ready to take on more fuel for its flight over Canada and Michigan. Incredible and simple operation, yet very daring! There is no doubt among current KC-135 Tanker pilots that this refueling was done over Iceland before the Germans flew into Canada. All of our current B-2 Stealth Bombers would refuel over Greenland before penetrating Soviet Airspace! Also in 1943 there was no radar in Canada and Michigan that was in operation! No one in Washington D.C. thought that such a flight was possible! Just like they thought the Japanese were Never going to attack PEARL HARBOR. I do agree with Professor Barnhardt that this flight over New York caused President Roosevelt to reach an agreement with Hitler, that no Atomic Bombs would be dropped on Berlin or anywhere in Europe!

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Prof. Spate Jones USC TROJANS, 30.07.2013 19:18

The Junkers JU-390 by 1945 was an obsolete aircraft. If you look at the 3 Mile Runways that were built in Norway in 1943 and 1944 you would understand that the SANGER ORBITAL NUCLEAR BOMBER was what the Nazi's were preparing for their attacks on America. The V-9 and V-12 Rockets would also carry Nuclear Warheads. However the most deadliest weapon in the NAZI Arsenal was DIE GLOCKE. Why? Think about it. If you are able to go through Time and to see the future, you can control the future. Also DIE GLOCKE allowed you to go from one Dimension to another. and lastly Gravity had no control or influence on this machine. This is why KG-200 had several of these machines installed in their aircraft.

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Editor Peter Graves New York, 13.06.2013 17:05

Many historians here in New York have found some great evidence that the Junkers JU-390 Flight over New York can be verified.
1. At Noon on August 28th 1943, AIR RAID Sirens went off in New York and lasted for 45 minutes! The authorities said it was just a test, but now we know it was because a Six-Engined Junkers JU-390 was sighted over the Empire State Building flying at 8,000 feet!
2. Four phone calls reached the NEW YORK TIMES telling them that a German Bomber had been sighted over Michigan by two AT-6 Training Squadrons. Other phone calls came in and said that the Luftwaffe plane was heading to NEW YORK!
3. The German Navy was alerted on August 28th 1943 to be ready to rescue a large Luftwaffe aircraft approaching the coast of France. That this alert lasted eight hours.
4. We have the names of 16 Civilians who had their Kodak Cameras taken away after they reported that they had taken a picture of a New Army Air Corp Bomber with six engines! For six months the FBI and the OSS confiscated all cameras that were rumored to have taken pictures of the Junkers JU-390.
5. President Roosevelt sent an envoy to South Africa to meet with a Top Nazi Official to sign an agreement that the Atomic Bomb would not be used on Berlin or any German city. That Hitler was expected to honor this agreement and not target London, Moscow, or New York with any Atomic Bomb.

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Mark, 21.09.2012 14:38

Only 2 have build and is too big as b-29

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Vahe David Demirjian, e-mail, 05.08.2020 Mark

Only the first prototype was built and flown, while the second (intended as the prototype of the Ju 390B ocean reconnaissance aircraft) was not completed. The Ju 390 was actually about as big as TB-4 prototype heavy bomber.

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Col. Scott Thompson U.S.A.F., 29.11.2011 07:59

We now know that a Junkers JU-290 Tanker, refueled the JU-390 north of Iceland on Aug. 27th 1943. Then the Recon JU-390 penetrated Canadian airspace. In 1943 no one dreamed a German plane would fly such a dangerous long range mission, and there was no radar this far north in Canada and even across Michigan. Indeed the most dangerous part of this flight was Noon on Aug.28, when it passed over New York. Then we have another report that a JU-290 Tanker from the Portugese Azores refueled the JU-390 in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean as it headed home. Today in 2011 we do this all the time, but in 1943 the Germans were very carefully planning such a mission.

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luiz carlos guimares camach, e-mail, 05.11.2011 14:04

I need to see the wepaons used and the radar on ju 390 and diffrent camouflages on this so beautiful warplane !

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Steven, e-mail, 07.07.2011 05:02

What the hell is going on here? A retired nazi pilot,a USAF Colonel,A KGB guy,Joe Biden,A japanese person working on the now melted reactor {I hope you guys make it},someone from the CAF,Some guy probably from London, MSNBC News, and a guy called BIG TONY who runs a casino. cool but WTF is going on here!?

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Ben Beekman, e-mail, 27.02.2011 21:27

In David Mondey's book, "Axis Aircraft of World War II" (Smithmark Publishers, East 32nd St. NY), he states that two six-engined Ju 390 prototypes were built and flown in 1943. The second one took off from Bordeaux, France, on a test flight and flew to within about 12 miles (19 km) of the U.S. coast north of New York before returning. It was proof that the specification for a bomber capable of attacking New York from European bases might well be met, but the scheme did not proceed any further due to more important problems confronting the Reich. The epic flight of the Ju 390 doesn't seem so far-fetched when we recall that other armed German aircraft such as the Fw 200 Condor and the Ju 290 were and had been ranging far out over the Atlantic on maritime reconaissance patrols for years. It was only a matter of time before someone would send a new, longer-ranged, prototype all the way across as a test. Historically, Junkers had been trying to get Deutsche Lufthansa interested in the four-engined version of the Ju 90 since 1937 as 38 /40 seat airliners. Both Lufthansa and South African Airways eventually placed orders but the Luftwaffe stepped in and took over when the war began and the aircraft designation was changed to Ju 290 to reflect modifications necessary for use by the military.

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Vahe David Demirjian, e-mail, 05.08.2020 Ben Beekman

The claim about the Ju 390 making a test flight to within 12 miles of New York has been debunked (Griehl 2006).

Griehl, Manfred, 2006. Luftwaffe over America: The Secret Plans to Bomb the United States in World War II. London: Greenhill Books. ISBN 978-0-7607-8697-0.

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david, e-mail, 09.04.2009 05:24

My grandfather marcel was captured by the germans in romania and was one of the few captured aerospace engineers the luftwaffe used in the junkers 390 program. this spared him from the death camps as he was sent to work refitting the aircraft bomb bay to acomadate a new german device. All he knew of the device he said he learned by overhearing the project forman mention its name. "die Glocke"

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Simon Gunson, e-mail, 25.09.2008 06:10

Long after the war in 1968 Ju-390 project pilot Hans Pancherz who lived after the war in Barcelona, gave an interview about the Ju-390 and produced evidence from diaries and log books to substantiate a test flight he made to Cape Town and back.

In his post war memoirs Reichs armament's Minister Albert Speer wrote of a Ju-390 flight to Tokyo "via the polar route."

U-234 radio operator Wolgang Hirschfeld also referred to the Ju-390 flight to Tokyo in a book which he published in 2007. The U-234 was outbound for Japan in march 1945 when it collided underwater with another u-boat surfacing from beneath her. She put in to Kristiansand. There was a 72 ton discrepancy in her cargo manifest leaving Kiel and her unloading manifest at Portsmouth New Hampshire in 1945. Some of her cargo appears to have been flown to Japan.

A Russian website owned by Sergey Platov mentions a supposed Ju-390 flight to Japan on 28 february 1945 to deliver plans for Japanese construction of the Ju-390A series. Platov's site also claims a Japanese defence attache by the name Maj General Otani was also aboard the flight. I have found no other historic reference to Otani, but several Princes of the Japanese Royal Family masqueraded in the Japanese military under false names and ranks.

Prince Takeda for example was Lt Col. Miyata in Unit 731 and Prince Chichuba appears to have been Captain Wakabayashi.

In 1998 Polish wartime records were declassified and author Igor Witowski found file references at Berlin document centre and in Poland to the Ju-390 evacuating the Bell. device from Silesia to Norway. Witowski also found previously classified details of a Polish diplomat who witnessed the second Ju-390 being broken up on a German owned ranch at Psandayu Province in Uruguay, May 1945.

It appears that Pancherz's testimony after the war that only one Ju-390 ever flew was an effort to conceal the evacuation to Argentina of the Bell device.

There is considerable evidence however that after the Ju-390V1 was abandoned derelict at Dessau in November 1944 (and later destroyed in an air raid) that another Ju-390 was kept flying.

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Colin, e-mail, 03.08.2008 17:30

I Study And The 390 is My Favroite Of All Planes In World war 2.

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Gregory Ryder, e-mail, 07.07.2008 03:53

Ju390 is the aircraft used in 1945 to spirit away the super high tech secret project known as "The Bell" from its bunker. Apparently the Ju 390 and "The Bell" disappeared. This according to the book "The SS Brotherhood of The Bell" by Farell,available from "Military Issue" item #M103260. I think that this is more intriguing than the alleged recon of USA. inasmuchas there was also another bomber intended for the mission against USA., the Messerschmitt Me264 "Amerikabomber" with 4 engines. A model of this in 1 /72 scale is available from "Historic Aviation" as item #96030D.

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Simon Gunson, e-mail, 10.03.2008 10:24

Try this where I am involved in a lively debate on the topic:
www.ww2aircraft.net /forum /aviation /wwii-misteries-what-happened-ju390-2579-9.html

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Patrick O'Donnell, e-mail, 07.03.2008 17:32

I am very intrigued about the transatlantic Luftwaffe flight that was over American soil. I have yet to see proof that this really occurred, however. Does anyone have a link or a reference, to shed a little more light on the subject?

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Simon Gunson, e-mail, 20.02.2008 06:38

Bradley, Albert Speer in his book "Inside the Third Reich" wrote about a flight to Tokyo "via the polar route." Later Dr. Wilhem Voss (Kammlerstab Prague) told British journalist Tom Agoston that the Ju-390 flew to Tokyo 28 March 1945. James is in fact referring to three Ju-290s flown in Deutsch Luft hansa markings, but registered:
KR+LP as T9+WK (lost over Russia)
KR+LM as T9+UK
KR+LN as T9+VK (lost over Russia)

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Simon Gunson, e-mail, 20.02.2008 06:30

You guys may be interested to read some of my research about how the second Ju-390 ended up being dismantled on an airstrip in Uraguay: www.lwag.org /forums /showthread.php?t=3372

Also I can't seem to use the email links here but am equally interested in the Norway-Michigan-France flight.

What was the original source for this please ?

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Herbert C Schneider, e-mail, 09.11.2007 21:11

The story of the transatlantic recon flight over Michigan and near New York City is very interesting, particularly because, as of the 1943 operational date, the United States and Germany had already been at war for over a year. It's hard to imagine that such a large and unique aircraft - nothing like it was in the United States' inventory - flying for hours at a ceiling of only 20,000 feet over heavily-populated areas, would not have been spotted by someone.

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STEVEN, e-mail, 29.04.2007 15:20

I AM LOOKING FOR MODEL OF THIS PLANE IN 1 /48 SCALE.
DO YOU KNOW WHERE TO BUY IT ?

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