"Bomber B" Program Planes

In July of 1939 the Technical Office of the RLM issued a specification known as the "Bomber B" Program. For its time it was a foresighted document that took into account that fighter technology would continue advance and that bombers with much high performance would be needed if they were to be able to successfully carry out their missions. This meant flying higher and faster than any existing bombers at the time. Not only would it provide for a suitable successor to the Ju 88 and He 111 but it would also fill in the gap between the Ju 88 and He 177 "Bomber A".

The design requirements were as follows; The aircraft was to be a twin engine design, have provision for a pressurized cabin, a crew of three, remote controlled weapons stations, use either the DB 604 or Jumo 222 engines, have a maximum speed of 416 mph, be capable of carrying a 4,409 lb. bomb load at 373 mph at 23,000ft. and have a tactical range of 1,118 miles. Although much was expected from the program in the end it was a disappointment. The primary reason for the failure of this program was the failure of the proposed engines to reach production status. To obtain the necessary performance with a twin engine aircraft required engines in the 2,500 to 3000 hp. range.

Failure of the specified engines to reach production status meant that lower horse power engines needed to be substituted with the resultant loss of performance and in some cases it was not any better or worse than types already in service. While this certainly was the primary reason for failure is certainly wasn't the only one. The development of remote controlled weapons stations also proved problematic. Another factor was the continuing changes asked for by the RLM and as a result of the changing fortunes of the war itself.

Initially the specification was issued to Junkers and Focke-Wulf, later Arado and Dornier would be added. Going into the program Junkers had the edge as the specification was based largely on a proposal that Junkers had submitted nearly two years earlier know as the EF 73 and it was to serve as a foundation for their entry the Ju 288. The designs submitted were the Junkers Ju 288, the Focke-Wulf Fw 191, the Arado Ar 340 and the Dornier Do 317. It should be noted that some sources, published as late as 2002, indicate that there was a fifth competitor in the program, the Henschel Hs 130. Henschel already considerable experience with pressurised cabins. Some ten examples of a reconnaissance version had been built but were not used operationally and a completely different varient, the Hs 130C, was proposed for the "B Bomber program. This was basically a new design which differed considerably from the previous models and was more like the Do 317 with a full clear vision canopy. From 1941, three prototypes were under construction but how far they advanced is unclear. Some sources report that at least one prototype equipped with BMW 801 engines was completed.

With the recent release of the Ar 340 it is possible to build all four of the main entries and these are the ones this section will be concerned with. These, unfortunately, are in the microscopic scale of 1/72. The aircraft that are going to built for this series are:

Junkers Ju 288

Focke-Wulf Fw 191 

Dornier Do 317 

Arado Ar 340 

Click on the profiles to learn more about these kits.

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Updated 6/4/08