Italeri 1/48 Junkers Ju 87 B2/R2
Picchiatello (Dive Bomber)
by Jean Barby


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In its brief but spectacular career the dive bomber earned itself a unique place in the pages of aeronautical history. No other aircraft typified the terror wrought by these aircraft as did the Ju 87 Stuka.

Perhaps understanding early the limitations of the dive bomber, the Regia Aeronautica (RA) never fully committed itself to the development of the dive bomber, choosing instead to devote its resources to the development of conventional ground attack aircraft and strategic bombers such as the Piaggio P.108, CANT Z.1007 and CANT Z.1018. However, with the rapid German successes in France and Poland and seeing a need for the pinpoint accuracy of the dive bomber in support of its navy, the Regia Aeronautica turned to the Ju 87. It is interesting to note that neither Britain, France or Russia developed a successful dive bomber while the US, Japan and Germany each featured one. However the Ju 87 stands alone as the only successful land based dive bomber of WWII.

No other country outside of Germany had gained as much notoriety in the use of this aircraft as did the Italians. Seeing that the number of Ju 87s avaiable could not reach the prescribed numbers needed to put into effect the tactics of the Luftwaffe, the Italians developed the skip bombing technique well before its use in the Pacific war. Italian dive bomber groups were called Bombardamento di Picchiata (Dive Bomber Group) and hence Picchatello (Dive Bomber).








Construction

This Stuka is from Italeri and seems more to scale than the Hasegawa model. The softness of the plastic is very annoying sometimes and makes the thinnest parts fragile. The interior from the kit is fine but with the help of the Part photoetch set it can really be improved. Eduard Masks are very helpful for the canopy frame and save a lot of time. Two points are noticeable: the lack of the pilot's window under the instrument panel, you must scratch-build that one, and the too thick trailing edge of the wings. Colors of the Ju.87 are RLM 70/71/65 and Verde mimetico 2 (H 302) to make a contrast where the Italian paint was sprayed over the German insignias. I used Griggio Mimetico for the undersides.





Technical Data

Aircraft: Junkers Ju87B2/R2
Manufacturer: Junkers Flugzeug und Motorenwerke A. G.
Type: Dive Bomber
Year: 1938
Engine: Junkers Jumo 211, 12-cylinder V, liquid-cooled, 1,200hp
Wingspan: 45 ft 3 in (13.79m)
Length: 36ft 5in (11.10m)
Height: 13ft 2 in (4.01m)
Weight: 9,560lb (4,330 kg) (Loaded)
Maximum Speed: 238mph (383km/h) at 13,410ft (4,090m)
Dive Speed: 404mph (673km/h)
Ceiling: 26,250ft (8,000m)
Range: 779miles (1,246km)
Armament: 3 machine guns; 551lb (250kg) bomb
Crew: 2

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January, 2014
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