Ju 87 (Junkers, Germany)

No, it wasn’t pretty. The Ju 87 was designed for ground attack, and was used extensively to hunt tanks, anti-aircraft positions, and bomb just about any target. As a high precision dive bomber, it would go down on its prey at a very steep angle, release its bomb, and then climb out.

On the other hand, the Ju 87 was very heavy, had bad handling and poor defence capabilities, making it an easy target for allied fighters (I’ve heard a British pilot say it was like turkey-shooting). Nonetheless, as a bomber, the Stuka, as it was known, would elicit terror for the civilian or soldier hearing it diving. It literally made a hell of a sound which had a terrible psychological effect on the troops. Still a reliable and rugged aircraft, it destroyed more tanks than any other plane except for the Ilyushin Il-2 Shturmovik (a Russian ground-attack aircraft).

Ju 87 blueprint front

Type: Ground attack aircraft
Engine: 640hp (and, later, 1200hp) Junkers Jumo 210Ca inverted V12 liquid-cooled
Max speed: 383 km/h (238 mph)
Ceiling: 7 500m (24,600ft)
Range: 1 000km (620 miles)
Weight (empty): 2,268kg (5,000 lb)
Weight (loaded): 4,336kg (9,560 lb)
Wingspan: 13,8m (45′ 23″)
Length: 11.13m (36′ 5″)
Height: 3,90 m (13′)
Armament: Two MG17 firing forward
One MG15 in rear cockpit
500kg (1,102lb) bomb under fuselage