Junkers Ju 488

Ju 488
Role Heavy bomber
Manufacturer Junkers
Primary user Luftwaffe
Number built 2
Developed from Junkers Ju 188
Junkers Ju 288
Junkers Ju 388

The Junkers Ju 488 was a proposed heavy strategic bomber, to be used by Germany in World War II. The project never got past the prototype stage.

In an effort to produce an advanced four engined strategic bomber for the Luftwaffe, a proposal was made by Junkers during 1944 to create a simplified design by combining sub-assemblies of the Ju 188, Ju 288, and Ju 388 (especially its cockpit) to new inner wing panels and midsection fuselage assemblies. This would result in a sleek aircraft with a length of almost 20.4 m (67 ft) and a wingspan of nearly 31.4 m (103 ft). The Ju 488 was to be initially powered by four BMW 801J radial engines, with each engine nacelle having one standard Ju 88-style rearwards-retracting single strut main landing gear unit, still rotating through 90° to lie flat (with the mainwheel above the end of the strut) within each of the quartet of nacelles. Later versions — as with a growing number of late-war German twin and multi-engined combat aircraft design proposals — were to be powered by four of the very troublesome 24-cylinder Jumo 222 liquid-cooled multibank inline engines. The first two prototypes, Ju 488 V401 and V402 had fuselage sections constructed at the Latécoère factory in France, while the other components were being prepared at Junkers factories in Germany. The Ju 488 V401 and V402 fuselages were completed by 1944, but were damaged by the French Resistance on 16 July 1944. Construction of four more prototypes, the V403 to V406, continued at low priority and were not finished by the end of the war.

The Junkers Ju 488 represented the last, and most serious, challenge to Heinkel, in that German aviation's firm efforts to promote the Heinkel He 277 to production status as Germany's Amerika Bomber, and on which all design work stopped early in April 1944, with the Ju 488 itself being abandoned late that same year.

Specifications (Ju 488A - estimated)

Data from War Planes of the Second World War:Volume Ten Bombers and Reconnaissance Aircraft[1]

General characteristics




  1. Green 1968, p. 175.
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