In mid-2008 the Museum took proud ownership of a partially restored forward cockpit section of a Junkers Ju88A-1 'Schnellbomber' (High-speed bomber), and this wonderful exhibit will form the centrepiece of the new Museum wing due to open during 2009. The aim of this long-term project is to restore the cockpit section to the rearward facing radio-operator/gunner's position.
The operational history of this particular German bomber is being researched and it is known to have been constructed in 1940 and to have served with a Luftwaffe bomber unit during the Battle of Britain, prior to further service on the Eastern Front. The Schnellbomber currently wears unit markings belonging to Kampfgeschwader 54 'Totenkopf'.
Exclusive new Geoff Nutkins print now available!
We are pleased to announce a new print by our own Geoff Nutkins - "Totenkopf" Schnellbombers.
Each costs just £39.50 + p&p and all proceeds go towards the restoration of our Ju88 cockpit section.
For more information or to place your order, visit Geoff's Avi-Art site.
It is the current aim to acquire further items to help in the full restoration and a recent acquisition has been a rear canopy section, which although substantially complete will require a lot of work to make it look good as new again. Anyone with Ju88 cockpit items for offer, are welcome to contact the Museum.
As part of the project and to help raise funds towards the restoration, a great range of merchandise bearing the Projekt Schnellbomber logo will feature on items ranging from tee-shirts to mugs. News about these will feature soon.
Please check back for news on restoration progress, or better still, visit the Museum to see the Schnellbomber for yourself.
Schnellbomber moves into new home
To move the Schnellbomber cockpit section from the main Museum into the new extension required a 'hop' over the Teagarden wall; so before Easter 2010 the Schnellbomber took to the air and landed safely before being manhandled into its new home.
Just in time before the Museum opened for the 2010 season, the cockpit section was re-assembled and placed on a raised plinth for display and quickly proved to be a very popular and impressive attraction for visitors.
Thanks to the modelling skills of Museum volunteer Bob Webster, now on display alongside the Schnellbomber cockpit, is a large-scale model of a Junkers Ju88 in the markings as would have been worn in Luftwaffe service by the Museum's Schnellbomber during the Battle of Britain.
March 23rd, 2011
The rear canopy section as previously featured above is currently under restoration by skilled hands. Most of the existing structure is being retained and has been stripped down to its component parts. The accompanying pictures show work-in-progress on the rear frame and gun ring mounting, including the fabrication of replacement parts. When completed, the restored canopy will again look much like it did in 1940.
Canopy restoration - update No.1
April 27th, 2011
The rear canopy frame is currently receiving lots of attention, specifically to straighten the out-of-shape elements and to weld into place those parts of the frame that are beyond repair.
Canopy restoration - update No.2
November 21st, 2011
Work continues at a steady pace to complete the restoration of the rear canopy. A lot of time has been spent replacing badly corroded/damaged elements of the frame and it is looking incredibly 'straight' when compared to its originally received battered and bent shape. The next stage is to complete the re-fitting of the rear-gun mounting and ring before re-glazing the whole assembly.
Canopy restoration - update No.3
October 22nd, 2015
The superb work to restore the genuine Battle of Britain Ju88 rear canopy was finally completed and the top and side sections have been joined to the front canopy section. This has effectively doubled the length of the cockpit and necessitated re-positioning the exhibit, which now 'greets' visitors as they enter the Museum.
Trial fitting of the 'Beetle's Eye'
Work towards creating a 'beetle's eye' nose has made continued excellent progress and a trial fitting of the framework has been carried out. As can be seen in the accompanying picture, the 'new' nose looks excellent and when finally fitted will create a terrific transformation when viewing the cockpit from the front.
'B Stand' gun mount
The Museum has managed to acquire an incredibly rare item, which as seen in the accompanying pictures is the gun mount for the B-Stand (upper rear weapon). This mount is the later type that incorporates armoured glass and this example appears to have received two bullet strikes (on the inside from a possible frontal attack) that haven't fully penetrated the thick glass. The intention will be to incorporate this mount into the restored rear canopy frame and fit an MG15 machine gun. Admittedly not many A-1 versions (like the Museum Schnellbomber) of the Ju88 were modified with a single armoured gun mount to replace the original design; the following A-5 and A-4 versions were more commonly seen with two upper rear weapons each with a separate armoured mount. [To avoid confusion, the A-5 (increased wingspan and strengthened undercarriage) preceded the A-4 (more powerful Jumo 211 engines) into Luftwaffe service].
Final fitting of the 'Beetle's Eye'
February 19th, 2016
4-seat level & dive-bomber
2 x Jumo 211 12-cylinder liquid cooled engines rated at 1,200 horsepower at take-off
227 mph at sea level; 280 mph at 18,050 feet
620 miles at 217 mph and 18,050 feet; 1,055 miles with fuel tank in forward bomb bay
7.9 mm MG15 machine gun (up to 5 fitted); various bombloads carried internally and externally up to 1,800 kg (3,960 lb)
22,840 lb with maximum load
span 60 ft 3¼ in; length 47 ft 1½ in; height 17 ft 5¾ in