Junkers 86 in South Africa

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Junkers 86 in South Africa

Beitragvon Desertrat » 4/7/2009, 11:00

Junkers JU86
Written by Dave Becker

To supplement the Ju52s in use with the South African Airways(SAA) in the late 1930s an initial batch of six Junkers Ju86Z1s were ordered from Germany. These aircraft could be provide a reasonably fast twin-engined bomber should the need arise.

Initially the Rolls Royce Kestel engine was specified, but later it was decided to standardize on the Pratt & Whitney Hornet as the powerplant for these aircraft. Some of the Ju86s were reputed to have been fitted with the Kestrel. However, no photos exist of the Kestrel engined SAA Ju86. Further Ju86s followed for SAA and one, ZS-ANI, was delivered as the fully militarized version, Ju86 K-1 (similar to those used in Sweden.) Delivered circa May 1938, it was demonstrated at the Military revue on 31 May 1938 by a Junkers test pilot, Herr Untucht. It was different from all the others in having the three-tone Luftwaffe segmented-type camouflage with black registration letters. The standard Ju86 were painted in a pale greyish-blue green finish overall. However, this is not confirmed. By the outbreak of WWII, 18 Ju86s had been delivered to SAA and by May 1939, with war clouds looming, preparation was made for the Ju86s to be converted to their military role.

The first test-firing of a Vickers machine-gun was made at Rand Airport on 5 May 1939 - the SAAF was distressed to find that the standard British bombs would not fit the metric-sized bomb bays designed for German bombs! External racks were therefore fitted for 250 lb bombs, a feature which slowed the Ju86 down considerably in action. Transferred, to the SAAF, the Ju86s were formed into four Sqdns, each having three aircraft, six officers and twelve men. On 18 September 1939 there were 13 Sqdn (Durban), 14 Sqdn (Port Elizabeth), 15 Sqdn (Cape Town) and 16 Sqdn (Walvis Bay). Sea searches were hampered by makeshift equipment, insufficient range and lack of aircraft.

Source & further text:


Beitragvon Desertrat » 4/7/2009, 11:02

It is ironic that the first attack of the war, made by a SAAF aircraft, was a German-designed and built aircraft. It was with the SAAF that the Ju86 achieved it's most successful operational career.


Does anybody have photos of the '86' with the South Africans?

Re: Junkers 86 in South Africa

Beitragvon Kuno » 28/11/2009, 16:27

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