Ju 288 C
The Ju 288 C is a premium rank IV German bomber with a battle rating of 6.0 (AB/RB) and 5.7 (SB). It was introduced in Update 1.83 "Masters of the Sea". It has no relation of the Ju 88, Ju 188, or Ju 388 despite the "88" in its name.
The Ju 288 C was designed as a Schnellbomber (fast bomber) with the purpose to replace the current Junkers Ju 88 bombers in service. Though a potent bomber in its own right, the Ju 88 suffered what ended up being crippling features such as a relatively small internal bomb bay requiring extra ordnance to be ferried on external hardpoints which ultimately increased the aircraft's drag coefficient, resulting in less efficient flight performance.
Though a contest was held to choose the next generation of medium schnellbombers, the RLM had already determined the Junkers Ju 288 C was the clear winner and even let Focke-Wulf, Dornier and Henschel continue to pursue their prototypes in vain. Out of the gate what caught the eye of the RLM was that the Ju 288 C was to be slightly larger than the Ju 88, the new prototype contained a pressurized cabin allowing for higher altitude flying, faster speeds, further range, excellent defensive capabilities and a much larger bomb payload. Such hope was put into this aircraft that it was slated to replace all bombers within the Luftwaffe inventory.
Though the aircraft itself was a huge success, the engines and landing gear ended up crippling the development of the aircraft resulting in only a handful of prototypes being built with a few being hurriedly outfitted with defensive weapons and used as a reconnaissance bomber. One interesting feature of this aircraft is the usage of remote-controlled gun turrets much like those found in the American P-61 and A-26 strike-fighter/attackers. The guns operated outside of the pressurized cockpit and allowed them to be placed in areas which more efficiently defensively protected this aircraft. Any fighter aircraft attempting to tail this bomber will receive a rude awakening when their aircraft is all of the sudden full of holes, the engine has quit, fluids are leaking, and the ground is approaching at an extremely quick rate showing no sign of stopping!
The key for the Ju 288 C to be a Schnellbomber is to actually deliver its payload to a target and for an aircraft its size and speed, it can deliver up to an amazing 3,600 kg (8,000 lb) payload, easily enough to put a serious dent in the enemy's bases or anti-aircraft vehicles and tanks. Smaller payloads can also include up to 36 x 50 kg (110 lb) bombs which can be very effective when it comes to carpet bombing columns of vehicles or taking out anti-aircraft artillery and other vehicles and pillboxes scattered around the map. Payloads such as this can provide area denial to airfields in matches where aircraft need to land to capture the point.
Speed, agility and payload make this bomber a great choice to aid your team in making short work of enemy targets while providing a faster and more difficult target to take out compared to contemporaries such as the lumbering B-24, Tu-2 and the P.108B bombers.
For those pilots who have flown many slow and heavy bombers just to get a decent payload to the target will be thoroughly refreshed when getting behind the controls of the Ju 288 C. Quickly apparent is the speed of this bomber. As its type suggests, Schnellbomber, this aircraft is fast, topping out just over 600 kph (375 mph) and agile enough to manoeuvre when attacked as not to be a "sitting duck" like many of the larger contemporary bombers such as the American B-24 and the Italian P.108B which are easily 120 kph (75 mph) slower and much less agile making for a tempting target even for the least experienced fighter pilot to attempt to eliminate.
For many aircraft, speed is life, but speed for this Schnellbomber not only is life but what gets the ordnance to the target. The Ju 288 C does have a pressurized cabin which allows the aircraft to fly at higher altitudes where it can bomb bases with accuracy with 1,800 kg (4,000 lb) bombs, but this bomber is also very capable at flying lower altitudes and even terrain hugging where it can release up to 36 x 50 kg bombs on unsuspecting vehicles before they have a chance to scatter or hardened anti-aircraft structures filling the sky with flak. The Ju 288 C also has the ability to operate as a dive bomber given that it has dive brakes in the wings which will help slow its speed and maintain its heading during a dive to ensure a relatively smooth bombing run, after bombs have been dropped, the aircraft can retract the flaps and power up and move onto the next target.
There's usually 2 ways to play Ju 288 C: stay high or dive. Most people play Ju 288 C dive and take as many bases for themselves. When diving, try to watch your IAS and keep it at around 400 mph, don't go over that speed. The second way to play is stay high, when staying high, you will see enemy bombers that you can hunt with your superior fire power. When bomber hunting, try to get next to them, match their speed, and gun the hell out of them. Usually bomber hunting will cause you to sustain some damage.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 6,000 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 370||< 360||< 450||> 715|
|Optimal altitude||100% Engine power||WEP Engine power|
|5,700 m||2,520 hp||2,797 hp|
Survivability and armour
- 10 mm steel - Pilot's headrests
- 8 mm steel - Pilot's seats
- 8 mm steel - cockpit floor
Modifications and economy
The Ju 288 C can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- 36 x 50 kg SC50JA bombs (1,800 kg total)
- 8 x 250 kg SC250JA bombs (2,000 kg total)
- 3 x 500 kg SC500K bombs (1,500 kg total)
- 2 x 1,000 kg SC1000L2 bombs (2,000 kg total)
- 2 x 1,800 kg SC1800B bombs (3,600 kg total)
The Ju 288 C is defended by:
- 1 x 20 mm MG 151/20 cannon, tail turret (600 rpg)
- 2 x 13 mm MG 131 machine guns, chin turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
- 2 x 13 mm MG 131 machine guns, dorsal turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
- 2 x 13 mm MG 131 machine guns, ventral turret (500 rpg = 1,000 total)
Usage in battles
As a bomber, you spawn at a higher altitude, where you can use this advantage to dive to the base you want to destroy. However, do not exceed 690 km/h (430 mph), or the wings will break. A great indication of this is when your wings start to shake uncontrollably - by then, it would be apparent that you need to slow down. A good idea for more savvy pilots would be to use the Manual Engine Control to turn off automatic radiators and fully open them, allowing you near unlimited WEP without overheating and letting you keep as much altitude as possible for a possible emergency dive away from enemy fighters.
- Base bombing
In Air RB, there are two predominant types of maps - standard-HP maps and double-HP maps. Standard HP maps typically have three bases, with some exceptions such as the "Air Battle" maps, which have four bases. These bases take a single SC 1800 each, meaning that you can bomb two bases in a single run, yielding just over 1000 points. Note that the airfield is a bombing target once all bases are destroyed. However, about half of the maps you see in-game are "Operation" maps, with four bases and no airfield. These bases take both SC 1800 bombs to destroy, and often feature four AAA emplacements on the edges of the base. When attacking these bases, a great strategy is to drop the bombs at the edges of the base, instead of at the centre. Because of the massive blast radius of the SC 1800, this enables you to kill several AAA emplacements along with the base bombing, which yields additional Silver Lions and RP.
Typically, the best strategy for the Ju 288 when bombing is to utilize the Schnellbomber qualities of the aircraft, and put the aircraft into a 10-degree dive towards the base. For most "Operation" maps, this means that you can bomb the base well before enemy fighters can even see you appear on their screen. After you have dropped your bombs, return to base and reload bombs; the advance airfield (smaller airfield closer to battlefield) works better as long as there are no enemies close by, as you will get airspawn for many of those bases. Fly back, bomb, return to base, repeat. This strategy is simple, effective, and extremely profitable in terms of SL and RP.
- Defensive flying
The Ju 288 C is a juicy target and will often be targeted by allied fighter pilots. As a result, defensive flying is a must. If you see a fighter coming in for an attack run, the best strategy to use is to dive away - this works significantly better if the Ju 288 C has an energy advantage, as it can outrun most planes at its BR in a dive. However, if they are faster than you (i.e. the F2G Super Corsair), level out and fire on them using your defensive guns. The Ju 288 C is surprisingly well-armed in terms of defensive armament, featuring six 13 mm machine guns and a tail-mounted 20 mm cannon. Try to keep enemy fighters on your tail, as the 20 mm cannon can load Minengeschoß (mine-shell) ammunition that is incredibly damaging against air targets. Finally, avoid all head-on engagements - though the Ju 288 has two pilots, it is not too durable, and a frontal burst from an enemy fighter can easily knock out both pilots.
- Enemies worth noting
- F4U Corsairs & F2G Super Corsair: The F4U / F2Gs are very common enemies, with high speed and extremely deadly weaponry (20 mm cannon for the F4Us and 12.7 mm Browning HMGs for the F2G). Against these aircraft, the best strategy is to 1) run away and 2) keep them slightly below your tail where you can fire at them with your four ventral 13 mm machine guns as well as the 20 mm cannon. When possible, seek protection from allied fighters, as the Corsairs carry a heavy armament that can tear the Ju 288 C apart very quickly. Note that the Corsairs are all faster than you, meaning that you can only outrun them when you have an energy advantage.
- SO 8000 Narval, J6K1, Tempest and Spitfire: Again, these aircraft all carry extremely powerful weaponry: the Tempests and Spitfires carry four 20 mm Hispano cannons while the J6K and Narval carry six 20 mm cannons. These weapons are extremely deadly and will shred your airframe apart very quickly. Similar to the F4Us, the best strategy is to bait these aircraft onto your six, where you can shred them with your 20 mm cannon. The British fighters and Japanese J6K are relatively fragile and rip apart pretty quickly; the Narval has a rear-mounted engine which is less susceptible to damage, but lacks full pilot protection allowing for pilot snipes.
- AM-1, AD-2 and AD-4: This trio of American attackers can seem harmless, but they pack an explosive punch with four 20 mm cannons which are capable of shredding your airframe apart. The Ju 288 C's main advantage is its speed - you can outrun all three of these attackers without issue. Don't provoke them / drop to their altitude and speed, and you'll be absolutely fine.
Manual Engine Control
|Not controllable|| Controllable
Auto control available
Auto control available
Auto control available
|Separate|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Very good speed for the rank, can often reach bases before fighters can intercept.
- 20 mm cannon in the tail is effective if you can get on target
- Excellent ordnance options.
- Very good manoeuvrability for a bomber.
- Can defend itself from attacks from all angles (no blind spot), except for directly above and to the front.
- Has air brakes, makes landing easier.
- Can take a beating fairly well.
- Commonly puts out fires before structure failure, although it may end with eventually fatal coolant leaks.
- Engines tend to overheat quickly without MEC.
- Pilot can be easily knocked out due to the absence of armour at the front of the cockpit.
- Gunner also easily knocked out, resulting in being unable to fight back.
- Rudders and elevators are extremely fragile and can be disabled or destroyed by just a few cannon rounds.
- Losing your rudder or elevator control means losing control of the aircraft.
- Even though your plane has a 20 mm tail gunner, it is absolutely important to have good aim just in case planes with cannons (like F4U-4B, Tempests, Narvals, etc) come behind you.
- Aircraft catches fire easily as it carries 10 self sealing fuel tanks that are poorly covered.
- 13 mm turrets don't do much damage.
- Lack of coordination between allied Ju 288 C, especially in single HP maps, can lead to inefficient bombing runs.
- Cannot sustain level flight with one engine despite their power. Losing one engine is a death sentence.
- Leaking any coolant is a slow death, as you require all coolant to be intact to keep the engines from overheating, and once one overheats you slowly lose speed and altitude.
In 1939, the Junkers company began work on a new bomber that was supposed to replace the Ju 88 bombers in service at the time. The new aircraft had to surpass the predecessor across all parameters. The plan was to fit the upcoming model with new, more powerful engines, significantly boost the firepower of the defensive armament, and, of course, increase the payload. The first prototypes took to the skies when the Jumo 222A/B engines, which the aircraft were supposed to be equipped with, had not been installed yet. Instead, the BMW engines were used. Extensive work began on the experimental models of the new series, which received the designation Ju 288, with the aim of enhancing the bomber's characteristics. This explains why the first eight prototypes were significantly different from one another.
In 1942 the Ministry of Aviation made a ruling to include a fourth member in the aircraft crew, which demanded changes to be made to the build of the cockpit. Vehicles of the second-generation prototype series with the letter "B" in their designation had their wingspan increased and their defensive armament changed. The Jumo 222A/B engines still required more work to be done and thus weren't installed on the Ju 288Bs. The Ju 288Cs, the third-generation prototypes of the series, were fitted with the Daimler Benz DB 605 engines, requiring the nacelles to be changed. Furthermore, the wingspan of the aircraft was increased even more and the defensive armament received another modification – this time, a lower rear turret was added. The Ju 288C's first test flights began in the spring of 1943. Junkers even prepared three versions of the new bomber build for serial production, each with a unique armament set. However, in June, the engineering department notified the aircraft manufacturer to discontinue work on the Ju 288 due to a lack of resources required to produce the new aircraft. Tests on the Ju 288 continued right up to 1944 – the aircraft even went on a number of combat flights. However, in the end the bomber was never approved for serial production.
- From Devblog
- Related development
- Junkers Ju 88
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era*
|Junkers Aircraft and Motor Works (Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke Aktiengesellschaft)|
|Fighters||Ju 88 C-6 · Ju 388 J|
|Attackers||Ju 87 G-1 · Ju 87 G-2|
|Bombers||Ju 87 B-2 · Ju 87 D-3 · Ju 87 D-5 · Ju 87 R-2 · Ju 88 A-1 · Ju 88 A-4 · Ju 188 A-2 · Ju 288 C|
|Export||▄Ju 87 D-3 · ▄Ju 87 R-2|
|Arado||Ar 196 A-3|
|Blohm & Voss||BV 238|
|Dornier||Do 17 E-1 · Do 17 Z-2 · Do 217 E-2 · Do 217 E-4 · Do 217 K-1 · Do 217 M-1|
|Focke-Wulf||Fw 189 A-1 · Fw 200 C-1|
|Henschel||Hs 123 A-1|
|Heinkel||He 111 H-3 · He 111 H-6 · He 111 H-16 · He 177 A-5|
|Junkers||Ju 87 B-2 · Ju 87 R-2 · Ju 87 D-3 · Ju 87 D-5 · Ju 88 A-1 · Ju 88 A-4 · Ju 188 A-2 · Ju 288 C|
|Savoia-Marchetti||▀S.M.79 serie 1 · ▀S.M.79 B · ▀S.M.79 serie 4 · ▀S.M.79 serie 8|
|▀S.M.79 AS · ▀S.M.79 bis/N · ▀S.M.79 bis/T.M|
|Trophies||▀Wellington Mk Ic|
|Germany premium aircraft|
|Fighters||He 51 B-2/H · He 112 B-1/U2 · He 112 B-2/U2 · Flegel's Bf 109 A · Bf 109 E-7/U2 · Bf 109 G-2 · Fw 190 C · Fw 190 D-13|
|▀Marcolin's C.R.42 CN · ▀Hawk H-75A-2 · ▀Yak-1B · ▀La-5FN · ▀P-47D-16 RE · ▀P-47D · ▀Tempest Mk V|
|Twin-engine fighters||Bf 109 Z · Bf 110 C-6 · Do 335 B-2 · He 219 A-7 · Ju 388 J · Ta 154 A-1|
|Jet fighters||Sea Hawk Mk.100 · ▀G.91 R/4|
|Attackers||Hs 129 B-2 (Romania) · ▀IL-2 (1942)|
|Bombers||Ar 196 A-3 · BV 238 · Fw 189 A-1 · Ju 288 C · ▀Wellington Mk Ic|