Junkers Ju 290 A-5 – Maritime Reconnaissance Luftwaffe 1/144
1 in stock
1 in stock
Produced by Altaya/IXO but issued in plain blister packaging is this very nice 1/144 scale diecast model of the Junkers Ju 290 A-5 four engined maritime reconnaissance patrol aircraft. Complete in a sealed plastic blister with fixed lowered undercarriage and display stand. Very few models of this aircraft exist in this scale, so this is a “must have” addition to any collection. BLISTER PACK MAY HAVE SOME LIGHT CRUSH DAMAGE.
The Junkers Ju 290 was a large German, four-engine long-range transport and maritime patrol aircraft used by the Luftwaffe late in World War II that had been developed from an earlier airliner. A special long-range reconnaissance group, FAGr 5 (Fernaufklärungsgruppe 5), had been formed on 1 July 1943 and during the late summer of 1943 three of the new Ju 290 A-2s were delivered to its 1 Staffel, which became operational at Mont-de-Marsan near Bordeaux on 15 October of that year. They flew their first operational missions in November 1943, shadowing Allied convoys in cooperation with U-boats, often remaining airborne for up to 18 hours.
Five Ju 290 A-3 aircraft with more powerful BMW 801D engines in unitized mounts followed, as did five Ju 290 A-4 aircraft with improved dorsal turrets mounting 20 mm MG 151/20s. The Ju 290s were well suited to their patrol role and began replacing the Fw 200 Condors. An A-4, Works no. 0165, was experimentally equipped with attachments for FX 1400 PGM, and either the Henschel Hs 293 or Hs 294 anti-ship missiles, and fitted with the FuG 203e Kehl MCLOS radio control transmitter system for controlling any of them after release; it was surrendered to the US after the war and flown across the Atlantic to the USA.
In November 1943, a second Staffel was activated and, with a range of over 6,100 km (3,790 mi) the Ju 290s ranged far out over the Atlantic, relaying sightings of Allied convoys to U-boats. 11 Ju 290 A-5s with increased armour, 20 mm MG 151/20 cannons in place of the earlier waist-mounted machine guns, and self-sealing fuel tanks were delivered to FAGr 5 early in 1944, as were around 12 of the Ju 290 A-7 version; the A-7 could carry three Hs 293 glide bombs or Fritz X armoured, anti-warship precision-guided munitions when fitted with the FuG 203 Kehl radio guidance system for them, and featured a redesigned nose section which combined a 20 mm cannon installation with the FuG 200 radar aerial array.
Towards the end of 1943, Admiral Dönitz demanded that the entire output of Ju 290s be made available for U-boat warfare. However, only 20 were assigned for this purpose. Even though both Hitler and Dönitz demanded an increase, the Luftwaffe General Staff declared it was unable to assign any more for naval reconnaissance purposes. The General Staff argued that there could be no increase in output so long as the Luftwaffe was not conceded “precedence in overall armaments”.
In the spring of 1944, after Albert Speer had taken over the direction of air armaments, the Luftwaffe High Command boldly announced that production of the Ju 290 was to be suspended despite it being urgently needed for maritime reconnaissance; suspending production meant that resources could instead be diverted to building fighters. At that point in time, Speer’s position was weak and Hermann Göring was trying to find allies to help him strip Speer of his power, and the Luftwaffe was not prepared to offer the Navy more than “goodwill”.
On 26 May 1944, shortly after daybreak, a Sea Hurricane piloted by Sub Lieutenant Burgham from the escort carrier HMS Nairana shot down Ju 290 9V+FK of FAGr 5 over the Bay of Biscay. The afternoon of the same day, Sub Lieutenants Mearns and Wallis attacked two more Ju 290s. Mearns shot down 9V+GK piloted by Kurt Nonneberg, which ditched in the sea. The other Ju 290 disappeared on fire into cloud and was assumed to have crashed.
As the Battle of the Atlantic swung irrevocably in favour of the Allies with the loss by the Germans of French bases in August 1944, FAGr 5 withdrew eastwards and the remaining Ju 290s were reassigned to transport duties, including service with KG 200, where they were used to drop agents behind enemy lines and other special missions