History notes and Junkers model photo from
By the time of the Battle of Britain, the venerable Junkers Ju 87 design was beginning to show some of its
shortcomings. A new, faster, better armed and better armored replacement was needed, so work was begun on
the Ju 187 design. It kept some of the features of the earlier Ju 87, but added retractable landing gear and a very novel reversible vertical tail.
The Ju 187 was to be entirely of metal construction. The wing was tapered and featured both dihedral and anhedral. Slatted dive brakes were
fitted near the trailing edge of the landing flaps. The main landing gear was housed in a bulge at the junction of the wing where the
angle of the wing changed, and retracted to the rear (also rotating 90 degrees to lay flat under the wings).
Power was to be supplied by a Jumo 213A 12-cylinder liquid-cooled engine, which was also used in the Fw 190D and Ju 88G-6),
and developed 1750 horsepower at takeoff. One of the most unusual features was the movable vertical tail fin, which could be
moved 180 degrees in flight, thus clearing the field of fire for the remote-controlled rear turret,
consisting of one 151/20 20 mm cannon and one MG 131 13mm machine gun.
The bomb load was composed of one 500 kg (1102 lbs) bomb under the fuselage, and two 50 kg (110 lbs) bombs under each wing on
either side of the landing gear bulges.
Although windtunnel models and even a full-sized mock-up was built, the project was canceled due to the fact that the projected performance
was not that much of an improvement from the older Ju 87, and also that fighter-bombers such as the Fw 190F series could do the job as
well as specialized dive bombers. In October 1943, the project designation 287 was officially given to the forward-swept
wing jet bomber project that Junkers was designing.