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Rare Junkers JU 87, R Series Fuel Drop Tank Cap

One of the biggest challenges for the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain was that Germany’s primary escort fighter, the BF 109 had an extremely limited operational range. The Bf 109 had barely minutes of fuel left over the target area before it had to head for home, leaving the bomber fleet at the mercy of the RAF’s Spitfires and Hurricanes.

It was not until late October 1940 that the modified Bf 109 E-7 entered service with the capacity to carry one or two 300 lt fuel drop tanks but by then, the damage had been done.

The Junkers Ju87 ’Stuka’ dive-bomber however, had been equipped with drop tanks very early on in the conflict but whilst it had good operational range, it had very limited defensive capabilities and was almost totally dependant on its fighter escort for protection.

During the Luftwaffe’s early invasion of Norway and the Battle of France, the Ju 87 was used to great effect in support of Germany’s invasion forces and was instrumental in knocking out enemy infrastructure, artillery, armoured vehicles and tanks. It was able to do this largely because there was little enemy aircraft to oppose it. 

This was far from the case when the Ju 87 found itself over British soil during the Battle of Britain, where the Luftwaffe had to face the full might of the RAF.

Whilst the Luftwaffe’s twin-engined, fast attack bomber the Bf 110 attempted to make up the shortfall in escort duties, having the Luftwaffe’s primary fighter escort, the Bf 109 disappear after only a few minutes over Britain due to lack of fuel, left the slow and lightly defended Ju 87 a sitting duck.

On 16 August 1940, StG 1 and StG 2 lost nine Stukas between them in a raid on RAF Tangmere. Two days later, seventeen Stukasof StG 77 were lost attacking Ford and Thorney Island. In just six days of combat from 12 to 18 August, forty-one Ju 87s had been destroyed, forcing Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring to withdraw the aircraft from the Battle.

Manufactured by the German Deutsche Benzin-Uhrin (DBU Works), DBU produced a number of Drop Tank and Primary Tank Fuel Cap variations.

Most Luftwaffe Drop Tanks, from the standard 300lt through to the larger 600lt and 900lt (carried by the Bf110 and larger bombers), were pressurised to approx. 6psi to assist the aircraft’s small internal fuel pump to lift the fuel from the under-wing drop tanks to the engine.

As a result, Drop Tank Fuel Caps were sealed with no ventilation holes or valves whereas, the aircraft’s primary fuel tank caps needed to be ventilated to avoid fuel lock.

Made from an Electron magnesium, this mass produced 300lt Drop Tank Fuel Cap bears the Luftwaffe R Series number of : R-05619-39 on the top of one locking arm, with the designation number: 33554 -gyp N.10 prominent on the other.

A large O. Ring seal would normally sit under the cap’s lip and it would be secured to the Fuel Filler Spout by two 8 mm studs which were screwed down over the Cap’s Arm cutouts.

The Drop Tank would then be pressurised to 6 PSI which would allow the fuel to travel up into the aircraft behind the right side of the pilot seat, and run along the lower starboard cockpit edge, through the fire wall to the engine. 

Hermann Goring was not a big fan of drop tanks, seeing them as a waste of valuable war materials and various attempts to introduce a return ‘Reward’ payment across the German mainland were trialled through out the war, but in reality - they were essential for many of the Luftwaffe missions - especially on the Eastern Front.

Larger 600lt drop tanks using the same Fuel Cap were used on the Messerschmitt Bf 110 and other medium German bombers, including the twin-engined Bf 110.

The USAAF and later, the RAF took a different approach in conserving valuable war materials by producing their Drop Tanks out of wood pulp.

The paper mache Drop tanks would barely last a few missions before they collapsed but it was a considerably cheaper and more sustainable exercise in terms of conserving precious resources.

Still bearing some of its origional Luftwaffe ‘Sky Grey’ camo and mounted on its 100 yr old Mango Wood stand with a highly detailed hand crafted and airbrushed model of the iconic German Diev Bomber - the Junkers Ju 87 and informative Fact Sheet, this would make an extraordinary and highly valued, original memento of Luftwaffe air power for any aviation enthusiast.

This Ju 87 collectable comes complete with detailed 1/72 or larger 1/48 Scale Model, Mango Wood Stand & Plaque plus Printed Fact Sheet featuring photo of collectable on aircraft.

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Your Junkers JU 87 R Series, Fuel Drop Tank Cap, Original Recovery Curios Warbird Collectable includes:

  • Original Warbird instrument
  • Highly detailed hand-built and airbrushed 1/72 plastic scale model of the aircraft,* 
  • Hand-crafted and beautifully finished 100yr, Far North Queensland Mango Wood display stand
  • Detailed, 2-sided, printed and laminated Instrument Fact Sheet detailing aircraft and instrument
  • Removable Magnetic Display Arm

*An upgrade to the larger and more detailed 1/48 scale model is also available in the hand-built and airbrushed plastic version for an additional $45 (Click on the 1/48 scale option)

Both the 1/72 & 1/48 scale hand-built and airbrushed plastic models are available with 'canopy open or closed' options and a choice of two Squadron markings and camouflage.

Upon order placement you will receive an email asking for your preferred configuration.

Your complete Recovery Curios Original Instrument Collectable is securely packed and delivery normally takes between 4 - 6 weeks approx.

Did you fly, crew or maintain a Ju 87 or have a friend, colleague or family member who did? Check out our PERSONALISED ORIGINAL INSTRUMENT COLLECTABLE OPTION here.