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Baksheesh — Jünkers Ju 88D-1/Trop — Luftwaffe Long Range Photo Recon Ship

2 May 2012

Baksheesh —  Jünkers Ju 88D-1/Trop — Luftwaffe Long Range Photo Recon Ship

The Ju 88 was one of the most versatile aircraft in WW II — in good company with the North American B-25 and de Havilland Mosquito — it was modified to serve in several mission types (bomber, dive bomber, night fighter and photo reconnaissance). This Jünkers, a  Ju 88D-1/Trop, is a photo recce model especially modified for tropical service with the Romanian forces (Romania was an Axis country during WW II), I imagine with heavier weight engine oil to combat high desert temperatures and enlarged air filters to better screen out the grit as well as the sand.

The Ju 88 has the typical medium bomber aircraft characteristics desired by the WW II Luftwaffe with the crew stationed forward (including the defensive gunners), slender fuselage aft of the wings and a ventral gondola. The pilot had excellent all round views by virtue of the greenhouse-like canopy as well as good visibility forward and downward due to the glazed nose — which must have been luxurious for the pilot of this conventionally geared aircraft when landing on short fields.

The aircraft had the informal nickname of “Baksheesh” which amounts to a term for a small amount of graft — hard to imagine how this applies to the aircraft, perhaps the sound of the term fit? This aircraft is displayed within the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force which provides this fact page.

Jünkers Ju 88D-1/Trop in the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force — photo by Joseph May

Closer view of this Ju 88’s nose glazing and ventral gondola — photo by Joseph May

The Ju 88’s cockpit had excellent visibility and the gondola served to house cameras as well as a rear gun position — photo by Joseph May

The blister behind the pilot is for rear gun position — photo by Joseph May

The pilot’s station on the left side of the cockpit, note the view forward and downward — U.S. Air Force photo

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Chuck permalink
    16 May 2012 20:32

    It means ” something for nothing” in Arabic. Aircraft was turned over to the Brits by a defector. The Americans in-turn received it as a gift from the Brits, hence the term.

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      16 May 2012 21:49

      How clever to use a sense of humor in the situation. Thanks for the insight 🙂

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