Because of the slow development of new attack aircraft Germany decided to improve what they already had, the Ju-87. The new and improved version was much more streamlined with an increase of power, so in 1942 all this gave birth to the Dora (D version) with a 1,400 hp Jumo 211 J or P engine. The new “D” version was going to be the main Stuka with over 5,000 Stukas built the Dora was the dominant one with more than 1500 D-3s were produced.
Hans Ulrich Rudel began his career as an air observer during the German invasion of Poland and became an Adjutant for the 43rd Aviators Training Regiment in 1940. He began training on a Stuka that he would soon become a master of. Since tank busting became his forte he developed the idea of placing two 37mm Flak canons under the wings. This design would enable the Stuka to destroy the Soviet tanks by attacking their weakest points, the rear where they were lightly armored. During his career Rudel destroyed almost 500 tanks.
Junkers Ju-87D-3 Specifications
Type: Single Engine Medium Bomber
Power Plant: 1 X 1,440hp Junkers Jumo 211J, 12 cylinder in line, water cooled
Empty weight: 8,686lbs (3,940 kg)
Loaded weight: 14,550lbs (6,600 kg)
Bomb Load: 3 x 960lb (436 kg)
Max Speed 255mph (410 km/h)
Climbing Rate: 3000 meters in 14 minutes
Max range: 410mi (660 km)
Service Ceiling: 27,885ft (8,500 m)
Armament: 2 x 20mm MGH151/20 one in each wing,
1x7.92mm MG81machine gun, rear cockpit
Wingspan: 45ft 3.25in (13.80m)
Length: 36ft 1in (11.00m)
Height: 12ft 9.5in (3.90 m)
Wing Area: 362.7sq ft (33.60 sq m)
Ordnance: 1x 551 lb (250 kg) or 1x 1103 lb (500 kg) or 1x 2205 lb (1000 kg) bomb under fuselage, plus 4x 551 lb (250 kg) or 2x 1103 lb (500 kg) bombs under wings. Maximum load of 3,500 lbs.