B 3 - Junkers Ju 86K (1936-1958)

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Swedish Air Force Bomber B 3 - Junkers Ju86K


Swedish Air Force Bomber B 3 - Junkers Ju86K


To fulfil the defence plan of 1936, the Air Force looked for a medium bomber to equip the bomber wings F 1 at Västerås and F 7 at Såtenäs. After a study group had visited USA, the group concluded that the Douglas DB1 came closest to meet the Swedish requirements, but this particular design was not allowed to be exported. The Air Administration then decided to buy the bomber from Germany. This was resisted by the government, who hesitated to buy military equipment of German origin at that time. Contacts were taken with the British aircraft industry and eventually one Handley Page Hampden bomber (Swedish designation P 5) was procured for evaluation, although the Air Board regarded this as inferior to the German alternatives.

The German bomber aircraft that virtually met the requirements of the Swedish Air Force were the Heinkel He 111 and the, although they were evolved in parallel,  more obsolete design Junkers Ju 86. German Luftwaffe had chosen the He 111 as its standard bomber, and the type was therefore not available for purchase by Sweden. But so the Ju 86 was, and favourable conditions regarding delivery and licence-building were granted. The Swedish Air Administration had to accept the Ju 86.  

The export version for Sweden was designated Ju 86K by Junkers. The origin of the Ju 86 can be dated back to 1933, at a time when combat aircraft began to be developed for the still-clandestine Luftwaffe. Both bomber and commercial transport prototypes, the latter for ten passengers, were developed. The first prototype flew in November of 1934. Production of both the civilian and the military version of the aircraft was initiated in late 1935. The last Ju 86 for the German Luftwaffe was built in 1939.

The first Ju 86K, in Sweden designated B 3, was delivered to the Air Force in December 1936. Further 39 B 3s were built in Germany 1937-1938.  40 B 3s were also to be manufactured under license by SAAB’s workshops at Trollhättan and due to be delivered between September 1939 and June 1942, but it was clear from the beginning that due to technical problems, the delivery would be delayed for about a year. After 16 B 3s built by SAAB, the production of this model was cancelled in favour to the more modern B 5 dive bomber.

The B 3 was used by the Air Force in these variants:

B 3 - Junkers Ju 86A-1/K1: The three first aircraft, manufactured in Germany, and fitted with pair of 760 hp Pratt and Whitney Hornet S1E-G nine-cylinder radial engines. Air Force numbers 131 - 133.

B 3A - Junkers Ju 86K-4: 35 Germany-built aircraft,  powered by a pair of  820 hp Bristol NOHAB Mercury III radial engines. Most of them were later modified to other variants. Air Force numbers 134 - 151, 153 - 154, 156 - 159, 169 - 170.

B 3B - Junkers Ju 86K-5: Two Junkers-built aircraft,  powered by a pair of  825 hp Bristol NOHAB Mercury XII radial engines. Air Force numbers 152 and 155. Later a number of B 3A's were converted to B 3B's.

B 3C - Junkers Ju 86 K-13: Fifteen SAAB-built aircraft equipped with licence-built Bristol NOHAB Mercury XXIV engines of 830 hp. Also nine rebuilt B 3D's with the same type of engine.

B 3C-2 - Junkers Ju 86K-4/K-5: Fiftteen rebuilt B 3A with NOHAB Mercury XXIV engines of 980 hp.

B 3D - Junkers Ju 86 K-13: One SAAB-built aircraft ND 13 rebuilt B C's fitted with Polish-made PZL Mercury XIX-engines of 805 hp.

The armament  were the same for all the B 3 variants. They were provided with three Browning 7,9 machine guns (in forward, dorsal and ventral positions). They could carry a bomb load of 1.000 kg. The crew consisted of pilot, bombardier/observer/front gunner, radio operator/ventral gunner and mechanic/dorsal gunner. Later, most of the B 3s were rebuilt as transport aircraft.

Span 22,70 m. Length 17,86 m. MTOW 8.200 kg. Maximum speed 350 km/h.

Photo above and below of B 3A c/n 0860422, AF/n 164. In the markings of Wing F 1 of Västerås, code 41. The buffalo is a symbol for the 3rd Squadron.




For the Model Builder

Italeri has a model of Junkers Ju-86E in their production. Scale 1:72. Most versions of the Swedish B 3 can be built with some modifications of the engines/engine cowlings. The first German-built B 3:s had the same engines as the Italeri kit. Catalouge number 120.
Click on the thumbnail for larger image.

Italeri plastic model kit of bomber Junkers Ju-86, in Swedish Air Force designated B 3./FPL61

Swedish Air Force Bomber B 3 - Junkers Ju86K

Military Aviation in Sweden - main page

© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2010-11-06

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