The Ju 290 was a transport and reconnaissance bomber used by the Luftwaffe during World War II, developed from the Ju 90 which was a 40-passenger airliner. The Ju 290A was powered by four BMW 801L or BMW 801D 14-cylinder radial engines. The crew of nine consisted of two pilots on the flight deck and seven additional crew to act as gunners, observers, navigator, radio operator and radar operator. It had a top speed of 273 mph and a range of 3,821 miles. The A-5 had decent defensive armament in six 20-mm MG 151 cannons and one 13-mm MG 131 machine gun positioned in dorsal turrets, the tail, a ventral gondola and lateral positions in the waist. The cabin featured two large outward-opening doors on the port side for loading cargo. Underneath the rear fuselage was the Trapoklappe, a hinged ramp which would raise the tailwheel off the ground, bringing the cabin floor of the parked Ju 290 level with the ground, allowing vehicles to be winched inside. This ramp could also be lowered in flight to allow air drops. The Ju 290A-7 featured pylons for carrying radio guided anti-ship missles. Very few Ju 290s were built, between 45 and 66 depending on the source. The Ju 290A-5 pictued here is missing its entire nose section, lost in an Allied air raid. This Ju 290 was one of several aircraft collected in the boneyard near Brunnthal after the war.
Donald, David, Ed. Warplanes Of The Luftwaffe. Westport CT: AIRtime Publishing, Inc., 1994.
Wilson, Stewart. Aircraft Of WWII. Fyshwick, ACT: Aerospace Publications, Pty Ltd., 1998.