Most aviation buffs are familiar with the Mistel composite aircraft used by Germany at the end of WWII. These consisted of Bf 109s or Fw 190s mounted above unmanned Ju 88s, to which a large warhead was fitted. The pilot in the fighter aimed the Ju 88, then detached while the bomber flew on autopilot to (hopefully) impact the target.
The Mistel composites’ low speed made them vulnerable to interception, so German designers proposed three variants based upon jet aircraft. Mistel 4 utilized Me 262s for both the upper and lower components. The Mistel 5 design used the He 162 as the piloted aircraft, with an Arado E 377 purpose-built payload which was also jet propelled using two BMW 003 engines. The Mistel 6 was to utilize an Ar 234 C/E upper component, and an unpowered E 377 lower.
Dragon kits the Mistel 5, which contains an He 162, a powered E 377, and a take-off trolley. They also make several versions of the Ar 234, which include the Ar 234 C/E with four jets. Modeling a Mistel 6 is possible by combining the two kits.
The Führungsmaschine was a Luftwaffe long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft which was ordered into production during the last months of the war but was never built. Conceptually it was based on the Mistel composite aircraft, but in this case the Fw 190A-8 parasite fighter was intended to separate to defend the parent aircraft.
The model is a conversion using the Revell of Germany Junkers Ju 88A-4 kit, lengthened by inserting plugs fore and aft of the wing to lengthen the fuselage. The fighter is the Hasegawa Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-7 with the dopplereiter over-wing fuel tanks.
Ju 88 Aces of World War 2
By Robert Forsyth, Illustrated by Jim Laurier
Series: Osprey Aircraft of the Aces 133
Paperback, 96 pages, illustrated, 30 color profiles
Published by Osprey Publishing January 2019
Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.3 x 9.8 inches
This volume follows the standard format which will be familiar to any reader of Osprey’s previous Aircraft of the Aces volumes. Author Robert Forsyth provides a historical overview of the development of the Junkers Ju 88 and Luftwaffe’s employment of the versatile aircraft in various capacities. Illustrator Jim Laurier presents thirty beautifully rendered side profiles of the aircraft, many of which are depicted here for the first time.
The inclusion of this book in Osprey’s Aces series is a bit of a misnomer. One generally thinks of an ace as a fighter pilot with five or more kills, or in case of the Luftwaffe, Experten with ten or more kills. While there are night fighter aces included here, there are also chapters on bomber aces, anti-shipping aces, train busters, and night intruders – virtually any of the many roles which the Ju 88 was adapted to fill during the war. There is even a section on the Mistel composite aircraft. Some of these roles have been described in greater detail in other Osprey volumes. One has to wonder if this volume doesn’t try to cover too much ground in too broad a manner, thus potentially limiting the possibility of future volumes going into each role in more detail.
This is a good effort though, and provides much modeling inspiration in the beautiful profiles, and much background information to go along with them. Recommended to all fans of the versatile Ju 88.
This is the Mistel 2, a glide bomb made from a Junkers Ju 88G-1 with a warhead and aimed by a Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-8. For this project the Revell of Germany Ju 88A-4 was converted to G-1 standard using BMW 801D engines from a Hasegawa kit. The warhead is AMT. Tailplanes are modified with casts from a Hasegawa G-6 nightfighter. The Fw 190A-8 is from Hasegawa built with enhancements to the cockpit and wheel wells, still an accurate representation and a relatively painless build.
The Mistel (German for mistletoe) was a series of composite aircraft developed by Germany during the Second World War. They were composed of an unmanned Junkers Ju 88 bomber aircraft fitted with a two-ton shaped charge explosive warhead which was to be guided to the target area by an attached fighter, usually a Messerschmitt Bf-109 or Focke-Wulf Fw 190. When within a few miles of the target, the pilot would separate the fighter, leaving the bomber component to fly on autopilot to impact the objective. The lower components were intended to be drawn from “timed out” or “war weary” bombers which were utilized past their useful combat lives, but as Germany focused on increasing fighter production and operations more newer bomber airframes became available. The Mistel can be thought of as one of the first attempts at developing a cruise missile.
This is one of my first efforts at modeling a Mistel, with an aircraft combination photographed at Burg in 1944 as my subject. The upper component is the excellent Fine Molds Messerschmitt Bf 109F, the lower component an AMT Ju 88. Subsequently Revell of Germany and Hasegawa released superior Ju 88 kits which are both more accurate and better detailed, the Revell kit being the better of the two in my estimation, and cheaper as well.