08/31/2012. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "By early 1939 it was becoming obvious to Deutsche Lufthansa that the venerable Ju 52/3m, although an efficient and reliable aircraft, was now being surpassed both in Britain and America by new and more advanced designs. Therefore, they requested Junkers to design a new aircraft, to combine the best qualities of the Ju 52 with a much improved performance.
The resultant aircraft, the Ju 252, was of the same general layout as the Ju 52/3m but had smooth instead of corrugated metal skinning, a retractable undercarriage, and a pressurized cabin. Three aircraft were ordered, each to be powered by three 1,340 hp Junkers Jumo 211F liquid-cooled engines. The Ju 252 V1, D-ADCC, which made its first flight from Dessau in October 1941, could carry 21 passengers. The Ju 252 V2 and V3 followed in 1942.
Twenty-five Ju 252s had been ordered by Lufthansa, but following unfavorable reports from the war fronts, it was decided to cut the order to 15 and deliver these to the Luftwaffe for transport duties. Therefore, the Ju 252 V4 was fitted with a power-operated gun turret above and just behind the pilot's cabin, with provision for carrying a 0.511 in (13 mm) MG 131 machinegun. In addition to this, the machine was fitted with a large ventral loading ramp which, when lowered, raised the rear of the fuselage to a level position so that a military vehicle could be loaded.
Several Ju 252 A production aircraft were also allocated Versuchs (test) numbers, these aircraft being essentially similar to the fourth prototype, powered by three 1,400 hp Jumo 211J engines. Three further variants were projected but not built. The Ju 252 B was to have been fitted with increased armament, the Ju 252 C powered by three Bramo 323 radials, and the
Ju 252 D fitted with floats.
The first aircraft to be delivered to the Luftwaffe was the Ju 252 V5 which entered service with Lufttransportstaffel 290 (LTS 290) in January 1943. Based at Berlin-Tempelhof, the unit, commanded by Hauptman Braun, also possessed a number of Ju 90s, Ju 290s, and a Focke-Wulf Fw 200. The Ju 252 V5 was destroyed by Allied action after LTS 290 transferred to Grosseto in Italy in March 1943, and two months later the unit was redesignated Transportstaffel 5. The Ju 252 V3 was used as a troop transport in August 1943, and the V4 and several of the Ju 252 As served with Transportstaffel 5 and I./KG 200."