Junkers JU-322 "Mammut" (1941)
About the Design
The JU-322 "Mammut" (Mammoth) was Junkers response to the Luftwaffe's order for a giant assault glider that could carry heavy equipment into combat areas. The flying wing-style craft was made entirely of wood and had a clamshell door in its nose to accommodate the loading and unloading of cargo.
Unfortunately, the glider proved highly problematic. First, stability problems forced the builders to put two 4000 liter water tanks in its forward section to make it more nose-heavy. Then, when the tank (combat type, not water) it was designed to carry was first loaded, it crashed through the wooden floor. So the floor was reinforced, thus reducing the glider's payload capacity by 20 percent. Finally, during its first test flight, its JU-90 tow plane nearly crashed -- forcing the pilot to cut the Mammut lose. In a delicious bit of irony, the glider was ultimately towed back to the airfield by the very tanks it was supposed to transport. And that was all she wrote for the JU-322. The test glider and the others then under construction were broken up for firewood. The mission of giant assault glider was ultimately assumed by the Messerschmitt ME-323 "Gigant.
About the Kit
This 1:200-scale all-resin kit was produced by HBM Models in 1985 and remained available until 2004. The kit itself consisted of only two pieces; the fuselage and wing, and then three-piece tail section (tail and rudders).
This kit was the last of this aircraft sold by HBM.