A German method of production, used in the manufacture of wings for the Ju-88 bomber, is reported to result in savings of space and time by use of pits or runways cut into the factory floor.
Usually scaffolding for supporting the larger parts of an airplane not only takes up a great deal of space, but also restricts the activities of the mechanics who are forced constantly to mount and dismount from ladders. In the Junkers method, the landing wheels, in their unretracted position, support the entire wing during the installation of engine and de-icing equipment. The wheels run along in the pits in the floor at such a height as to permit the work to be carried on at floor level. The system affords the advantage of clear floors, and the wings can be rolled forward in line without delaying for clearance operations. In addition, engineers and inspectors can more easily and quickly go through their checking, not having to clamber around a lot of scaffolding to reach what they want.
A further advantage is that the method permits a low roof as a partial camouflage from the air and reduce the effects of blasts from bombing. Construction of this type of floor undoubtedly is more expensive than a level floor.
This short article is excerpted from the "Aviation Abroad" column in the September, 1941, issue of Aviation magazine, vol 40, no 9, p 122.