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Stuka Scream

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The Jericho Trumpet: standard issue on every aircraft in Fiction Land.

"Engines are out, steering jets are on the fritz, and someone's fitted us with a Stuka dive-bombing siren!"
Captain Proton and the Planet of Lesbians

In media, when something — usually a plane, but it can be something else — is diving, crashing or otherwise swooping, a gradually-rising mechanical scream that climaxes in a distinctive shrieking sound is often applied as a sound effect. This Stock Sound Effect originates from a siren (named Jericho-Trompete, or "Jericho Trumpet"), which was fitted to German Junkers Ju-87 "Stuka" dive-bombers used during World War II (and the Spanish Civil War) as a psychological terror weapon designed to inflict panic on enemy ground forces and civilians.

At some point, somebody in the film industry decided that this would make a great sound-effect for any diving aircraft. While it has become a staple of World War II films (whether they feature the aircraft or not), it is by no means restricted to them and can be used in conjunction with anything from a crashing civilian airliner to helicopters to... a wheelchair rolling down a slope at high speed.

See also Bomb Whistle.


    open/close all folders 

  • The televised ad for the Xbox from 2002 with a woman in labor who pushed out her baby with such force that the infant goes flying out the window and over the countryside, aging rapidly as he goes. Within thirty seconds, he's at retirement age, at which he plummets to Earth with a Stuka Scream to slam into a cemetery grave.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Used as the signature sound of the Stand named Aerosmith, which is shaped like a RC fighter plane, from the anime adaptation of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind.
  • Izetta: The Last Witch: Actual Stukas fitted with the Jericho Siren make this sound during various dive bombing sequences, as well as when they're shot down by Izetta.

    Films — Live-Action 
Actual Stukas:
  • Battle of Britain: During the first air battle between the Germans and the British, Stukas can be seen making their signature wail during their bombing run against a British radar station, and later, after getting shot down by the Spitfires sent to intercept them.
  • Enemy at the Gates has Stukas at the beginning of the film strafing and bombing boats in the Volga River off Stalingrad. They are making this noise with each run they do, but they actually shouldn't, by the time of Stalingrad the siren had been removed from the dive bombers to improve flight performance.
  • The Guns of Navarone. While the protagonists are fleeing along a dry river bed they're attacked by Stuka dive bombers, with the standard sound effect.
  • Used at multiple points in the film Dunkirk, crescendoing to a horrific screech and providing an excellent example of Hell Is That Noise. The very first teaser trailer relied entirely on it, featuring a pier jammed solid with Tommies... then you hear the rising Stuka scream and they all look up in fear. It's also Justified since the noise is being made by actual Stukas on bombing runs over the beach.
  • French World War II documentary De Nuremberg à Nuremberg uses the sound with both appropriate footage of Stukas... and footage of other planes, such as with Japanese Kamikaze in the Pacific.
  • Suite Française. It's heard when such planes drop bombs on and shoot at fleeing French civilians on the roads.

Other aircrafts:

  • Atlantic Wall: The squadron of Avro Lancasters makes that sound during the air raid to which Jess (Peter McEnery) takes part at the beginning.
  • Midway has the SBD Dauntlesses making the decisive run on the IJN Carriers making this sound. Of course, the Japanese crew members on the ships are absolutely terrified and panic in an attempt to shoot them down. Justified in that the Dauntless dive bomber used perforated dive brakes, which did cause a banshee-like wail from air whistling through the perforations when deployed at speed. See Truth in Television below.
  • Midway (2019), again, has the SBD Dauntlesses making this sound. In particular, Best's plane is heard making one just as it makes a Belly-Scraping Flight on the Akagi, shortly before the bomb he drops detonates.
  • In Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie, right after Dr Meachem's flight to meet Exeter takes off, Tom Servo verbally copies this sound effect to make it sound like the plane is stalling and crashing just off-screen.
  • In The Rocky Horror Picture Show, this shows up twice - once when Doctor Scott's wheelchair rolls down a slope in the lab, and once to the falling "Radio Tower" as it plummets to earth along with the corpses of Rocky and Frankenfurter.
  • Can be heard in the 1995 Richard Loncraine film Richard III just before King Richard's command train is attacked by Lord Stanley's air force. Given the Anachronism Stew of weapons and vehicles in this movie (set in a fascist 1930's Britain) it wouldn't be unusual if a Stuka was used, though it turns out to be a twin-engined bomber.
  • Often heard in the James Bond films:
    • In You Only Live Twice, when Bond is trapped in a crashing plane.
    • For Your Eyes Only on both a helicopter and a seaplane.
    • Twofold in Octopussy:
      • The Action Prologue has Bond pilot a Bede BD-5 Acrostar. He gets rid of both his mission's target and a guided missile, by plunging towards the enemy base and entering the hangar followed by the missile, then going out of the hangar just in time before the missile blows everything up. The miniature jet makes the Stuka Scream as he does that maneuver.
      • In the climax, Bond goes after Kamal Khan and his Sikh bodyguard Gobinda, who escape in a plane. Bond climbs on it just as it takes off, and Kamal attempts several dives to have him fall off it.
    • In the Action Prologue of A View to a Kill in Siberia, a Soviet patrol helicopter does the sound when veering out of control after Bond shot a flare inside, then crashes into a cliff.
    • In the climax of The Living Daylights, the C-130 Hercules briefly makes this sound before crashing as Bond and Kara Milovy eject from it in a jeep.
    • Immediately after having a hole blown in its horizontal stabilizer by a Stinger missle, the Piper Super Cub piloted by Pam in Licence to Kill starts to roar as it (very slowly) begins to crash.
    • In the Action Prologue of GoldenEye, when Bond can't pull a plane out of a dive until the last second.
  • Played with in Jurassic World. Sirens give a Red Alert as pterosaurs swoop down on the packed resort area. They sound more like WW2 air raid sirens than a modern evacuation alarm.
  • A lower-pitched modification of the sound accompanies Hagrid's motorcycle landing at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
  • Birds, somehow, are capable of this in Birdemic.
  • Star Wars has the definitive sci-fi equivalent in the form of the twin ion engines of The Empire's TIE fighters, which emit a haunting shriek that serves the same purpose that the effect does in war movies.
  • In Batman (1989), just after the Batwing does an Immelmann maneuver apparently just to make a Bat Symbol out of a Full Moon Silhouette, it screams into a dive back toward Gotham City using this sound effect.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Literature/Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, the Air Watch operate broomsticks fitted with technomagic sirens. Normally these make the standard two-tone police sound. But the Air Witches, if flying for more military reasons, can reset them to make a single frightening screaming noise — especially if in a power-dive. Naturally, an Überwaldean witch is responsible for this.
  • In the Game of Thrones fic Dragons Destiny, Aegon/Jon teaches Rhaegal in a race with Drogon to do aerial maneuvers so he "could reduce drag and gain more speed." A side effect is that Rhaegal produces "a rather unnerving" whistling sound that could be used for this effect, psychological warfare. Rhaegal is dubbed the "Whistling Death" just like the American aircraft F4U Corsair.

    Live-Action Television 
  • The Mandalorian: the eponymous character's ship, the Razor Crest, emits that sound when diving at one point in Season 2.

  • The opening track of Pink Floyd's The Wall, "In the Flesh", ends with a Stuka scream to symbolise the death of Pink's father in the war. The film of the album actually depicts the moment of his death as a Stuka dives on his position, complete with Bomb Whistle.
  • The instrumental break in the middle of Eric Burdon & The Animals' "Sky Pilot" features one of these, followed by what appears to be a loud plane crash.
  • The song "Jericho Siren", whose lyrics deal with Stukas dive-bombing, by Music/Saxon begins with several of these too.
  • The middle eight of ''ME262 by the Blue Öyster Cult features marching jackboots, the crump of exploding bombs — and the Stuka Scream.

    Video Games 
  • Brothers in Arms: During the ending of "Purple Heart Lane", the Ju 87 Stukas attacking the 502nd produce this noise when making their bombing runs.
  • Company of Heroes 2 has the Stuka Scream go off for the Stuka Bombing Strike commander ability wherein, well, a Stuka JU-87D plane dive bombs in a 50kg bomb to a location. The Stuka Scream is actually used in the Stuka Bombing Strike for gameplay purposes since unlike other artillery or airstrike abilities which have red artillery flares fall onto the location before they hit the target to give players a chance to order their units away from the location, the Stuka Bombing Strike has no visual warning. No other airstrike abilities use the Stuka Scream as they either do not use a Stuka plane or the Stuka plane isn't dive bombing in this different ability.
  • Day of Infamy plays this straight since there are actual Stuka dive bombers available to the Wehrmacht faction which emits this sound as it makes its drop, giving a clear warning to anyone nearby.
  • Hell Let Loose: Calling in a Stuka dive bomber as the Germans will have the Stuka produce this noise as it makes it run, followed shortly thereafter by its bomb dropping and exploding.
  • PlanetSide 2 has Stuka horns available via Micro-Transactions on all empire specific fighters. However, it functions as an airhorn rather than as a function of the vehicle's speed, allowing it to be used when hovering or smashing into the ground upside down. Each ESF also has a unique engine note when moving at high speed, with the New Conglomerate's Reaver producing a high-pitched wail that is not too dissimilar to the Stuka's.
  • Star Wars Trilogy Arcade has Stuka sirens being emitted from the TIE Fighters in addition to their standard screech. They can be heard most clearly during the Battle of Yavin as TIE Fighters perform flybys against you.
  • War Thunder has this on the early model Stukas, being historically accurate. Later models from the D version onward drop this entirely.
  • Call of Duty
    • Played straight in Call of Duty, where Ju 87 Stukas make this sound during a dive-bombing attack or are being shot down.
    • Averted in Call of Duty 2, where the Ju 87 Stukas don't make this sound when attacking.
    • Call of Duty: WWII has both the actual Stukas making this sound, as well as the Bf 109 and P-47 Thunderbolt also making this sound during "Battle of the Bulge".

    Web Original 
  • Used in Dmitry Puchkov's Gag Dubs of The Lord of the Rings films, most often during the appearances of the Nazgûl on their flying beasts, replacing the ear-splitting screech. The dubbed dialogue specifically calls them "Messers" (i.e. Messerschmitt). Also appears in the scene with Gandalf and Balrog falling (the one where they first appear falling in a giant cavern with a lake).

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • As mentioned above, the Stuka's famous scream was due to a siren installed in the airplane (either in the leading edge of the wings or on the landing gear). This was phased out in later models because equipping a bomber with an air raid siren proved to be counterproductive once the enemy got over the initial shock (though they did also provide audible feedback on the plane's dive speed to the pilot). Moreover, the Jericho Trumpet added a fair amount of drag, reducing the Stuka's performance somewhat. The pilots also hated the siren, only some of the later models could actually be turned off during flight and acording to The Other Wiki similar devices were often installed in the bombs instead. Otherwise the pilot had to listen to the damn thing for the entire flight.
  • The American SBD "Dauntless" dive bomber managed to achieve a similar effect using its perforated dive brakes. The holes in the dive brakes, included for aerodynamic reasons, had the side effect of giving the plane a reportedly banshee-like wail sound in a dive, likely leading to its US Army designation: The A-24 "Banshee".
  • It's widely reported that one of the F4U Corsair's nicknames, "Whistling Death," was coined by Japanese soldiers enduring dive-bombing attacks by the fighters. While it's unclear whether this origin is true, the Corsair definitely makes an unholy shriek in a dive. The sound is generated by fast-moving air through the oil coolers in the leading edge of the wings.
  • P-51 Mustangs can make the same sound as the Corsair, but as a result of air moving through the gunports due to their shape and position on the wing.
  • Israel's Harop kamikaze drone makes a similar sound as it dives on targets.
  • Perhaps the closest modern equivalent to the Jericho Trumpet is the distinctive BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRT! of the A-10 Thunderbolt II's truly massive GAU-8 Avenger autocannon mounted to the plane, which has gone on to become an example of sonic warfare in its own right, despite being just a side effect to the gun's awesome power. Depending on which side you're on, it can either be a Most Wonderful Sound (as attested to by the numerous videos of the plane and its gun in action being accompanied by American infantry reacting in joy upon hearing it in the distance) or absolute terror, but one thing's for sure; if you heard it, that means it wasn't aimed at you, and if you're on the side the plane's flying against, then soon, it will be.


Video Example(s):


The Stuka Dive Bomber

In this bonus gallery video, the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka is covered. It's noted for both it's ability to take out enemy ground targets with both cannons and bombs, as well as its signature whistle being as terrorizing as the bombs it carried.

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