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The legend Junkers F 13, celebrates 100 years

Dal Kikin
April 12, 2019

The first flight of Junkers F 13, the world's first all-metal transport aircraft, took place 99 years ago. At that time, no one thought that this was the beginning of a new era in the history of aviation: the use of aircraft for civilian purposes. Given that almost all other aircraft of that era were built of wood and covered with linen fabric, the all-metal construction of the Junkers F 13 was revolutionary.

Professor Hugo Junkers, an aviation pioneer, was instructed to develop an aircraft designed exclusively for civilian use, with a closed passenger cabin. By September 1919, the Junkers F 13 set a sensational world record for a height of 6,750 meters / 22,150 feet with eight people on board.

By the early 1930s, about 360 units of various versions of the Junkers F 13 were built. The interior was built on the basis of modern cars: four passengers sat in a weatherproof room in a heated cabin with large windows, while the pilot and his mechanic like ordinary drivers of the era - could enjoy the fresh air of the open cockpit.

Being a professional pilot, Dieter Morszeck began his project for the return of the Junkers F 13 in 2013. The first hand-made prototype made its first flight in 2016; in January 2018, he was successfully certified as a transport aircraft. At the same time, Junkers Flugzeugwerke AG was founded in Dübendorf, Switzerland.

“It all started with Junkers F 13. This allowed us to explore new worlds and expand our horizons. It is time to bring it back to new dimensions and prospects,” said Dieter Morszeck.

Thanks to the efforts of Junkers Flugzeugwerke AG in Dübendorf, Switzerland, Junkers F 13 is back, combining tradition with modern technology. It is capable of flying over long distances, providing the experience of a long past era of air transport. Junkers F 13 as in past accommodates two pilots and four passengers.

Since many of the original drawings and construction plans were no longer available, one of the very few original Junkers F 13 that still existed was precisely measured using laser technology.

The replica Junkers F 13, completed in 2016, has the typical “corrugated” look of Junkers and is held by more than 35,000 individual rivets, each of which is manually installed.

The search for an easily accessible, reliable and easily maintained powerplant led to the decision to install a Pratt & Whitney nine-cylinder radial engine of 450 horsepower.

In addition to traditional onboard and propulsion instruments, the standard equipment of the new Junkers F 13 includes modern communications and navigation, an ATC transponder and an engine monitor.

@Photos by Junkers Flugzeugwerke AG in Dübendorf