The world’s first all-metal transport aircraft, the Junkers F 13, is not only celebrating its 100th birthday in 2019 – it’s also getting a remake. The project to remake the Junkers F 13 was initiated by entrepreneur and pilot Dieter Morszeck in 2013. In 2018, Morszeck founded Junkers Flugzeugwerke AG in Dübendorf, Switzerland. Since original drawings and design plans for some parts of the Junkers F 13 no longer exist, Morszeck’s team used laser technology to obtain precise measurements of one of the few remaining original models of the aircraft. Forgotten construction methods and techniques for handling corrugated aluminium also needed to be relearned. The first complete hand-built prototype for the “new” Junkers F 13 took off on 15 September 2016 in Dübendorf. The type certification for the aircraft was awarded in 2018. A second and third model are currently in construction. The anniversary tour for the Junkers F 13 has taken the aircraft to Dessau, among other destinations, where the history of the Junkers aircraft began. Hugo Junkers (1859–1935) was a university professor, researcher, engineer and entrepreneur. Together with chief designer Otto Reuter, Junkers drew on groundbreaking research and development work to create the first passenger and transport aircraft for civilian use: the Junkers F 13. The aircraft featured a closed, heated cabin for four passengers, as well as an open, two-man cockpit. The Junkers maiden flight took place on 25 June 1919 in Dessau. On 13 September of the same year the Junkers F 13 set a new world altitude record, reaching an altitude of 6,750 metres. The F 13 remained in production until the early 1930s, with roughly 360 aircraft built in different variants. The Junkers F 13’s core design features continue to endure in the design and construction of transport aircraft to this day: the F 13’s all-metal construction was revolutionary at a time when aircraft were primarily made of wood and covered with canvas. The newly-developed duralumin alloy made the aircraft strong and weather-resistant, which made it suitable for use in subtropical climates. The F 13 used a range of different water-cooled, inline engines and, later, air-cooled radial engines.
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