100 years ago, Hugo Junkers´s fascination with flight, aeronautical science, and the impending possibility of public air transportation inspired his design and series production of the world´s first all-metal airplane, the Junkers F 13, the company said.
The airplane proved to be one of the most significant milestones in the history of air travel.
Junkers has announced two achievements in the reconstruction of this aircraft type:
Program founder and investor Dieter Morszeck has announced tthe completion of extensive flight testing the plane was certified.
The all-metal construction of the original F 13 was revolutionary. The construction of the replica required us to re-learn long-forgotten construction techniques using corrugated aluminum. Under the supervision of the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Aviation (BAZL), engineers and aircraft craftsman were able to gradually bring a piece of aviation history back to life.
Compromises with modern technology were made in as few areas as possible. For example, brakes and hydraulic shock absorbers were added to the landing gear. The search for a reliable powerplant resulted in the installation of a 450-hp Pratt & Whitney R-985 “Wasp Junior” radial engine, which is still in use worldwide. Another challenge was the first flight: No pilots with prior F 13 experience remained, who could have informed us about the F 13´s flying qualities. However, everything went smoothly, and we were even surprised at the benign handling characteristics of the F 13.
Further plans include small-scale production in response to individual market demand, using the experience gained in the construction of the first airplane.