WHEELS U P
COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA
MANAGER, JUNKERS FLUGZEUGWERKE
What is the aim of the project?
Our founder, entrepreneur and aviator Dieter Morszeck,
is fascinated by Professor Hugo Junkers’ work. He had
the idea of rebuilding the Junkers F 13, since none of
the 320 aircraft originally built are airworthy. The F 13
was the first all-metal aircraft built for civil use. It made
commercial flights available worldwide.
What challenges did you overcome?
The project started in 2013. First, extensive research was
needed. Thousands of documents, kept by museums,
archives and historians, had to be traced and analysed.
As it turned out, it was impossible to find complete
plans. So, using the most up-to-date technology, laser
scans were run on the few remaining museum pieces.
This laborious method brought the first breakthrough:
computerised, three-dimensional blueprints.
The next challenge was that the construction team
had to re-learn the old construction methods from
scratch. Kaelin Aero Technologies succeeded in
replicating the original duraluminum corrugated sheets
and the fuselage and wings. Next, the cell had to be
fitted with landing gear, engine, propeller and controls,
and arrangements had to be made for certification.
Naef Flugmotoren was hired for this vast undertaking.
What is the project status now?
In 2016, after three years of research, development and
construction, the first new Junkers F 13 took off once
again. It obtained Federal Office for Civil Aviation type
certification in 2018. We are now working on three more
aircraft, the first of which should make its maiden flight
in mid-2019, the second should fly in 2020, and another
is in the planning stage.
What kind of buyers are you targeting?
The aircraft will appeal to collectors, airlines that based
their early success on the type, tour operators and
investors. Due to her good-natured flight characteristics
and wide field of operation, the new Junkers F 13 is
suitable for everyday use, just like the original in its
early days. It costs €2.5m (US$2.8m) plus VAT.
Christian Gartmann says Junkers
Flugzeugwerke offers full maintenance
support at its headquarters in Dübendorf,
Switzerland – including training for the
clients’ technical staff. “However, the basic
maintenance will be rather simple,” he says.
“The design is the original from 1919; only
a few simple systems are built in.”
A key challenge with the rebuild was achieving
the right balance between comfort and historic
character. “The selected foam allows high comfort
and has all the necessary aviation approvals,” says
Christian Gartmann of Junkers Flugzeugwerke.
“The historic character of the F 13 has been
maintained through the selection of the leathers
and how they have been processed.”
Gartmann’s favourite detail is the recreated
door mechanism, which has been combined with
a customised engraved doorstep.
PHOTOS: GREGOR KALUZA