"Junkers 52-3M" Avstry #15

Uwe and Cedric tells us about 1939 Junkers 52-3M they brought from Europe.

Published Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2013

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Show Notes

J.R. Warmkessel: Thank you so much for being with us today. It's very special to bring an aircraft so rare here to the United States and I want to thank you. Maybe could you start by telling us. Our audience will not know very much about this aircraft at all. Can you tell us the history of who manufactured it and when and what it was used for?

Uwe & Cedric: So I will start. It's manufactured in 1939 at the Junkers manufactured in Dassau, Germany, and was delivered in the same year directly to the Swiss Army with two other aircraft. So they gave the Swiss Army three aircraft and they have never been involved in the war.

J.R. Warmkessel: And who manufactured the aircraft?

Uwe & Cedric: Junkers factory in Dassau.

J.R. Warmkessel: So it's a German manufacturer?

Uwe & Cedric: Yeah. German manufacturer in Dassau.

J.R. Warmkessel: In Dassau?

Uwe & Cedric: Dassau.

J.R. Warmkessel: The make and the model of the aircraft: what aircraft is this?

Uwe & Cedric: It's JU-52. The first construction was with one engine and the saw that the power was not enough to bring this aircraft with just one engine into the air. So they put two more engines on the wings.

J.R. Warmkessel: Okay.

Uwe & Cedric: And it's a JU-52 M.

J.R. Warmkessel: Okay.

Uwe & Cedric: What 3M means is it was three motors or three engines.

J.R. Warmkessel: So three motors. So this aircraft is a passenger line aircraft, yes?

Uwe & Cedric: Correct, yes.

J.R. Warmkessel: Tell us about the role it would fulfill.

Uwe & Cedric: The role that was previously planned as a transporter.

J.R. Warmkessel: Okay.

Uwe & Cedric: For cargo, for passengers, for all kinds of transportation. Right now it's not into an AOC. That's an Air Operator Certificate, which you can use on commercial transportation with passengers and that's what JU-Air, that's a company, which is dealing with those four JU-Air we have the passenger transportations.

J.R. Warmkessel: And how many people could sit in this aircraft and go for transport?

Uwe & Cedric: I mean legally we have 17 seats. We have a flight attendant and a flight engineer. So you can have 19 passengers can be in the cabin and two pilots. So 21, but of course during the war they had some rumors up to 50 and more.

J.R. Warmkessel: Really? So it was much like a truck that they would pile people in and take them all over where they needed to go?

Uwe & Cedric: Correct.

J.R. Warmkessel: This aircraft is three engines. Can you describe for us the manufacture and the capacity of the engine?

Uwe & Cedric: It's a BMW. It's an original German engine. You can see if you see outside. That's of course only you. We can see the sign, the logo, BMW and 660 horsepower. So if you count all three together you come to a rated value of 2000 horsepower.

J.R. Warmkessel: Now are these turbo-charged or are these normally aspirated?

Uwe & Cedric: No. Star engines, nine pistons. Just regular. No turbo-boost.

J.R. Warmkessel: And normally when I would ask the question of how much petrol they consume, I would ask you how many gallons but maybe liters would be more appropriate here.

Uwe & Cedric: We need 120 liters to power each engine and we have a capacity- Volume?

J.R. Warmkessel: Yeah. Volume.

Uwe & Cedric: Of 27 liters per engine. That's 650 horsepower.

J.R. Warmkessel: And how many liters of fuel does the aircraft carry?

Uwe & Cedric: You can roughly say 100 gallons per hour. So 360 liter.

J.R. Warmkessel: But how much total aircraft? How far can you? How much fuel total on the aircraft?

Uwe & Cedric: I see. Right now we have a configuration also where you can put additional tanks here for the overflight. Right now now you see the passenger configuration. So you have to count and you can go like six to seven hours depending on the height, depending on your weight. So between six and seven hours you can fly.

J.R. Warmkessel: Now when I'm sitting here and let's call this first class and I look out, I can see the fuel gages by the side engines. Is that how it would have been in 39?

Uwe & Cedric: Yeah.

J.R. Warmkessel: 39 when this aircraft was built?

Uwe & Cedric: You see pilots are very lazy. So that's why we involve like all the passengers. They can always tell us how much fuel we have.

J.R. Warmkessel: Fantastic and generally in cruise how fast does the aircraft fly?

Uwe & Cedric: Always 100 knots.

J.R. Warmkessel: 100 knots is the magic number for the airplane? Okay. So this type of aircraft would have been served in World War Two in Germany taking troops all over from many different theaters?

Uwe & Cedric: That's the best noise.

J.R. Warmkessel: Yeah. That is the best noise. If you're going to have the noise, we're going to have airplane noise and that's the Ford Trimotor. Yeah. So the Ford Trimotor is taking off. In fact, I guess they have both of them out running today. Giving rides here at Oshkosh 2012, but tell me about the mission that this aircraft would have served in the war. What would it have done? Maybe not this aircraft, but this model of aircraft.

Uwe & Cedric: It was then used to carry cargo and passengers and the troops up to fight and they have no guns on this aircraft just to piss of the reserves.

J.R. Warmkessel: This aircraft was part of the Swiss Army you said?

Uwe & Cedric: Yeah.

J.R. Warmkessel: And then after the Swiss Army had finished its use, where did it go from there?

Uwe & Cedric: It goes directly to JU-Air, which is the company. We are a certified airline and this was 1982. The three aircraft have been converted from military to civilian aircraft.

J.R. Warmkessel: So the Swiss Army used it from 39?

Uwe & Cedric: Until 82.

J.R. Warmkessel: They got value.

Uwe & Cedric: Yeah?

J.R. Warmkessel: They got value from the aircraft for a long time and then in 82 it went to become another air carrier?

Uwe & Cedric: That was the year that JU-Air was founded.

J.R. Warmkessel: Okay.

Uwe & Cedric: And they took over the three Junkers

J.R. Warmkessel: Okay. Maybe a museum or a?

Uwe & Cedric: The U.S. also a museum in Deutsches, but the three aircrafts are still flying. Meanwhile in 1998, we got a fourth aircraft.

J.R. Warmkessel: So now you have four Junkers and they're all 52s?

Uwe & Cedric: All 52s and all doing passenger flights.

J.R. Warmkessel: Really?

Uwe & Cedric: Yeah.

J.R. Warmkessel: And where was the route? Was there a scheduled airline from one place to another or would they just go around?

Uwe & Cedric: They went on round trips or on incentive flights.

J.R. Warmkessel: Okay, to show people the aircraft and so they could understand the mission and understand?

Uwe & Cedric: The jouries across the alps.

J.R. Warmkessel: Okay.

Uwe & Cedric: It's been to the U.S. only once.

J.R. Warmkessel: Well we're here in the United States. So I know it can make it here. Was there any major restoration done to this aircraft at all?

Uwe & Cedric: No. Not at all.

J.R. Warmkessel: So they just? This is just how it was in 45 and the Swiss meticulously maintained the aircraft.

Uwe & Cedric: Just from us to and from, that's it. All the rest is still original.

J.R. Warmkessel: All the rest and I see a GPS up there. So maybe they took a little bit good care of you. You know where the heck you're going. In 85, you said the aircraft was given to the museum or to the foundation?

Uwe & Cedric: It was given to the foundation and to the museum.

J.R. Warmkessel: Right. Right. It's still a flying aircraft?

Uwe & Cedric: Yeah.

J.R. Warmkessel: Yes and then what happened from then?

Uwe & Cedric: We've been flying it since 1982 as passengers. It's been in the air.

J.R. Warmkessel: Now this aircraft is very old to be flying every weekend. A working aircraft. Tell us is it reliable and safe for?

Uwe & Cedric: Very reliable. We each aircraft we're doing about 300 hours a year. I have 1200 hours now with the Junkers and I've never had a problem. Small problems like spark plugs or a magnito or like this exhaust problem, but I have never had any.

J.R. Warmkessel: This is BMW reliability.

Uwe & Cedric: Yeah.

J.R. Warmkessel: It's really nice to have that.

Uwe & Cedric: Yeah. The engines were also built in 1939.

J.R. Warmkessel: In 1939? They're the same engines?

Uwe & Cedric: Yeah. Same engines and they get every 1500 hours they get a complete overhaul and then we put it on the aircraft again and-

J.R. Warmkessel: Do you have a spare engine that you keep in case?

Uwe & Cedric: Yeah. We have four aircraft and we have 16 engine.

J.R. Warmkessel: Okay. So you have a few extras just in case?

Uwe & Cedric: Yeah.

J.R. Warmkessel: And this aircraft is very unique that the skin of the wing and the body are not smooth like I would see on modern aircraft.

Uwe & Cedric: It's like the same amount of time just to get the strength in the wing.

J.R. Warmkessel: So they have a ridge, a corrugation or something, as the wing goes. It gets some of its strength from the surface of the-

Uwe & Cedric: The metal, you know? So normal metal is lighter than it.

J.R. Warmkessel: But it's very rigid because of the difference?

Uwe & Cedric: This is why there's a big partnership between Rimowa and Junkers because of-

J.R. Warmkessel: Tell me about this.

Uwe & Cedric: Because of the wing, as you heard explanation. It's very rigid and strengthy with this kind of configuration. That's why if you see the Rimowa case, they're exactly the same. That's unique. I mean you have a case that's 1939, with Rimowa you could have a case since 1939 because it has the strength.

J.R. Warmkessel: It's very strong.

Uwe & Cedric: Yes.

J.R. Warmkessel: And very light?

Uwe & Cedric: Yes. That's why it's a big partnership between Rimowa and Junkers.

J.R. Warmkessel: Now you flew this aircraft from Europe all the way here to Oshkosh. Can you tell us a little bit about how that flight was done and where your stops were?

Uwe & Cedric: This flight wasn't done with us. We went to Chicago just got the Oshkosh.

J.R. Warmkessel: Wait, wait. You made someone else do all the hard work and then you came in for the end?

Uwe & Cedric: And other people, we have 30 pilots flying the Junkers and they don't get money and we don't have to pay money for flying and though I think it's a good contract. We go over the North Atlantic. So Standard routeing which is used for single engine aircraft and we got to the first point was Los Angeles and now we're on our way back home and visit Oshkosh for one more week.

J.R. Warmkessel: I wanted to take a moment to thank you for bringing the aircraft. It's very special and very rare for me to see such a precious aircraft.

Uwe & Cedric: Thanks to Rimowa. Without Rimowa we wouldn't be here.

J.R. Warmkessel: Well and also people who fly the aircraft for free and maintain the aircraft and keep it clean. So thank you so much for your time.

Uwe & Cedric: You're welcome.

J.R. Warmkessel: Goodbye.

Direct link to mp3 audio file of show (right-click to download/save).

Show Notes