JUNKERS

Prof. Hugo Junkers (1859-1935) started Junkers und Compagnie 1895 making gas boilers and heating/ventilating installations. In 1910 patented concept of aircraft comprising large thick metal wing, with only vestigial nose/tail. Developed cantilever metal wings with corrugated Dural skin and used these on J1 cantilever monoplane (12 December 1915). Produced J2, J4 (in service as J.I close-support aircraft), J7, J9 (in service as D.I fighter) and J10 (in service as CL.I armoured close-support aircraft). Lack of production capacity resulted in formation of Junkers-Fokker, terminated 1918. Junkers Flugzeugwerke formed Dessau 24 April 1919. F13 single-engined all-metal cantilever monoplane transport flew 25 June 1919, total of 322 built over next 13 years. By 1921 work well advanced on giant G1 monoplane airliner of 125-ft span, but Allies ordered it to be scrapped. As result, 1923 saw formation of Junkers companies in Sweden, Spain and Soviet Union: see Flygindustri; AMJ; Junkers Fili. Aero-engine work led to formation of Junkers Motorenbau GmbH 1923, and airline Junkers-Luftverkehrs AG followed 1924, when G23 and G24 3-engined airliners appeared. In 1926 bigger G31 appeared, plus various postal, photo and military types, as well as W33 (199) and 34 (1,791) light transports. S36 transport led to K37 bomber, produced in Japan as Ki-2. Giant G38, nearest to 1910 patent, flew 1929, 2 built plus 6 Japanese Ki-20 heavy bomber versions. Chief designer Karl Plauth killed in crash 1 November 1927, succeeded by Ernst Zindel who produced Ju 52 13 October 1930, developed into Ju 52/3m April 1931 (4,825). Many other types, but financial problems, and founder's anti-Nazi views, resulted in state takeover 1933, Dr Heinrich Koppenberg being appointed director-general. Amalgamation with engine company resulted in world's largest aircraft manufacturer. Junkers Flugzeug- und Motorenwerke AG. By 1945 controlled main works at Dessau and 17 other plants with 140,000 employees. By far biggest programme was Ju 88 (about 14,840). Others Ju 87 dive-bomber (at least 5,745), Ju 86, Ju 90/290/390, Ju 188/388 and Ju 252/352. After 1945 virtually all Junkers facilities were in Soviet hands. EF 131 jet bomber was used by Soviet Alekseyev bureau as starting point for Type 150 1946-50 (which led to East German VEF Type 152 airliner).

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