Rimowa’s newly assembled replica of the historic Junkers F13 completed its maiden flight Thursday in Switzerland, more than 60 years after the original model last flew. The all-metal airplane, which hailed the age of commercial passenger transport in 1919, was designed by German engineer Hugo Junkers. Rimowa, known for its grooved metal luggage constructed from the same material, announced at EAA AirVenture 2015 its plans to build and certify the Junkers from the original blueprints. Rimowa President and CEO, longtime pilot Dieter Morszeck,was on board the new Junkers along with flight test engineer Oliver Bachmann as it took off from Dubendorf Airport.
Junkers’ grandson, Bernd Junkers, was among those who watched the first of what will be a series of test flights along with Hans-Walter Bender, who flew in an F13 in 1929 at age six. “I have dreamed about seeing the F13 up in the air for a long time,” Bernd Junkers said in a video of the event. “It’s great, a fantastic day.” The flight took place after a two-year construction period at Dubendorf, which took place followingseveral years of research to find the specifications and perform a 3-D scan of a museum original, as complete plans for the aircraft no longer exist. More than 330 of the airplanes were built and sold around the world by 1933, and only a handful of non-flying originals remain.