22 December 2015
The Junkers F13 is returning to the skies. The world’s first civil aircraft to be built entirely of metal is entering a new chapter in its history thanks to Rimowa, a company with over 115 years of experience in the field of luggage. Developed in 1919 by the German engineer and entrepreneur Hugo Junkers, 330 of the planes had been built by 1933 and they were even used by the United States Post Office Department. The aircraft’s success was due to a happy combination of pioneering technology and design. Almost twenty years later, in 1937, Junkers’ fellow countryman Richard Morszeck started to make the first suitcases of the Rimowa brand out of corrugated duralumin, the same material used for the skin of the airplane, creating what has come to be regarded as a classic piece of luggage. Not only do the Junkers and Morszeck families come from the same region, the Rhineland, but they have always shared a passion for flying. A passion that has prompted Richard’s heir, Dieter Morszeck, a pilot himself and the company’s general manager, to get this classic of aviation streaking through the skies again. It took over 15 months of work to create a replica of the original, but today the F13 is flying again: just 10 meters long, with a wingspan of 15, and weighing two metric tons, the plane can reach a speed of 170 kph and has a range of 600 kilometers. And enthusiasts can preorder one on the German company’s website.