Junkers Ju 52 / 3m D-HERE - Junkers Ju 52/3m D-AQUI

Ju 52 / 3m D-AQUI, on May 22nd 2010 in North Hesse near Kirchlotheim
The Ju 52 / 3m D-AQUI before take-off from the Bayreuth airfield , 2012

The Junkers Ju 52 / 3m D-AQUI is one of the last three airworthy aircraft of the Ju 52 / 3m type that were built in Dessau before 1945. Another five Ju 52 / 3m that are still airworthy today were built after the Second World War under license from the Spanish CASA plants as CASA 352 and in the French ateliers Aéronautiques de Colombes as AAC.1 Toucan. Until it was decommissioned, the "D-AQUI" was the last airworthy Junkers Ju52 / 3m still approved for commercial air traffic. It belongs to the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin Foundation (DLBS).


Lufthansa, April 4, 1936 - July 1, 1936, D-AQUI, "Fritz Simon"

The D-AQUI was built in the main Junkers factory in Dessau with the serial number 5489. The first flight took place on April 2, 1936 [1] . The approval as D-AQUI took place on April 6, 1936. On April 10, 1936, the aircraft was handed over to Lufthansa and equipped with floats in Travemünde for use as a seaplane . The D-AQUI was named Fritz Simon [2] by Lufthansa , after the Lufthansa pilot who died in a crash in 1931.

WNr 5489, LN-DAH of DNL in Gothenburg before 1940

Det Norske Luftfartselskap DNL, ​​01.07.1936-05.1940, LN-DAH, "Falken"

After just three months, Lufthansa gave the aircraft to the Norwegian airline Det Norske Luftfartselskap Fred Olsen & Bergenske A / S (DNL) in order to replace the serial number 4077, LN-DAE, which was lost at DNL in an accident on June 16, 1936. On July 1, 1936, the serial number 5489 (ex D-AQUI) is approved for DNL as LN-DAH with the nickname "Falken" in Norway. At DNL, ​​the aircraft was initially mainly used on the route from Oslo via Stavanger to Bergen and Trondheim . From 1938 this route was extended to Kirkenes on the North Cape [3]. In addition to the serial number 5489 (ex D-AQUI) and the crashed LN-DAE, DNL also operated two Junkers Ju 52 / 3m with the serial number 5429 as LN-KAF, "Najaden" and serial number 5751, LN-DAI on this route.

Lufthansa, 22.8.1940 - May 1945, D-HERE, „Kurt Wintgens“

During the German attack on Norway, the serial number 5489 (ex D-AQUI) was in April 1940 for repairs at the DNL Seeflugwerft in Gressholmen near Oslo. After the repair work was completed in May 1940, the German Air Force took over the aircraft and had it transferred to Norderney on June 6, 1940 for conversion to a Junkers Ju 52 / 3mg2e. Since Lufthansa took over the discontinued route operations of DNL in July 1940, the Luftwaffe returned the serial number 5489 to it. The aircraft was re-registered for Lufthansa on August 22, 1940 under its previous D-AQUI certification, but has now been given the nickname "Kurt Wintgens". From September 1940 the aircraft was on Lufthansa route No. 4, the former DNL North Cape route, from Trondheim to Kirkenes. The other two too,[4] The operation of route no. 4 was maintained by Lufthansa until May 1945..

Det Norske Luftfartselskap DNL, ​​12.9.1945 - 1955/56, LN-KAF, „Askeladden“

After the German surrender, work number 5489 remained in Norway and was initially taken over by the British, who handed it over to the Norwegian Air Force on May 28, 1945. The Norwegian Air Force used the machine for a short time in the 21st Transport Wing in Tromsø-Skattøra. Due to numerous technical problems, the aircraft was shut down in the Horten Flyfabrik in August 1945. [5]

On September 12, 1945, the newly founded DNL received the aircraft and had it repaired by Horten Flyfabrik. The work was completed in the spring of 1946. The aircraft was approved for DNL on April 12, 1946 with the new Norwegian license LN-KAF and the nickname "Askeladden" and was used again on the Norwegian coastal route from Trondheim to Kirkenes under the DNL flight number 1702/1704. [6]In September 1947 the aircraft was shut down at Horten Flyfabrik due to severe corrosion damage. DNL commissioned Horten Flyfabrik with the reconstruction of an aircraft including assemblies from the serial number 5489, as well as the serial number 130714, which was also acquired by DNL in 1945 and stored at Horten, and existing parts of the already scrapped serial number 2982. On February 14, 1948 the LN-KAF , "Askeladden", now with the work number 130714, handed over from Horten Flyfabrik to DNL. In August 1948, the Norwegian DNL, ​​the Danish DDL and the Swedish AB Aerotransport merged to form Scandinavian Airline Systems (SAS). The LN-KAF, "Askeladden" was taken over by the SAS and remained in use on the North Cape route with Norwegian approval [7]

Transportes Aereos Orientales SA (TAO), 30.7.1957 - 1962, HC-ABS, „Amazonas“

Around 1955/56 the LN-KAF, "Askeladden" at SAS was decommissioned and parked in Oslo-Fornebu. Christof Drexel acquired the aircraft in October 1956 and had it completely overhauled again in Oslo and converted from a sea to a land version. On July 30, 1957, the former LN-KAF / D-AQUI was disassembled into individual parts and shipped to Ecuador by sea. In Ecuador Drexel handed the aircraft over to Transportes Aereos Orientales SA (TAO), on which the aircraft was approved as HC-ABS with the nickname “Amazonas”. The machine was used in passenger and freight traffic on routes along the Amazon from Quito. Due to increasing problems with the supply of spare parts, especially with the engines, the HC-ABS was taken out of service at TAO in 1962 and parked at the Rio Japura airport near Quito.[8]

Lester Weaver / Martin Caidin, USA, November 1970 – 1984, N130LW, N52JU, „Iron Annie“

At the end of the sixties, the American Lester F. Weaver from Polo in Illinois discovered the parked HC-ABS on the edge of the Quito airfield and acquired the wreck in May 1970. In six months of work, Weaver made it possible to fly a transfer flight to the USA. On November 10, 1970, the former HC-ABS / LN-KAF / D-AQUI started again in Quito for the first time in eight years with the American approval N130LW. The transfer flight ended in Dixon, IL on November 22, 1970. Further repairs in the USA and the certification of the aircraft proved to be problematic for Weaver. Weaver sold the aircraft in 1974 to Cannon Aircraft, which in the same year sold the aircraft to the American writer Martin Caidin. Caidin had the aircraft overhauled in Titusville, FL in the spring of 1975.Wasp swapped. Its predecessor, the Hornet , was part of the first engine equipment of the Junkers Ju 52 / 3m in the early thirties and was the model engine for the BMW 132, which was manufactured under license by BMW. In order to adequately meet the requirements for an aircraft, Caidin had a hydraulic and braking system from a Curtiss C46. [9] At the end of 1976, the modernization and repair of the aircraft was completed and the FAA granted Caidin N52JU approval. Caidin named the aircraft “Iron Annie”, with which the aircraft was to be seen at numerous air shows in the USA over the next eight years.

Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin Foundation, from 1984, D-CDLH (D-AQUI), "Berlin-Tempelhof"

Passenger cabin, looking towards the cockpit

In 1984 Lufthansa pilots discovered the aircraft. They convinced the airline's board of directors to bring the machine back to Germany in order to present it on Lufthansa's 60th anniversary in 1984. The transfer flight lasted sixteen days, with stops in Greenland and Iceland, among others . It was restored again at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg- Fuhlsbüttel, and has been used for sightseeing flights at various locations every summer since 1986. In the winter months it is overhauled by Lufthansa Technik. [10]At the beginning of the nineties, the Hamilton aircraft received three-blade propellers in order to meet the increasing requirements for noise reduction. In the past ten years, investments have been made primarily in on-board electronics in order to be able to meet the requirements of modern air traffic. In order to keep the aircraft airworthy for the next 20 years, large parts of the wing structure at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg have been renewed since 2015. The one and a half year lay period ended with the successful maiden flight on May 13, 2017.

In 2016 the D-AQUI had 21,000 flight hours behind it. It offers space for sixteen passengers and its top speed is around 250 km / h.

Due to renewed structural findings, D-AQUI's flight operations had to be terminated prematurely in August 2018. Since the repair could only be carried out with an above-average high and costly reengineering of new assemblies and, due to the age of the machine, more such unplanned findings were to be expected in the future, the decision to shut down D-AQUI was made in April 2019. The aircraft is no longer to take off and is to be transferred to a museum. [11]

The D-AQUI should leave the hangar at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg on September 17, 2019 and be properly stored in Bremen. The transport is to take place with three low loaders - due to the oversize probably at night. [12]

In September 2020 the D-AQUI was transported to Paderborn / Lippstadt Airport , where it will be exhibited in the Quax hangar in the future. [13] [14]


The Ju 52, painted in the Lufthansa colors of the 1930s, has two different aircraft registration numbers (D-AQUI and D-CDLH) on the fuselage and wings.

The letter A of the painted in countless Size historic aircraft mark D-AQUI could not be awarded again in 1986 after the now applicable in Germany aviation regulations because the maximum take-off weight (MTOW maximum take off weight) of the Ju 52 not currently assigned the letter A Class over 20 tons . The aircraft is therefore officially certified as D-CDLH. The last three letters (DLH) stand for "Deutsche Lufthansa". However, it bears the lettering "D-AQUI" as a special paint on the wings and side surfaces.

The aircraft with the nickname "Berlin-Tempelhof" is operated by the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin Foundation.

Movable monument

In 2015, the Hamburg Monument Protection Office entered D-AQUI in the Hamburg Monument List . This was the first time that a commercial aircraft was placed under protection as a movable monument . [15]


When it was decommissioned in August 2018, the D-AQUI was 82 years old and was the oldest commercial aircraft in the world still in use in commercial air traffic.

In addition to a Junkers A 50 that has also not been used for many years but is being reconstructed , the D-AQUI 2018 was the oldest Junkers aircraft still in use.

On October 30, 2008, the D-AQUI was the last machine to take off from Berlin-Tempelhof Airport before it was officially closed.

The designer of the Ju 52, Ernst Zindel , came from the village of Mistelbach near Bayreuth . This was pointed out during the sightseeing flights with the D-AQUI, which occasionally departed from the Bayreuth airfield, and a lap of honor was made over the town if necessary.



Commons : D-CDLH (aircraft) - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Flugbuch Karl-Friedrich Maringer
  2. R. E. G. Davies: Lufthansa: An Airline and Its Aircraft. 1. Auflage. Paladwr Press, Rockville 1991, ISBN 0-9626483-3-7, S. 44.
  3. Timetable Images: DNL flight plan 1939. Accessed June 8, 2017 .
  4. Timetable Images: Lufthansa flight plan 1941. Retrieved on June 8, 2017 .
  5. Olve Dybvig: Aircraft Used By The Norwegian Air Force . Nr. 7 , May 2013.
  6. ^ DNL flight plan June 1946. In: timetableimages.com. Norwegian Airlines, accessed July 22, 2018 (Norwegian).
  7. Timetable Images: SAS flight plan 1948. Accessed June 8, 2017 .
  8. ^ Friends of Lufthansa Ju52 eV: Memoirs of a young "old lady". Retrieved June 8, 2017 .
  9. Martin Caidin: Pilot Manual . 1976.
  10. Happy Birthday to "Ju" in: Nordbayerischer Kurier of April 7, 2016, p. 3
  11. Lufthansa pushes her "Aunt Ju" into the museum. In: FAZ.NET. April 15, 2019, accessed April 16, 2019 .
  12. Old-timer aircraft "Tante Ju" comes to Bremen in: Hamburger Abendblatt from September 6, 2019, accessed on September 6, 2019
  13. The D-AQUI comes to Paderborn. Flugrevue.de, August 11, 2020, accessed on September 30, 2020 .
  14. Aunt Ju at Paderborn-Lippstadt Airport: The last journey of the grand dame of aviation. Der Patriot, September 27, 2020, accessed September 30, 2019 .
  15. "Tante Ju" is a memorial that flies at aerotelegraph.com, accessed on April 8, 2016