Iconic Junkers F13 plane is reborn with Rimowa

The legendary plane took off from Zurich last month and EDGAR was on the runway.

Robert Chilton October 9, 2016

Next time you’re snuggled in your luxury airline seat with a cushion, blanket and gourmet meal while watching a movie, think of the Junkers F13.

The iconic German plane is the grandfather of modern flight and made aviation history almost 100 years ago as the first commercial passenger plane made from metal – a type of aluminium alloy called Duralumin.

Fuelled by the passion of Rimowa’s CEO Dieter Morszeck, the plane has been rebuilt using 3D scans of an old model in a French museum.

Carefully crafted over seven years and after its global unveiling in Chicago last year, the beautiful plane with is open cockpit made its maiden flight at Dubendorf Airport near Zurich in September, and EDGAR was on the tarmac to see it. 

The only modifications to the 2016 model was a new 450 horsepower Pratt and Whitney rotary engine that’s more powerful than the 310 horsepower of the original Junkers from 1919. Plus, brakes have been added, which is probably a good thing.

Speaking to EDGAR, Morszeck, whose company Rimowa uses the grooves of the Junkers F13 as inspiration for its suitcases, said “When this idea began seven years ago, I thought it was a little bit crazy – but no risk, no fun, right?

“There were problems of course but we solved them. We had a team of engineers and we knew our direction. Flying for the first time today was an emotional moment.”