25 June 1919

The first of three prototypes, Junkers F.13 Herta, D 183, photographed on 9 August 1919. (Junkers)
The first of three prototypes, Junkers F.13 Herta, D 183, photographed on 19 August 1919. (Junkers)

25 June 1919: Junkers-Fokker Aktiengesellschaft test pilot Emil Monz made the first flight of the Junkers F.13 at Dessau, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It was the first airplane to be built of all-metal construction specifically for commercial passenger service. Named Herta in honor of Professor Hugo Junkers’ oldest daughter, the prototype carried identification marks D 183.

The cockpit of the Junkers F.13 accommodated two pilots. (Junkers)
The cockpit of the Junkers F.13 accommodated a crew of two. (Junkers)

Designed by Chief Engineer Otto Reuter, the F.13 was a single engine monoplane with a corrugated duralumin skin over a duralumin structure. It had a flight crew of two and four passengers could be carried in a comfortable enclosed cabin of the same size as automobiles of the time. The single wing was cantilevered and, unusually for the time, used no braces or support wires.

The prototype had a wingspan of 14.47 meters (47 feet, 5.7 inches). The wing was lengthened in production airplanes. The airplane was 9.59 meters (31 feet, 5.6 inches) long.

The first F.13 was powered by a 14.778 liter (901.81 cubic inch) water-cooled Mercedes D.IIIa single overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine which produced 174 horsepower at 1,400 r.p.m., and drove a two-bladed, fixed-pitch laminated wood propeller.

The passenger compartment of the Junkers F.13 seated for passengers. (Junkers)
The passenger compartment of the Junkers F.13 seated for passengers. (Junkers)

In production from 1919 to 1932, a total of 332 Junkers F.13s were built. Some remained in service in the late 1930s.

Herta was later renamed Nightingale and its registration markings changed to D 1.

Emil Monz died 18 February 1921 when the Junkers F.13 that he was flying, D 128, crashed in a snowstorm enroute to Stuttgart.

Junkers F.13 D-190, a single-engine, all-metal monoplane commercial transport takes off from Tempelhofer Feld, 7 March 1923. (Bundsarchive)
Junkers F.13 D-190, a single-engine, all-metal monoplane commercial transport takes off from Tempelhofer Feld, 7 March 1923. (Bundsarchive)

© 2016, Bryan R. Swopes

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2 thoughts on “25 June 1919

  1. Fascinado con la primera llegada del avión a mi ciudad en 1920, me encanta sobremanera conocer detalles y pormenores del Junkers F.13 por haber sido en un Hidroavión de esos, llamado Colombia, con registro A 2, y órden de trabajo 557, que el piloto Hellmunth Von Krohn, veterano de la Primera Guerra Mundial, voló el 19 de octubre siguiendo la línea del Río Magdalena desde Barranquilla hasta Neiva en el interior del País, haciendo escalas en Puerto Berrio y Girardot, arrivando el 21 de octubre, cumpliéndose lo dicho por el señor Reinaldo Matiz Trujillo, de que primero llegaría el avión que el automóvil y el ferrocarril.

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