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 built of all-metal construction, specifically for commercial passenger service. Named Herta in honor of Professor Junkers’ oldest daughter, it carried identification marks D 183.
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 used no braces or support wires. The prototype had a wingspan of 47 feet, 5¾ inches (14.47 meters). The wing was lengthened in production airplanes. The airplane was 31 feet, 6 inches (9.59 meters) long. The first F.13 was powered by a 14.78 liter (901.9 cubic inch) water-cooled Mercedes D.IIIa dual overhead cam (DOHC) 6-cylinder in-line engine which produced 170 horsepower and drove a two-bladed, fixed-pitch laminated wood propeller.
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.
© 2014, Bryan R. Swopes