After years of planning and a fifteen-month construction project, Rimowa has unveiled a faithful replica of the Junkers F13 – the world’s first all-metal passenger aircraft. Produced in Germany from 1919, the lightweight, cantilever low-wing aircraft superseded wooden models with a fabric covering and stood out for its reliability, robustness and long service life, as well as its low-maintenance design. The F13 revolutionised aviation more than any other aeroplane and created new links between countries. By 1933, more than 330 units had been built, only a few of which can still be found in museums today, of which none are airworthy The Rimowa replica, or the Rimowa F13 will take to the skies next year.
On July 20, in a ceremony attended by 150 invited guests, company President & CEO Dieter Morszeck presented the replica of the Junkers F13. The location was decorated in the style of the Roaring Twenties with every last detail in keeping with the era so that guests felt they had been transported to the 1920s. Alessandra Ambrosio and Johannes Huebl were dressed in costumes from the ’20s and very impressed by the historic aircraft. Models presented a special edition exclusively designed for the occasion: the silver aluminium shells of the F13 suitcases were embossed with a drawing of the aircraft and framed with decorative black leather handles and corners. To end the event on a high note, nine-time Grammy Award winner Norah Jones took to the stage, enthralling the audience with her superb voice and piano skills.
The replica of the ‘mother’ of all commercial aircraft is a joint project between RIMOWA, JU-Air and the Association of the Friends of Historical Aircraft (VFL). The plane consists of 2,600 individual parts and is held together by 35,000 rivets. Some 60 kg of paint was used for the finish. The single-engine aircraft is powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior engine with 450 h.p. and a top speed of 170 km/h. The F13 is almost 10 metres long and 3.5 metres high with a maximum take-off weight of 2.000 kilograms and a full-load range of 600 kilometres.
Just like the historical model, the replica has a closed cabin for four passengers who can sit down on upholstered seats, whereas the two pilots are exposed to the elements. The plane’s maiden flight next year will be during the EEA AirVenture in Oshkosh, USA. The largest air show in the world is the perfect venue to roll out the aircraft as aviation enthusiasts from around the world meet at the event once a year to admire the latest developments in the world of flying.
Source: Luxury-Insider.com Photos: Rimowa