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Junkers Ju 52

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Junkers Ju 52/3m
Type Transport
Manufacturer Junkers
Maiden flight 13 October 1930
Introduced 1931
Primary users Luftwaffe
Produced 1931-1945 (German production)
1945-1947 (France)
1945-1952 (Spain)
Number built 4,845

The Junkers Ju 52 (nicknamed Tante Ju - "Auntie Ju" - and "Iron Annie") was a transport aircraft and bomber manufactured 19321945 by Junkers. It saw both civilian and military service during the 1930s and 1940s. In a civilian role, it flew with well over a dozen air carriers including Swissair and Lufthansa as an airliner and freight hauler. In a military role, it flew with the Luftwaffe as a troop and cargo transport, with a secondary role as a medium bomber. The Swiss Air Force also flew the Ju 52, with three machines remaining in operation until the early 1980s.

Design and development

The Ju 52 was similar to the company's previous Junkers W33, although larger. In 1930, Ernst Zindel and his team designed the Ju 52 at the Junkers works at Dessau. The aircraft's unusual corrugated metal skin strengthened the fuselage and gave it a characteristic boxy appearance.

Operational history

File:Junkers Ju-52 single-engine.JPG
Ju 52/1m replica of "CF-ARM" at the Western Canada Aviation Museum, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

In its original configuration, designated the Ju 52/1m, the Ju 52 was a single-engined aircraft, powered by either a BMW or Junkers liquid-cooled engine. in 1936, James A. Richardson's Canadian Airways received (Werknummer 4006) CF-ARM , the sixth ever-built Ju 52. The aircraft, nicknamed the "Flying Boxcar" in Canada, could lift approximately three tons and had a maximum weight of eight tons. It was used to supply mining and other operations in remote areas with equipment too big and heavy for other aircraft then in use. The Ju 52/1m was able to fly on wheels, skis or floats.[1]

However, the single-engine model was underpowered, and after seven prototypes had been completed, all subsequent Ju 52s were built with three engines as the Ju 52/3m (German drei motoren, meaning "three engines"). Originally powered by three Pratt & Whitney Hornet radial engines, later production models mainly received BMW 132 engines, a refinement of the Pratt & Whitney design. Export models were also built with Pratt & Whitney Wasp and Bristol Pegasus engines. The upgrade improved performance and load carrying abilities. As a Lufthansa airliner, the Ju 52 could seat 17, and could fly from Berlin to Rome in eight hours.

The Ju 52 first saw military service in the Spanish Civil War, as both a bomber and transport aircraft. In the former role it participated in the bombing of Guernica. It was again used as a bomber during the bombing of Warsaw[1] during the Invasion of Poland of September 1939. The Luftwaffe then relied on the Ju 52 for transport roles during World War II, including paratroop drops, most notably in the Battle of Crete in May 1941. Lightly armed, and with a top speed of only 165 mph — half that of a contemporary Spitfire — the Ju 52 was very vulnerable to fighter attack and an escort was always necessary when flying in a combat zone. Many Ju 52s were shot down by anti-aircraft guns and fighters while transporting supplies, most notably during the desperate attempt to resupply the trapped German Sixth Army during the final stages of the Battle of Stalingrad in 1943. During the final phase of the North African Campaign 24 of the Junkers were shot down in the infamous "Palm Sunday Massacre" on 18 April 1943, another 35 staggered back to Sicily and crash-landed. The transports' escorts, JG 27 claimed just one enemy fighter[2].


In addition to the standard, fixed undercarriage version, there was a floatplane version, equipped with two large floats. This model served during the Norwegian Campaign in 1940, and later in the Mediterranean theatre. Some Ju 52 floatplanes were also used as minesweepers, fitted with a large degaussing ring under the airframe.

Most Ju 52s were destroyed after the war, but a small number were manufactured after 1945. In France the machine was manufactured by Amiot as the Amiot AAC 1 Toucan and in Spain, Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA continued production as the CASA 352. Several Ju 52s are airworthy and in regular use today.

Ju 52
Single-engined transport aircraft.
Ju 52/3m
Three-engined prototype, powered by three 410 kW (550 hp) Pratt & Whitney Hornet engines.
Ju 52/3mce
Three-engined civil transport aircraft.
Ju 52/3mge
Interim bomber and transport aircraft for the Luftwaffe.
Ju 52/3mg3e
Improved military version, powered by three 541 kW (725 hp) B.M.W. 123-A3 radial piston engines, equipped with improved radio and bomb release machanism.
Ju 52/3mg4e
Military version. The tailskid was replaced by a tailwheel.
Ju 52/3mg5e
Military version, powered by three 619 kw (830 hp) B.M.W. 123T radial piston engines. It could be fitted with interchangeable float, ski and wheel landing gear.
Ju 52/3mg6e
Equipped with a simplified radio.
Ju 52/3mg7e
Fitted with autopilot and a large loading hatch.
Ju 52/3mg8e
Fitted with an extra cabin roof hatch.
Ju 52/3mg9e
Late production version, fitted with strengthened landing gear and glider towing gear.
Ju 52/3mg10e
Similar to the Ju 52/3mg9e, but it could be fitted with floats or wheels.
Ju 52/3mg11e
No details are known.
Ju 52/3mg12e
Powered by three B.M.W. 123L radial piston engines.
Ju 52/3m12e
Some Ju 52/3mg12s were sent to Lufthansa.
Ju 52/3mg13e
No details are known.
Ju 52/3mg14e
this was the last production version.


File:JU 52 3M.jpg
Lufthansa Junkers Ju 52/3m D-CDLH, till 1984, known as "Iron Annie N52JU," painted as D-AQUI in historic Lufthansa colors (the livery this plane wore in 1936). D-CDLH has P&W engines, now with 3-bladed propellers.
CASA 352 (license-built Junkers Ju 52/3m) in Ju-Air markings at Zürich airport
Preserved Ju 52 at Duxford, 2001, showing corrugated skin
Template:Country data United States

Specifications (Junkers Ju 52/3m g7e)

Data from Jane’s Fighting Aircraft of World War II[3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3 (two pilots, radio operator)
  • Capacity: 18 troops or 12 litter patients
  • Length: 18.90 m (62 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 29.25 m (95 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 4.5 m (14 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 110.5 m² (1,190 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 6,510 kg (14,325 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 9,200 kg (20,270 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 10,990 kg (24,200 lb)
  • Powerplant:BMW 132T radial engines, 533 kW (715 hp)[4] each



  • 1× 13 mm MG 131 machine gun in a dorsal position
  • 2× 7.92 mm MG 15 machine guns
  • up to 455 kg (1,000 lb) of bombs (some variants)

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Related lists



  1. Warsaw
  2. Weal 2003, p. 91.
  3. Jane 1946, p. 170–171.
  4. Originally measured as 725 PS


  • Jane, Fred T. "The Junkers Ju 52/3m." Jane’s Fighting Aircraft of World War II . London: Studio, 1946. ISBN 1-85170-493-0.
  • Weal, John. Jagdgeschwader 27 'Afrika'. Oxford, UK: Osprey, 2003. ISBN 1-841765-38-4.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Template:RLM aircraft designations Template:USAF transports Template:Swedish transport aircraft

cs:Junkers Ju 52 de:Junkers Ju 52/3m et:Junkers Ju 52/3m el:Junkers Ju 52 es:Junkers Ju 52 eo:Junkers Ju 52 fr:Junkers Ju 52 it:Junkers Ju 52 hu:Junkers Ju 52 nl:Junkers Ju 52/3m ja:Ju 52 (航空機) no:Junkers Ju 52 pl:Junkers Ju 52 pt:Junkers Ju 52 ru:Юнкерс Ю 52 sk:Junkers Ju 52 sl:Junkers Ju 52 sr:Јункерс Ју 52 fi:Junkers Ju 52 sv:Junkers Ju 52/3m zh:Ju 52運輸機

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It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Junkers Ju 52".