JU 52, “Tante Ju” F-AZJU
The Junkers Ju 52 (nicknamed “Tante Ju” in German and “Iron Annie” by the English) was a corrugated iron transport aircraft manufactured by the German firm Junkers from the 1930s. Built in more than 4,800 units, it was used by many airlines, but also as a military transport aircraft and bomber during WWII.
Originally designed as a single-engine aircraft, it was transformed into a three-engine with the addition of an engine on each wing, which is simpler in design than transforming it into a twin.
Many versions of the Junkers Ju 52 were built throughout WWII, with increasingly powerful engines, better electronic equipment (radio, etc.) or special equipment like skis for landing on snow. Manufacturing was split between several factories located in Germany, France and Hungary. After the war, France and Spain built their own versions, designated respectively: AAC.1 Toucan and CASA 352, and used until the early 1960s.
Acquired in England in 1990 by the Amicale Jean-Baptiste SALIS, F-AZJU was first the object of 13 years of restoration under the direction of Robert ROGER with the financial support of the General Council of Essonne, and EADS as well as private donors.
This machine, which was believed to be Spanish in manufacturing, posed an enigma during disassembly: the manufacturer’s plate was German and bore the number 24, year of manufacture 1943, this number did not correspond to any reference.
The solution came from long historical research. When the license was sold to Spain, Germany demanded to provide 30 aircraft to validate the Spanish assembly lines. From this pure Germanic origin and its military version flows the decoration chosen and justifies the respect for the authenticity that prevailed in its reconstruction. Apart from the modern safety features required for the in-flight safeguard of this aircraft, each instrument is period and functioning properly. The 2 pilot watches having disappeared, exchanges and research took 4 years to result in the assembly of authentic period chronometers. And if the engines are Spanish, they are a copy of Wright R 1830, and with this exception, the F-AZJU is therefore an original German aircraft. This historical value is all the more important since it is one of the only 7 examples still in flight condition in the world today, out of the 6,000 planes of this type built.
Photos © :