Junkers Flugzeug und Motorenwerke AG
Professor Hugo Junkers (1859-1935) became enthusiastically interested in aircraft development and worked for several aero-engine manufacturers. Convinced that all metal structure was the ultimate answer to successful aircraft design, he produced the experimental J.1 "Blechesel" (Tin Donkey) to exemplify his 1910 patent for a cantilever all-metal wing. The J.1 flew on December 12, 1915, giving unexpectedly stable performance.
Six J 2s were then built, but when J 4 ground-attack biplane was ordered for German Army, he was not geared for mass production. Thus, Junkers-Fokker-Werke was formed at Dessau on October 20,1917, with equal shares held by Junkers and Anthony Fokker. Conflicts of personality caused Fokker and Junkers to separate in 1918, and the Junkers re-formed following April as Junkers FlugzeugwerkeAG at Dessau April 24,1919, first concentrating on all-metal civilian transports such as F13 four-passenger monoplane (more than 350 built).
Representatives of the Junkers Flugzeugwerke (Jfa), the German Government (Reichswehrsministerium, RWM) and the Soviet Government (Trotsky) signed a final agreement on November 26, 1922, and a former motor-car factory at Fili, situated south of Moscow, was taken over by Jfa and expanded. Back in the Dessau design office headed by Dipi Ing Emst Zindel, work had begun during 1922 on three new military types intended for production at Fili, the J20 two-seat low-wing reconnaissance floatplane and the J21 two-seat reconnaissance and J22 single-seat fighter parasol-wing aircraft. The parasol-wing configuration of the two last-mentioned types turned out to be a failure, even though the J21 was built in quantity at Fili.
Junkers established a Swedish subsidiary, AB Flygindustri, near Malmo, and formed Junkers Motorenbau GmbH for production of aero engines. After death of Hugo Junkers the company became state-owned and, amalgamating with the aeroengine firm, became Junkers Flugzeug und Motorenwerke AG in 1936, then the largest aviation company in the world. For German rearmament program, Junkers built factories in many other parts of Germany, and in Czechoslovakia and France.
Avions Metalicos Junkers was founded at Madrid in 1923 to provide facilities for the construction of Junkers aircraft in Spain. A two-seat all-metal monoplane was in production in 1924.
Major types produced included G24 and G31 airliners of 1925/1926: W33 and W34 cargo transports, used also as trainers by Luftwaffe; the G38 "flying wing"of 1928 (prototype flew November 6,1929; production models carried 34 passengers plus seven crew). Some used as military transports in early stages of Second World War. On October 13,1930 came the first flight of famous Ju 52 cargo transport. Three-engined Ju 52/3m based on latter used in wide variety of roles before and during Second World War, production totalling more than 4,850. Prewar production continued with Ju 60 and Ju 160 airliners, Ju 86 bomber, transport and trainer, and Ju 87 dive-bomber in many versions. The 87 was followed by the Ju 88/188/388 family of twin-engined bombers. The Ju 90/290/390 family began as four-engined 38/40-seat airliners, converted as heavy transport/reconnaissance types in Second World War. Junkers was among first companies to produce military jet aircraft. Two prototypes of its Ju 287 with forward swept wings were captured by Russians in 1945.
After Second World War aircraft production ended, Junkers joined with Messerschmitt in 1966, and with absorption of small aero-engine plant by Messerschmitt group in 1975, the Junkers name disappeared entirely.