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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

September 24, 2012

I fly on the JU-52

Filed under Life in Europe

It took two years before I was able to do it, but I finally flew on the JU-52.

When our German hymnal was completed three years ago, JU-52 our national board gave me a special gift as recognition for having completed the project. It was a ticket to ride on the "JU-52", a German trimotor transport aircraft manufactured from 1932 to 1945. The JU-52 was built by Junkers and nicknamed "Tante Ju" ("Auntie Ju"). It saw both civilian and military service during the 1930s and 1940s and was used by the German Luftwaffe in World War II as a troop and cargo transport plane and briefly as a medium bomber. A JU-52 was the last German plane to fly out of Stalingrad before the German 6th army surrendered there in January 1943. The German airline Lufthansa acquired one of the planes and restored it painstakingly with original Lufthansa colors. This plane regularly flies excursion flights from the Cologne-Bonn airport, and their route takes them right over my apartment house in Troisdorf (near Bonn). For different reasons – mainly scheduling problems – I was not able to book an excursion flight until now. Three years after receiving my gift certificate for a flight, I had a 30 minute flight from Cologne to Bonn and back, along the Rhine, with 15 other passengers. Our pilot told us that the JU-52 is likely the best maintained aircraft in the entire Lufthansa fleet!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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