The Junkers F 13 was the first commercial all-metal airliner in the world. Its construction was based on late WW I military types developed by Hugo Junkers using his the patents of all-metal aircraft construction with the characteristic corrugated metal covering of fuselage and wings.

HB-RIM on final landing at Lelystad.

HB-RIM on final landing at Lelystad.

The F 13 made its first flight on 25 June 1919. It was at that time far ahead if its time and due to its durable construction it was used until far in the thirties. In total more than 300 were built.

In spite of the relatively large number built only very few are still left; none of these in flying condition. In fact, restoring an original F 13 into flying condition and also fly it would always present the risk that when crashed none will be left.

The F 13 replica arriving at the Aviodrome with the new Lelystad terminal building under construction at the background.

The F 13 replica arriving at the Aviodrome with the new Lelystad terminal building under construction at the background.

The alternative is building an exact replica. A flying replica of this iconic type was built in Switzerland; sponsored by the suitcase manufacturer Rimowa. It carries the registration HB-RIM and is powered by a 450 hp radial air-cooled Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior engine. It was completed in 2016 and during flights it has attracted much attention at airshows.

HB-RIM was invited as the ‘crowd puller’ by the Aviodrome Theme Park Museum at Lelystad airport the Netherlands during the annual ‘Rescue Hero’ event on 18-19 August 2018.

It arrived on Friday 17 August.

After two starts and landings and refuelling at Lelystad it left for a short trip with a German passenger to Texel airport. Unfortunately it suffered a nose stand before the flight back to Lelystad. With a damaged propeller and damage of the fuselage nose it was unable to make its presence at the ‘Rescue Hero’ event.

HB-RIM on the platform in front of the T2 hangar at the Aviodrome.

HB-RIM on the platform in front of the T2 hangar at the Aviodrome.

The photo’s show the F 13 on Friday 7th August at Lelystad after its arrival. Hopefully we will soon see it back in the air again!

Nico Braas