A50 Junior
A50ci D-2054 in Deutsches Museum Munich
Role Sports plane
Manufacturer Junkers
Designer Hermann Pohlmann
First flight February 13, 1929
Number built 69 (original production)
27 (new production, May 2023)

The Junkers A50 Junior is a German sports plane originally built during the 1930s.

Development

The Junkers A50 was the first sportsplane designed by Hermann Pohlmann in Junkers works.[1] It had the same modern all-metal construction, covered with corrugated duralumin sheet, as larger Junkers passenger planes.[1] The first flight of the A50 took place on 13 February 1929. It was followed by further four prototypes, in order to test different engines.

Junkers expected to produce 5,000 aircraft, but stopped after manufacturing only 69, of which only 50 were sold. The high prices probably inhibited sales. Apart from Germany, they were used in several other countries and some were used by airlines. The purchase price in 1930 in the United Kingdom was between £840 and £885.[2] Starting from the A50ce variant, the wings could be folded for easier transport.

Three German A50 took part in the Challenge international touring plane competition in July 1929, taking 11th place (A50be, pilot Waldemar Roeder) and 17th place. Three A50 took part also in the Challenge 1930 next year, taking 15th (A50ce, pilot Johann Risztics), 27th and 29th places.[1] In June 1930 a series of eight FAI world records for altitude, range and average speed were set on a floatplane variant of A50 with the Armstrong Siddeley 59 kW (79 hp) engine. In 1931 Marga von Etzdorf flew an A50 solo from Berlin to Tokyo, the first woman to do so.

Design

A50ce D-1842 shelters under the wing of big sister G38 D-2000 in May 1930

Metal construction sports plane, conventional in layout, with low cantilever wings, stressed corrugated duralumin covered.[1] Two-spar wings were folding rearwards or could be detached.[1] Crew of two, sitting in tandem in separate open cockpits (if it flew without a passenger, one cockpit could be closed with a cover). Two-blade propeller. Conventional fixed split axle mainwheel landing gear, with a rear skid.

New production

New production A50 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in 2023

In 2022, Junkers Aircraft Works began production of a modernized version of the A50 known as the A50 Junior. This new A50 features modern avionics, a 100 hp (75 kW) Rotax 912iS engine driving a composite MT-Propeller, and a ballistic parachute. As of May 2023, 27 new A50s have sold in Europe, and plans have been made for WACO Aircraft Corporation to produce aircraft for American customers.[3][4][5]

During the 2024 Sun 'n Fun Aerospace Expo, Junkers unveiled the A50 Heritage. The A50 Heritage is marketed as a more authentic version closer to the original A50.[6] It is powered by a Verner Scarlett 7U radial engine and features a two-piece glass windscreen and analog instruments.[6][7]

Variants

Original production

The -ce and -ci variants were produced in the largest numbers with about 25 of each on the German civil register.[9] Due to their construction, the A50 were durable aircraft and they lasted long in service. The last plane was used in the 1960s in Finland.[1] There is one A50 preserved in Deutsches Museum in Munich and another in Helsinki airport. One A50 (VH-UCC, c/n 3517) is in airworthy condition in Australia.

New production

Operators

A50ce in Helsinki-Vantaa, departure hall, gate 28
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 Argentina
 Australia
 Bolivia
 Brazil
 Finland
 Germany
 Nazi Germany
 Hungary
 Japan
 Paraguay
 Portugal
 South Africa
 Sweden
 Switzerland
 United Kingdom
 Uruguay

Surviving aircraft

An example is currently on display in Helsinki Airport. Registered as OH-ABB, it was flown by Väinö Bremer to Cape Town in a historic flight.[citation needed]

Specifications (A50ba)

Junkers A 50 3-view drawing from NACA Aircraft Circular No.118

Data from Junkers aircraft and engines, 1913-1945,[14] Junkers: an aircraft album[15]

General characteristics

Performance

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f (in Polish) Krzyżan, Marian. Międzynarodowe turnieje lotnicze 1929-1934 [International aviation competitions 1929-1934], Warsaw 1988, ISBN 83-206-0637-3
  2. ^ Junkers Junior, Flight, April 4, 1930.
  3. ^ Horne, Thomas A. (2023-02-05). "Yesterday's wings, today: Reimagining a classic". www.aopa.org. Archived from the original on 2023-08-02. Retrieved 2023-08-02.
  4. ^ a b Boatman, Julie (2023-03-28). "Junkers A50 Junior Unveiled to Kick Off Sun 'n Fun 2023". FLYING Magazine. Archived from the original on 2023-08-02. Retrieved 2023-08-02.
  5. ^ "Futuristic retro: Junkers reintroduces A50 Junior — General Aviation News". generalaviationnews.com. 2022-11-07. Archived from the original on 2023-08-02. Retrieved 2023-08-02.
  6. ^ a b c Trautvetter, Chad. "Junkers Takes Wraps Off of More-authentic A50 Heritage | AIN". Aviation International News. Retrieved 2024-04-18.
  7. ^ Wilder, Amy (2024-04-10). "Junkers Aircraft Unveils A50 Heritage Model". Plane & Pilot Magazine. Retrieved 2024-04-18.
  8. ^ Junkers-F13-and-A50
  9. ^ "Golden Years of Aviation - Main". Archived from the original on 2012-02-19. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
  10. ^ Tincopa & Rivas 2016, p. 61
  11. ^ Tincopa & Rivas 2016, p. 59
  12. ^ Tincopa & Rivas 2016, p. 203
  13. ^ Tincopa & Rivas 2016, p. 343
  14. ^ Kay, Anthony L. (2004). Junkers aircraft and engines, 1913-1945 (1st ed.). London: Putnam Aeronautical Books. pp. 95–97. ISBN 0851779859.
  15. ^ Turner, P. St.J.; Nowarra, Heinz J. (1971). Junkers: an aircraft album. New York: Arco Publishing Inc. pp. 54–57. ISBN 0-668-02506-9.
  16. ^ a b Best take-off and landing results from Challenge 1930 competition (Krzyzan, op.cit., Table II)

Bibliography