Lufthansa - An Airline And Its Aircraft

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Paladwr Press, 1991

Transcript of Lufthansa - An Airline And Its Aircraft


    By R. E. G. Davies

    Illustrated by Mike Machat


  • OTHER BOOKS BY R. E. G. DAVI"ESA History of the World's Airlines

    Airlines of the United States Since 1914Airlines of Latin America Since 1919

    Continental Airlines: The First Fifty YearsRebels and Reformers of the Ai rways

    Pan Am: An Airline and Its Aircraft



    By R. E. G. DaviesIllustrated by Mike Machat


  • This book is dedicated to Werner Bittner, Lufthansa's archivist, whose approach to hisvocation is perfectionistic but not pedantic. His meticulous record-keeping has provideda resource which is as inexhaustible as his patience with those, including this author, whoconstantly seek his help.

    Also, to Gunther Ott, whose generosity in sharing with me the results of a lifetime oflaborious research into the "old" Luft Hansa has been more valuable than a roomful ofreference books. His meticulous review of the prewar fleet lists has contributed sub-stantially to the historical accuracy of this book.

    Text and maps copyright 1991 by R. E. G. Davies

    Illustrations copyright 1991 by Mike Machat

    All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any formor by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or byany information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from thepublisher.

    Published by Orion Books, a division of Crown Publishers, Inc., 201 East 50th Street,New York, New York 10022


    ORION and colophon are trademarks of Crown Publishers, Inc.

    Manufactured in Japan

    Designed by R. E. G. Davies

    Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataDavies, R. E. G. (Ronald Edward George)

    Lufthansa: an airline and its aircraft by R. E. G. Davies;illustrated by Mike Macha!.

    p. cm.Includes index.1. Deutsche Lufthansa (1953- )-History. 2. Deutsche Lufthansa(1926- )-History. 3. Airlines-History. 4. Airlines-Germany (West)-History. I. Title.


    ISBN 0-517-57022-X

    10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

    First Edition


  • Contents Flexing the MusclesAircraft Large and Small Junkers-G 38 42-43

    Lighter-than-Air Prelude The Standard Workhorse Junkers-Ju 52/3m 44-45

    The Dawn of Air Transport Zeppelin LZ 10 Schwaben 2-3 Consolidation in the 1930s Tante Ju and Gooney Bird 46-47

    The First Scheduled Airship Zeppelin LZ 120 Bodensee 4-5 Into a New Era Junkers-Ju 86 48-49Service Modern Airliners Junkers-Ju 90 50-51

    Ancestral Heritage North Atlantic Rehearsal Blohm & Voss Ha 139 52-53The World's First Sustained AEG J II K 6-7 End of the Airship Era Zeppelin LZ 129 Hindenburg 54-55Airline

    Aero-Union Sablatnig Pili 8-9Triumph and Tribulation

    Historic Landplane Sortie Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor 56-57Deruluft Fokker-Grulich F.III 10-11

    Eastward Bound A Far East Route at Last 58-59The Lloyd Group Dornier Komet III 12-13

    Outposts on the Pacific Rim Dramatic Rescue 60-61Junkers Enterprise Junkers-F 13 14-15

    A German Airline Empire Lufthansa in 1939 62-63The Europa-Union Triumph Over Adversity 16-17

    Lufthansa and the War Effort Final Countdown 64-65The Exploratory Years Born Again

    Formation of Deutsche Luft Ancestry of Deutsche Luft 18-19 A New Start Convair 340 66-67Hansa Hansa

    An Airline of Many Parts Dornier Merkur 20-21 Back to the Atlantic Lockheed L-1049G Super 68-69ConstellationD.L.H. Gets Under Way Rohrbach Roland 22-23 Turbine Power Vickers Viscount 814-0 70-71First Steps Toward the East Junkers-G 24 24-25 Goodbye to Propellers Lockheed L.1649A Starliner 72-73Foothold in the Orient Junkers-W 33 26-27 Jets and More JetsSCADTA-Oldest Airline in the Caribbean Reconnaissance 28-29 Into the Jet Age Boeing 707-330B and 720B 74-75Americas

    The Middle East Connection Lloyd Aereo Boliviano 30-31 The Europa Jet Boeing 727-230 76-77

    Ocean ConquestThe City Jet Boeing 737-130 78-79

    The Condor Syndikat and IberiaDelivering the Goods Cammacorp-Douglas DC-8-73 80-81

    Syndicato Condor 32-33

    Early North Atlantic Surveys Ocean Liner InterludeThe Jumbo Jet Takes Over Boeing 747-430 82-83


    Preparations for the SouthNonscheduled Diversification McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 84-85

    Dornier Do J Wal 36-37Atlantic A European Mainliner Airbus Industrie A300-600 86-87

    South Atlantic Mail Service The Catapult Ships 38-39 They Also Serve Dignity and Impudence 88-89

    South Atlantic Airship Service LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin 40-41 Index 90

  • Another 1000 AirplanesPan American Airways had operated an estimated 982

    commercial aircraft by the time the first book in this seriesappeared. The German national airline, including the "old"Deutsche Luft Hansa and the new Lufthansa German Air-lines, has comfortably exceeded that number, even if thefleets of its predecessor airlines are excluded. The totallisted individually in this book is more than 1100

    A word about the registration numbers: In the earlymonths following World War I, as the airlines struggled totheir feet, no national system existed, and Deutsche LuftReederei, for example, had its own numbering system untilregulations were introduced. This system was againchanged in 1934 when a group of four letters replaced thenumbers that had previously been prefixed by the interna-tional letter code D, for Deutschland. Until about 1938 thelettering group consisted of a vowel, consonant, vowel, andconsonant, in that order, and each aircraft could therefore befamiliarly known by its acronym. Eventually, however, thepermutation was exhausted.

    The first letter of the four-letter group was -A for multi-engined types, -U for single-engined types, and -0 or -I forsingle-engined Reiseflugzeuge, or "travel" aircraft. The Jun-kers-F 13s were all in the -U category. Incidentally, -E and-Ywere allocated for sport aircraft

    During the early years, Junkers aircraft had a letter prefixto the type number. No official or authoritative ruling can betraced to define the system, if there was one The -F typesappear to have been single-engined, but all single-enginedtypes were not -Fs. The -G may have indicated Grossf/ug-zeug, or large aircraft; the -W Wettbewerb (competition),because it is believed they were built for such a purpose;and the -A Arbeitsf/ugzeug, or "working aircraft." But none ofthese explanations can be regarded as more than specula-tive, pending the discovery of an official Junkers rulebook onthe practice, which was discontinued in the early 1930s.


    AcknowledgmentsIn compiling this account of Lufthansa and its ancestors, I

    inevitably made use of the work of other aviation historianswho have toiled for many years, as I have, in trying to recordaccurately the details of long-forgotten episodes, and totrace the complexities of the ever-changing fleet composi-tion. Certain of these veteran researchers must be recog-nized for their outstanding contributions in providing thefoundations on which this book was prepared and on whichsystematic further research can still be pursued.

    The sleuthlike investigations of Gunther Ott into the pre-history of the "old" Luft Hansa, its aircraft during the interwaryears, and its exploits during World War II, have been ofincalculable importance. And I feel especially privileged tohave had Gunther review the text of my work, make correc-tions, and offer advice.

    The works of John Stroud, doyen of commercial aircrafthistorians, particularly his classic European Transport Air-craft Since 1910, and his "Wings of Peace" series of articlesfor Aeroplane Monthly, have been invaluable. I have con-sulted the published works and other research carried out byWolfgang Wagner and Heinz Nowarra, while for a bal-anced analysis of transport airships, I am indebted to PeterBrooks and John Provan, both of whom have generouslyallowed me to select material from their own publications.

    The detailed listings of aircraft were assembled fromLufthansa's own archives, presided over by the industriousand ever-helpful Werner Bittner, and these were sup-plemented by material supplied by John Stroud, Gunther Ott,and Wolfgang Wagner.

    Unless otherwise indicated, all the photographs in thisbook have been provided by Lufthansa's immaculately refer-enced archives. Others have been supplied from the col-lections of John Provan, Peter Bowers, Gunther Ott, and SamParker-

    I am also gratefUl for much help from Peter Grosz, KurtWeil, Matthew Muller, and Peter Moeller. Frau M. Hunerbachhelped to select the fine photographs from Lufthansa's im-pressive collection; Bob van der Linden acted once again asmy technical conscience and as meticulous proofreader,while Donna Corbett coped with the index.

    I can truthfully state that without the help of these goodpeople, this book could not have been produced.

    Special NotesGerman law forbids the prominent display of symbols of

    unconstitutional organizations. Respecting this law, and un-derstanding the reasons for it, the artist has omitted theNational Socialist Party emblem from the precision drawingsof those aircraft that were introduced between 1933 and1945

    To avoid excessive duplication of aircraft descriptivematerial already included in the first book of this series, PanAm: An Airline and Its Aircraft, cross-reference is sometimesmade (for example, for the Boeing jets) to the relevant pagesof that book. However, all information essential to the Luft-hansa story is included here.

    The discerning reader may detect what appears to be adiscrepancy in the spelling of Lufthansa. Until 30 June 1933the official name of the airline was Deutsche Luft Hansa A.G.It was then changed to Deutsche