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I remember when I was a child, my parents and me often saw the Aunt Ju flying. But about 5 years later it disappeared. We never saw it again.

Does anybody know what has been the use of the Ju 52 after the 70s?

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    $\begingroup$ During my military service, I have flown in that plane many times... In the early 70s. Today, most surviving units are in museums, but there are a couple of Ju52s still flying sightseeing trips, one of them in Frankfurt, if I remember correctly. $\endgroup$ – xxavier Dec 21 '17 at 18:30
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    $\begingroup$ Taste is a personal habit, I love the 747. But I will never understand why so many people love the JU52, it's corrugated surface is really awkward (ugly). $\endgroup$ – Peter Dec 22 '17 at 10:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Peter Probably because it's a trimotor. That's a really unusual setup, there aren't very many models that used it. $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Dec 22 '17 at 22:01
  • $\begingroup$ Haha. Good, but the definitive answer to three engines is the Lockheed L-1011 (Lucky Ten Eleven) :) $\endgroup$ – Peter Dec 23 '17 at 17:29
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At least for Germany I can assure it still flies!

I live in Germany near Frankfurt and Egelsbach. Frankfurt is probably known, Egelsbach is 20 km south and has a quite large "airport" for private aviation (I don't know the proper term. There are no scheduled flights.)

During summer Aunt Ju can be seen (and heard!) here every few weeks. You can book sightseeing flights (e.g. here or here) or one-way flights. The two Ju52's usually seen here are the "D-AQUI" and the "HB-HOY". They tour throughout Germany until autumn and are then revised until next spring.

An excerpt of the next year's schedule for the HB-HOY shows three sightseeing flights around Egelsbach and Frankfurt, 40 minutes for ~280 EUR (~330 USD) and a one-way flight to Essen (60 mins for 250 EUR).

During the last years the D-AQUI also hopped flew from Egelsbach to Frankfurt (that's just 10 minutes). They say the next year's flight plan for the D-AQUI will be released in January 2018.

I'm sorry that most of the links are in German.


Update (Aug 5 2018):

Sadly, just yesterday (Aug 4 2018) one of the Aunts, HB-HOT, crashed in Switzerland. All twenty people aboard died. They don't know the reason yet.


Update (Jan 27 2019):

Again, sad news: The Lufthansa (which sponsors the "D-AQUI") has decided to stop their sponsorship for the maintenance. They say it's just too expensive for them to keep their Aunt Ju airborne for passenger flights. So "D-AQUI" will not be seen or heard any longer regularly. Unfortunately I have only German reference for this on www.spiegel.de (a major German news magazine).

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    $\begingroup$ If you want the "real" Ju, only the Swiss planes will do. Lufthansa changed the D-AQUI beyond recognition: Different engines (BIG difference in sound!), different tires, different control system (don't look into the cockpit; will make you sick!). The list goes on; all in the name of safety and easy part replacement. The Swiss, on the other hand, kept their planes in pristine condition and they run like, well, like Swiss clockworks. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Dec 22 '17 at 21:05
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterKämpf Very interesting. I was aware that Lufthansa modified the D-AQUI but not to this extent. Nevertheless I personally prefer seeing the D-AQUI because the Swiss models are often painted with ads which makes them – to me – look like flying suitcases. I must admit though, it's a perfect match. $\endgroup$ – PerlDuck Dec 23 '17 at 13:44
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    $\begingroup$ Back in the Eighties I had a longer conversation with one of the technicians who did the restauration. He did not hide his disgust at the way how Lufthansa handled the work. The pedal unit on the left side is straight from a 737. The pushrods in the original control system had adjustable rod ends, so play and ease of movement could be fine-tuned. He was quite enthusiastic about their quality, but they were all thrown out and replaced by standard aviation-certified parts of much lower quality. And so on. Only the outside is kept in original shape (apart from the number of blades, of course). $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Dec 23 '17 at 14:53
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    $\begingroup$ Concerning those ads: The person who inherited the Rimowa factory put his fortune into recreating a Junkers F 13. I think he deserves to have his brand prominently displayed on a Ju 52. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Jan 27 at 21:00
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According to Wikipedia there are still 8 JU-52's flying today. Which one do you remember seeing flying?

List of airworthy Ju 52s

enter image description here

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The JU-52 trimotor is approaching 90 years old. In its time it was a slightly larger version of the Ford Trimotor. Corrosion and age are grounding the remaining airframes (Central Europe is no Arizona). The corrugated skin worked very well to improve skin strength. The cruise speed of around 100 knots did not present excessive drag penalties. The JU-52 carried a crew of 2 and around 17 passengers. It's innovative "double wing" slotted trailing edge gave good low speed performance, much like Fowler flaps today.

This type generated some interest when Siemens came out with their electric aircraft motors, with the possibility of mounting the electric in the nose for takeoff performance and using the gas motors to maintain charge. Maybe they will build some new ones this century.

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