It is one of the oldest passenger planes in the world still flying. Its many admirers at home and abroad lovingly call it “Tante Ju” (Auntie Ju) or more respectfully, the “Grande Dame of the skies”.
Now the ”old-timer”, built in 1936 in the Junkers aircraft plant in Dessau has been honored as no passenger plane has ever been before. Being its first and only historic commercial aircraft, Lufthansa’s Ju 52 has been placed under protection by the Office of Historic Monuments of the Hamburg Cultural Authority. The presentation of the official plaque signifying the Protection of Historic Monuments took place on August 22, 2015 at the Airport Days in Hamburg. At a ceremony attended by 50 distinguished guests, Hamburg’s Lord Mayor, Mr. Olaf Scholz, presented it to Dr. Jürgen Weber, Honorary Chairman of the Board at Deutsche Lufthansa and to Mr. Bernhard Conrad, CEO of the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin Stiftung (DLBS). The Stiftung (foundation) is the operator of the aircraft. This award is also an acknowledgement of Hugo Junker’s life work and achievement.
The Ju 52 is an important and well-loved testimonial which is evident every year during the summer months when some 9,000 passengers enjoy the many sightseeing and regular flights offered across Germany and Austria allowing themselves to be taken back to the pioneering days of passenger flights. The title “Movable Monument” awarded by the Office of Historic Monuments of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg emphasizes the significance of the Ju 52 as an evidence of architecture as well as construction and aviation history whose use and preservation are for public benefit.
The recognition as a “Movable Monument” presupposes the meeting of basic requirements as well as strict criteria which are determined in the Heritage Protection Law. The minimum age requirement of 30 years is of course fulfilled by Ju 52. The required share of original material also exists. Moreover, it had to be proven to the heritage protectors, that the Ju 52 has a special significance making its conservation a subject of public interest. Successful in proving these: “The Tante Ju is of great aviation-historic importance, being one of the last and well-preserved examples of a novel motorized aircraft type in regards to its construction which at the time was a big seller and success model”, Dr. Christine Onnen of the Hamburg Office of Historic Monuments explains.
“It is a great honour and at the same time an obligation for the Deutsche Lufthansa and the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin Stiftung (DLBS) that our Ju 52 has been included in the list of “Movable Monuments,” said Dr. Jürgen Weber. Special thanks go to the engineers and technicians of DLBS and Lufthansa Technik as well as to the pilots and flight attendants, “who with a lot of love and commitment ensure that this flying monument is filled with life and that every year thousands of people can enjoy the flight experience as in the days of their grandparents.” Weber promised: “We will do our best that our Tante Ju will remain fit for many years to come; our next milestone is the centenary!”
More Photos of the Ju 52 for download are to be found on website www.dlbs.de.