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ElanusNotatus
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Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Fri May 22, 2015 4:23 am


Background and Booking


During an earlier visit to Hamburg I chanced to hear a distinctive sound and looking up I saw a readily recognisable aircraft. The trimotor, with its corrugated duraluminium hull, was “Tante Ju” - a Junkers Ju 52 built in 1936. I decided there and then that I would return one day and take a flight.


Having determined that I would be on board Emirates’ inaugural scheduled A380 flight out of Perth, with Hamburg the chosen destination, the opportunity to experience an aircraft from another era arose. I visited the website of Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin Stiftung - www.dbls.de - to make a booking. This time I had no problems connecting with my tablet and found a suitable date and time
to book.



Booking is like on any other airline: choose the date and time; enter the passenger details; check and confirm everything; make payment. It is not possible to prebook individual seats but the operator will make allowances for those who require special assistance if notified. Once confirmed print your ticket.



There is no questioning the enthusiasm and dedication of those involved in keeping Tante Ju in the air. But that does not mean that amateurism has any role. Flight operations are under the control of the chief pilot and a team based in Frankfurt, while pilots and crew undergo special training to ensure that they can continue to handle an aircraft built before the days of jet airliners and autopilot.


The technical team are all qualified and licensed engineers supplied by Lufthansa Technik. The Junkers Ju 52 is checked daily and after 60 hours in the air undergoes three days of maintenance, and there are the usual annual checks. Every winter the aircraft is virtually stripped down and reassembled, providing a means to retain and pass on skills that might otherwise disappear.

Despite this attention to detail, there are occasions on which it might be necessary to cancel a flight, as an email that I received a week before departure warned.



Check-in and Boarding


According to the ticket, check-in is at the Business Class Counter, row 7 in Terminal 2 and closes 45 minutes before departure. Although I was booked on a “Rundflug”, my ticket reminded me that hand luggage only was permitted, max 55cm x 40cm x 20cm and no more than 5kg. I would be well under that as all I really needed on board was a camera and a smile.


I make my way to the counter and hand over my ID and ticket. The lady at the counter types something into her computer and looks puzzled. She tries something else, apparently to no avail, before asking a colleague “how does one check-in passengers for ‘Tante Ju’?” Her colleague is equally puzzled and suggests doing it under code ***. That doesn’t work either.


As luck would have it, someone with more experience or knowledge came by and said,”You don’t need to any more. The ticket is the check-in and boarding pass. All you need to do is tell which gate is for boarding.”


Ah. The check-in agent writes on my papers A26. This is next to the gate, down the stairs, from where I had left for Friedrichshafen two days before.


But first I decide to see what is happening on the apron. EP-IBL, an A310-300, first registered to KLM but not taken up, then flying for Emirates as A6-EKB, is at a contact stand showing the livery of Iran Air. It has been with Iran Air since November 2000.



Ryanair, who previously thought that Lübeck was Hamburg, now puts in an appearance with EI-EFV.



A Norwegian 737-800, CN-DYA has landed and is making its way to the stand. Already at a remote stand is Finnair’s Embraer 190, OH-LKH, resting for now.




Meanwhile a Boeing 757-300, registered as D-ABOK and bearing Condor colours has been pushed back and making its way to the active runway.



With KLM since October 2011, PH-BGW, a 737-700 arrives from Amsterdam.



Another arrival, OY-KFL, a Canadair CRJ 900 operated by Cimber A/S for Scandinavian moves to keep the Embraer company.



It is a bit cold and windy on the “Aussichtsterrasse”, despite the protective panels so I make my way inside and have some lunch.



Stomach satisfied I go through security and explore along the piers, noticing that it is raining. In this sudden shower an easyJet arrival.



Over at Lufthansa Technik they have been working on a 747. It bears no markings but I am guessing it is the Qatar Amari 747-8KB BBJ. It makes a couple of test runs, throwing up spray as it does so.



While walking along the C pier I can snap a Dornier 328 in BA livery, leased from MHS Aviation and operated by Sun Air of Scandinavia.



Checking the departures board I see flight LH9813 is listed: destination Hamburg



I pass by Destination Hamburg (which I note stocks Lübecker Marzipan) on the way to the gate…



where It seems Hamburg is indeed the destination.



Boarding is called and an enthusiastic mini-crowd is greeted “Moin” as we climb aboard the bus that takes us over to a stand near Lufthansa Technik.



=========================================================================
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ElanusNotatus
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Fri May 22, 2015 4:32 am

A Bird’s Eye View


Flight No: LH9813
Type: Junkers Ju 52 Seat: Aisle / Exit row
Aircraft ID: D-CDLH (current) D-AQUI (historic)


On the ground we are greeted by the Captain and his team who give a brief introduction to the aircraft and today’s flight. Someone asks, “Can we fly over Finkenwerder?” and this is answered that it “depends on weather conditions and other aircraft movements but we will try.” Before boarding I take the opportunity to capture a few snaps.



The three sets of propellers that will keep us in the air.



“Over the wing.”




The original registration



I am the last to board and the house flag is handed to Frau Weber, the stewardess.



Being last to board, I have an exit row, aisle seat. The seat-neighbour at the window is a friendly, octogenarian Barmbeker Gör (child) who has flown ‘Tante Ju’ a couple of times before. He explains to me how they will fire the engines, starboard, port, amidships and other technical details. It seems he is well-informed.




Frau Weber explains some of the features of the aircraft, IFE, Wi-FI internet, on-demand dining … none of which are present. As there is no risk of decompression or any life vests on board, the safety information is brief: “fasten your seatbelt and have fun.” Throughout the flight she would be chatting and joking with the passengers so it felt as if being among friends. She, too, lives in Barmbek, which is convenient for getting to the airport.





Taking off we have a nice view over the airport before a colourful patchwork appears below. Travelling at about 600 - 800m above the ground means great views. That cars on the autobahn appear to be travelling faster than we are is of no concern. What’s the rush? At some point in the flight, the seat-neighbour offers a swap and I am able to move to the window.


“Na ja,” he says, “I’ve done it before but for you, it’s the first time.”




Our route takes us over the former Queen of the Hanseatic League and home of marzipan, Lübeck.




Time for the obligatory seat pitch shot



The cover of the safety card borrows the look of the corrugated duraluminium hull.





During the flight passengers are welcomed, encouraged even, to visit the cockpit. Waiting my turn, I move forward and duck beneath the low opening. It isn’t everyday that a passenger gets to see things from up front when in flight but on Tante Ju, flight conditions permitting, every one gets the chance.




The cockpit has had some “modifications” made to bring the aircraft up to today’s aviation safety requirements.





Back in the seat, we are heading back towards Hamburg, passing to the south for a classic view over the City and the Alster.




Our route takes us over the Port and on to Finkenwerder, home of the Airbus factory. On the ground a Beluga and the inevitable A380 for Emirates.





The Köhlbrandbrücke, with a span of over 3,600m, connects the Norderelbe with the Süderelbe.



But our “Rundflug” is coming to an end and we taxi back to the stand. As passengers alighted from the Junkers, Frau Weber gave each a souvenir badge. As it says on the card, there are experiences that one wouldn’t want to miss.



The team are in no rush to chase us away as this was the last flight for today. An hour in the air and we are still welcome to chat with the pilot and crew, taking photos at will.




Underside of the wing.



Undercarriage





Time to clean the “windscreen”.



Before boarding the bus that will takes us to Arrivals, I turn and snap this modern-day contrast. Aviation has come a long way since the Junkers Ju 52 was in its heyday.



Conclusion and Commendation


It isn’t everyday that one gets to fly in an aircraft that is seventy-nine years old. I certainly enjoyed it and am grateful that the team at the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin Stiftung and Lufthansa Technik combine to provide a unique experience. If you would like to take part in a flight, check their website to see if they will be in your area or what dates are available. I strongly recommend it to any aviation enthusiast as money well spent.


Thank you for taking time to read this report. Feel free to comment or leave a question below.


Coming next, join me as we head to Antwerp on a flyVLM Fokker 50.



===========================================================================

Previous Trip Reporting:
False Start New Beginning Inaugural A380 From PER (by ElanusNotatus May 11 2015 in Trip Reports)
Gateway To The Skies: Emirates 77W To Hamburg (by ElanusNotatus May 14 2015 in Trip Reports)
InterSky Substitution, Delay & The Dornier Museum (by ElanusNotatus May 19 2015 in Trip Reports)
Cleanskin To Mannheim Rhein-Neckar Air Dornier 328 (by ElanusNotatus May 20 2015 in Trip Reports)
Crawl, walk, fly into the future
 
ElanusNotatus
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Fri May 22, 2015 4:55 am

CORRECTION:

The link given to the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin Stiftung is wrong. I have typed the letters in the wrong order. It should be www.dlbs.de

My apologies for any inconvenience caused.

EN
Crawl, walk, fly into the future
 
TheCommodore
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Fri May 22, 2015 5:05 am

What a wonderful experience.

I was there last year, but didn't know this was available to do, what a shame, anyway its a good excuse to go back one day !!

Thanks for posting   
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
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allrite
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Fri May 22, 2015 5:07 am

Thanks so much for sharing a fantastic experience! I guess tri-props are even more rare than tri-jets.

Was it noisy? Was the seating 2-2? I couldn't quite make it out from the photos but obviously you were in a row of 2.
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ElanusNotatus
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Fri May 22, 2015 5:24 am

Hi TheCommodore,

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 3):
I was there last year, but didn't know this was available to do,

That's a pity. As you say, it's an excuse to go back. There are usually flights in Hamburg at the beginning of May because that's when Hamburg celebrates it Harbour birthday. But DLBS offer flights from other cities, including some in Austria.

Hi allrite,

Quoting allrite (Reply 4):
Was it noisy? Was the seating 2-2?

To be honest I didn't really notice the noise so I guess it wasn't noisier than a number of other prop types.

With the exception of the last row, the seating was 1-1 so everyone gets a window seat. The last row is the exit/entry row so the aisle seat is next to the window seat in that row and overlooks the aisle. Sitting in that seat you are about the same distance from the window as you would be in First on EK's A380 but without the minibar.  
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whitelight44
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Fri May 22, 2015 2:40 pm

Thanks so much for the lovely TR. As I'm busy I don't get to check out airliners that often so I just saw this. Great pictures and aerials of Hamburg. I'd love to visit Hamburg one day. It's such a nice city indeed. Thanks for sharing  
 
rabenschlag
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Fri May 22, 2015 8:31 pm

Great TR, thank you so much!

I just arrived from a trip to Zurich and when I deboarded my Jumbolino, I saw D-AQUI sitting on the tarmac of Dresden Airport. So I guess we'll get some humming sounds tomorrow. Looking forward to it. The Ju 52 has been a regular visitor to Dresden lately.

[Edited 2015-05-22 13:31:49]
 
lychemsa
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Fri May 22, 2015 8:57 pm

Is it noisy to fly on this plane?
 
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lesfalls
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Fri May 22, 2015 11:37 pm

Great TR  . How did the plane feel? Anyways great read and thank you for posting  .
Lufthansa: Einfach ein bisschen besser.
 
rta
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Sat May 23, 2015 2:25 am

Wow, that's an incredible experience! The plane looks amazing. Thanks for sharing  
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Sat May 23, 2015 5:54 am

Hi Elanus,

very nice report about this special flight, what a nice routing over Hamburg. I must admit that I have never checked any options to fly on the JU as I'm not a fan of historic planes. Well, I may change my mind.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
ElanusNotatus
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Sat May 23, 2015 10:07 am

Hi everyone and thank you for your comments.

Quoting rabenschlag (Reply 7):
The Ju 52 has been a regular visitor to Dresden lately.

Have you had the opportunity to fly her yourself?

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 8):
Is it noisy to fly on this plane?

Not overly. It isn't too loud that you can't hold a conversation with other passengers and crew. I think that they have adapted it to comply with noise regulations, otherwise it wouldn't be licensed to fly.

Quoting lesfalls (Reply 9):
How did the plane feel?

Good. Passengers didn't appear to be squashed together and the legroom was plentiful. The general feel: excitement.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 11):
Well, I may change my mind.

Every thing is possible.  If you do, I am sure that you'll enjoy the experience.

Quoting rta (Reply 10):
The plane looks amazing.

It sure does, thanks to the originality of the design and the impeccable maintenance at Lufthansa Technik.

Quoting whitelight44 (Reply 6):
I'd love to visit Hamburg one day. It's such a nice city indeed.

I assure you that I am not paid by Hamburg Tourism when I say it is a city well worth a visit.  

Once more, thanks for taking the time to read and leave a comment.
EN
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aerdingus
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Sat May 23, 2015 5:46 pm

Faaaaaaaaaaaaantastic. I saw one of these beauties in the Technological Museum in Berlin last year and am still in awe. I have to fly on one of these! Great pictures, I loved the contrast of the old JU 52 at the modern airport.

Thanks  
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Marvinhsv
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Sat May 23, 2015 9:51 pm

Quoting ElanusNotatus (Thread starter):
It bears no markings but I am guessing it is the Qatar Amari 747-8KB BBJ.

It is indeed. A6-PFA - the other white 748BBJ at LHT shows some red window covers. The only visible difference except for the reg.
 
ElanusNotatus
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Sun May 24, 2015 10:03 am

Hi Marvinhsv,
Thanks for reading and leaving an explanatory comment.

Quoting Marvinhsv (Reply 14):
the other white 748BBJ at LHT shows some red window covers

Great to have the additional information. I appreciate it.
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Marvinhsv
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Sun May 24, 2015 1:02 pm

Quoting ElanusNotatus (Reply 15):
Thanks for reading and leaving an explanatory comment.

You're welcome. If you life up there why not sharing some inside news... btw a few hours ago Air China's new 748 BBJ arrived at LHT as well, becoming a bit tight there. 

[Edited 2015-05-24 06:04:01]
 
ElanusNotatus
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Sun May 24, 2015 1:22 pm

Hi aerdingus,
Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.

Quoting aerdingus (Reply 13):
I loved the contrast of the old JU 52 at the modern airport.

It really is amazing to see how aviation has changed. Simply the difference in speed, altitude and passenger numbers is mind boggling. If you get the chance, go for it.
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sultanils
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Tue May 26, 2015 6:08 am

Hi EN,

What a great experience, this oldtimer flight. How well maintained she is, it shows the people involved in keeping her airworthy are definitely dedicated. Did I read it right that the fare was € 389, that’s quite steep! I’m not too fond of historic planes and with this fare I would probably neven bother too but who knows, never say never I guess?

Sultanils
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Marvinhsv
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Tue May 26, 2015 6:29 am

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 18):
fare was € 389

That's totally normal for their JU flights.
 
ElanusNotatus
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Tue May 26, 2015 8:39 am

Hi Nils,

Good to see a comment from you.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 18):
Did I read it right that the fare was € 389, that’s quite steep!

Yes, 389 € for a one hour flight, and that is one hour flying time. The actual experience is a bit longer when you include boarding and taxi, etc.

There are shorter flights available: 30 mins costs 219 € and 45 mins cost 299 €. If you think that's steep, consider the poor people in Austria where for some reason the fares are considerably higher. Oddly enough, some of the "Streckenflüge" (point to point flights) work out a lot cheaper.

Best regards,
EN
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saleya22r
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:24 pm

Thank you for sharing, must have been an unique experience! They seem to be touring around in Germany according to the web site -not elsewhere I suppose? On the web site you gave, their other projects are presented as well. I remember when Focke-Wulf Condor wreckage was lifted from the a fjord outside Trondheim
I did not know that they are restoring a Super Constellation airworthy again - the project has been going on for many years
In English:
http://www.lufthansa-technik.com/super-star-news
 
ElanusNotatus
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RE: Getting High With Tante: Junkers Ju 52 In Hamburg

Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:30 am

Hi saleya22r,

Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

Yes, it certainly was a unique and enjoyable experience.

That Super Constellation project is fantastic. I think it is great that DLBS have these projects going and that they have the backing of Lufthansa Technik. The job would be a lot harder without it.
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