Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The "Flying Suitcase" touches down in Waterloo Region - Canada

For the first time in 75 years, a European built passenger aircraft is making a stop in Waterloo Region. 

Often referred to as the “flying suitcase,” Junkers Ju 52 was built between 1932 and 1945.  More than a dozen European airlines used it to carry passengers and freight until the mid 1980’s. It also served as a military aircraft, carrying troops and cargo and was used for a short while as a bomber.

The aircraft has a corrugated aluminum based skin and that’s why luggage maker Rimowa has an interest in the airplane.  The German-based luxury luggage firm has a manufacturing facility in Cambridge.

Several stops were required for this airplane to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Starting in Germany then landing in the United Kingdom then off to Iceland and Greenland before arriving in Canada’s far north.

Reinhard Zinabold, an aviation photographer came to the airport to see the aircraft. “This is really a part of flying history.  Here you see really where it began.”

The Junker is a slow, low flying airplane that has a maximum speed of 143 miles per hour.  It cruises at 112 miles per hour and reaches only 16, 000 feet above sea level. The flight duration is six hours of flying time with a range of 746 miles.

The plane will leave Waterloo and head back to Germany.

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