Aircraft Junkers Ju 52

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Aircraft Junkers Ju 52

The development of the Ju-52 (nicknamed Tante Ju "Aunt Ju") commenced during 1930, by the Junkers Flugzeug und Motorenwerke A.G. company. The plane was initially designed with a single engine, but two additional radial engines were placed on the wings after the redesign of the plane, in order to increase its power and operational capability. Its main use was to carry troops, but it was also used as a medium bomber and cargo aircraft. A JU52/3m aircraft could carry 12 to 13 fully equipped paratroopers and up to 18 air landing troops.

The Ju-52 with serial number (Werknummer) 6590, sank in 1943, after being landed on water, northwest of Kea due to engines failure. The fact that the propellers of the sunken aircraft are intact, supports the view that during the ditching of the aircraft the engines were not in operation. The plane's body is at a depth of 65 meters, and is probably the most well-preserved WW2 aircraft that has ever been found in the Greek seas. The plane was discovered through a routine report of a German Dornier 24, which since 13 August 1943 belonged to the German Marine Rescue Squadron 7 (Seenotstaffel 7), based in Faliro, Athens. The Dornier 24, on September 6, 1943 took part in the search and rescue of a Junker 52, which belonged to the First Group (I=Erste Gruppe) of Transport Wing 4 (TG 4 = Transportgeschwader 4). The Junker 52 had been lost after being ditched at sea in the northwest of Kea, due to problems with the refueling of the engines. Of the plane’s three-member crew – two pilots and one radio operator - one died and two were injured and transferred safely to Athens.

The aircraft lays upright on sandy bottom with a south-west axis. There are no broken parts, nor missing of any part. The nasal engine is tilting downwards toward the seabed but remains attached to the fuselage. There is a machine gun positioned at the upper part of the fuselage where there is also a big size hatch opening. Probably the crew exited through this hatch, after the JU52 ditched at sea. The lid lies at the left side of the plane. The wreck was discovered by a group of Greek amateur divers in 2009, off the St. Niccolo Bay in Kea Island, Cyclades.

The JU52 type of aircraft, represents one of the most well-known types of mass-produced aircrafts. It supported several German military operations during World War II, including the battle of Crete in 1941, and in the battle of Leros in 1943. The plane was armored with an MG 15, 7,92 mm caliber machine gun positioned at the upper part of the fuselage. For the record, the Junkers Flugzeug-und Motorenwerke, AGcompany produced some of the world’s most innovative and best-known airplanes over the course of its fifty-plus year history in Dessau, Germany. The company was founded there in 1895 by Hugo Junkers, initially manufacturing boilers and radiators. After World War I the company switched to manufacturing airplanes. During World War II the company produced some of the most successful Luftwaffe planes, as well as piston and jet aircraft engines. Production of the Ju-52 stopped in early 1945.


Type: Transport aircraft
Crew: Three people (two pilots and one radio operator)
Manufacturer: Junkers
Length: 18.90 meters
Wing Span: (length from the left end to the edge of the right wing): 29.25 meters
Height: 4.50 meters
Wing area: 110.50 square meters
Weight (empty): 6,510 kg
Maximum take-off weight: 10,990 kg
Engines: Three BMW 132 (nine cylinders)
Power: 660 PS each
Maximum speed: 290 kilometers per hour
Autonomy: 1200 kilometers
Maximum height: 6,300 meters
Armament: A 7.92 mm MG 15 machine gun, with DT 15 cartridges, 75 rounds, double drum (Kea aircraft)
Capacity: 18 fully armed soldiers