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Junkers J2

Imperial Germany (1916)
Picture of Junkers J2 Single-Seat Monoplane Fighter Prototype

Developed from the promising J1, the Junkers J2 became the first military fighter of all-metal design anywhere in the world when it first-flew in July of 1916.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Junkers J2 Single-Seat Monoplane Fighter Prototype.  Entry last updated on 12/2/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The first purpose-built, all-metal military monoplane fighter aircraft was the Junkers "J2" prototype of 1916. Only six were constructed but the series nevertheless ushered in a new era of aircraft design concerning combat-minded platforms. Unfortunately for the type, it arrived at a time when fabric-over-wood biplanes and triplanes were still the accepted comfortable norm and thusly a very limited number of Hugo Junker's designs were actually adopted for military service in World War 1 (1914-1918) (the metal-skinned CL.I of 1917 saw 51 examples produced for the German Empire).

Hugo Junkers was championing the idea of an all-metal aircraft even before World War 1 but the conflict allowed the concept to gestate at a much quicker pace. Work resulted in the J1 monoplane which went to the air for the first time in December of 1915. Purely experimental, the J1 set the stage for the J2 that followed - a dedicated fighter mount for the German air services.

The success of the J1 in testing allowed the J2 to be funded by the research arm of the German air force and six all-metal aircraft were contracted for from Junkers & Company for the over-battlefield role of fighter. This type of aircraft required good handling and performance as well as reliability and robustness making up a very stable gunnery platform - no small feat for any one aircraft design during wartime. The engine of choice became the Mercedes D.II inline which outputted 120 horsepower and was able to drive the J1 prototype to speeds of 110 miles per hour (the German air force required the new aircraft to exceed at least 90mph). Armament would be 1 x 7.92mm Spandau IMG 08 series machine gun synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.

The resulting design was a sleek offering with its rounded-edge fuselage. The monoplane wings were slim appendages fitted to the sides of the fuselage and braced internally. The tail unit was traditional (though the rudder was an all-moving surface) as was the undercarriage. The engine sat at the nose driving a two-bladed propeller unit and the pilot was aft of this installation in an open-air cockpit. Because of the monoplane wings in play, views out-of-the-cockpit were to be rather good when compared to competing biplane and triplane types seen in the war. A raised fuselage spine and added roll bar protected the pilots head and neck from the aircraft accidentally rolling over onto its back. The engine fit was nearly all-enclosed in the fuselage frontal section - unlike the exposed form of the earlier J1.

As impressive and revolutionary as the J1 was when debuted, the J2 was moreso. A first example was completed in early-1916 and this led to a first-flight recorded on July 11th of that year amidst official structural evaluations. On the whole, the aircraft exhibited strong maneuverability and turning and was stable overall - though its largely metal construction restricted rate-of-climb which was a crucial quality of dogfighting in World War 1. Maximum speed reached during this time was 112 miles per hour.

The project would never overcome its weight deficiency and one test pilot was lost in a crash during September 1916. This event ended formal government-level support for the aircraft. In the upcoming J3 design, lighter weight "duralumin" replaced the electrical sheet steel used in the J1 and J2 prototypes.

In testing (with a Mercedes D.III engine of 160 horsepower), the J2 was rated with a maximum speed of 124 miles per hour coupled with an operational range out to 382 miles and a service ceiling of 14,760 feet.

Any available statistics for the Junkers J2 Single-Seat Monoplane Fighter Prototype are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (124mph).

    Graph average of 112.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Junkers J2's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
6
6


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: Imperial Germany
Year: 1916
Type: Single-Seat Monoplane Fighter Prototype
Manufacturer(s): Junkers & Company - German Empire
Production: 6
Global Operators:
Imperial Germany (cancelled)
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Junkers J2 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
24.44 ft


Meters
7.45 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
38.39 ft


Meters
11.7 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
10.33 ft


Meters
3.15 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
2,028 lb


Kilograms
920 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
2,568 lb


Kilograms
1,165 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Mercedes D.III 6-cylinder water-cooled inline piston engine developing 160 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller at the nose.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
124 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
200 kph


Knots
108 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
382 mi


Kilometers
615 km


Nautical Miles
332 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
14,764 ft


Meters
4,500 m


Miles
2.80 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

1 x 7.92mm Spandau IMG 08 machine gun mounted over the nose and synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• J2 - Base Series Designation; six examples completed.