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Junkers J1

Experimental All-Metal Monoplane Aircraft

Imperial Germany | 1915

"The sole, all-metal and revolutionary Junkers J1 monoplane aircraft constructed during World War 1 met its fate in an Allied bombing raid during World War 2."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/31/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
German engineer Hugo Junkers championed the idea of an all-metal aircraft to reduce the need for complicated, drag-inducing external bracing and multiple wing members common to most designs leading up to, and those appearing during, World War 1 (1914-1918). He therefore concentrated his efforts on monoplane form relying on corrugated steel sheet skinning with a steel understructure to produce his first all-metal aircraft - the pioneering Junkers "J1" - regarded as the first practical all-metal aircraft anywhere in the world. His work was only furthered by Junkers & Co's involvement in the Grand War that overtook Europe during the summer of 1914.

In July of 1915, Junkers received the go-ahead to develop a two-seat all-metal aircraft based around his all-metal concept. Desired specifications included a maximum speed of just over 80 miles per hour. This work produced the J1 which incorporated many traditional aircraft elements of the period including a nose-mounted engine (driving a two-bladed propeller), an open-air cockpit, slab-sided fuselage and fixed wheeled undercarriage. Of note was the monoplane wings in play which were mid-mounted along the forward fuselage sides - no external bracing of any kind was used. The tail unit was conventional, sporting a single (all-moving) fin with low-set horizontal planes. Dimensions included a wingspan of 42.4 feet, a length of 28.3 feet and a height of 10 feet. Empty weight was 2,030lb against a MTOW of 2,380lb. Power came from a Mercedes D.II six-cylinder water-cooled inline piston engine developing 120 horsepower. The engine drove a two-bladed propeller at the nose in traditional fashion.

Testing of the aircraft began before the end of 1915 and a first-flight was recorded on December 12thof that year. A brief "hop" action resulted in damage to one of the wings which grounded the design until January 1916. An altitude of 260 feet was reached later that month and more funding followed to further drive the project.

The J1 served out its time in the air as a technology demonstrator and was never a candidate for formal military service in World War 1. It was used to prove the Hugo Junkers concept of an all-metal aircraft viable. Only one J1 aircraft was built.

The J1 prototype survived up until December of 1944 at which point it was destroyed in an Allied bombing raid. At the time, the aircraft resided as a showpiece with the Deutsches Museum of Munich.

For its time in aviation history, the revolutionary J1 managed a top speed of 110 miles per hour and its handling and stability were described as sound by test pilots. Performance was also slightly better than some of its contemporaries.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Junkers J1 Experimental All-Metal Monoplane Aircraft.
1 x Mercedes D.II six-cylinder water-cooled inline piston engine developing 120 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller at the nose.
110 mph
177 kph | 96 kts
Max Speed
1,001 ft
305 m | 0 miles
Service Ceiling
186 miles
300 km | 162 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Junkers J1 Experimental All-Metal Monoplane Aircraft.
28.4 ft
8.65 m
O/A Length
42.7 ft
(13.00 m)
O/A Width
10.2 ft
(3.11 m)
O/A Height
2,028 lb
(920 kg)
Empty Weight
2,381 lb
(1,080 kg)
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
Notable series variants as part of the Junkers J1 family line.
J1 - Base Project Model Designation; single aircraft completed.
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Junkers J1. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Junkers & Company - German Empire
National flag of the German Empire

[ German Empire ]
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Image of the Junkers J1
Image from the Public Domain.

Going Further...
The Junkers J1 Experimental All-Metal Monoplane Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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