Iron Annie isn't going to the museum after all. Lufthansa gives the Junkers Ju-52 to an oldtimer flying club at Paderborn airport. They want to get the plane back in shape.
The Junkers Ju-52 with the historical registration D-AQUI is 84 years old. Until the summer of 2018, the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin Stiftung aircraft even performed sightseeing flights, but that was it. Since September 2019 it has been stored in Bremen. Since then it was said that the aircraft would be exhibited in a museum in the future.
But now it is clear that a museum will not be the new home of the plane nicknamed Tante Ju or Iron Annie. Instead, Lufthansa is placing it in the care of the Quax association, which is dedicated to promoting historic aircraft. In the coming weeks, the aircraft will be taken to the Quax hangar at Paderborn/Lippstadt airport.
Aunt Ju becomes accessible again
«Last year the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin Stiftung already placed its Me108 and Do27 in our hands,» the association writes. Now they are very happy to give the Ju-52 a new home soon. There the aircraft, which is currently dismantled into its fuselage, wings, landing gear and tail unit, will be reassembled.
While the Deutsche Lufthansa Berlin Stiftung will remain the owner of the aircraft, Quax, as the new operator, will from now on provide professional maintenance. A Lufthansa spokesperson explains that the foundation is thus saving considerable storage costs and the aircraft will once again be open to the public.
Ju-52 should at least roll again
Quax CEO Alexander Stendel explains in an interview with aeroTELEGRAPH that, unlike in a museum, the aircraft at Quax is not only statically displayed, but also restored to working order. «We can roll it onto the apron once a month and keep the engine running,» says Stendel.
When asked whether the Ju-52 could fly again after all, Quax CEO Alexander Stendel said: «Never say never.» However, he added restrictively that the goal is, first of all, «that it can roll again under its own power in the distant future».
No new stand at Super Star
The Ju 52 was built in Dessau in 1936. Initially used by Lufthansa, it then spent almost 20 years alternating between Germany and Norway. It was then sold to South America and flew in Ecuador from 1957 to 1963. Then it was forgotten on the outskirts of Quito airport until an American flight enthusiast bought it. Later she could be seen at airshows in the USA before Lufthansa bought her in 1984, restored her and then carried out sightseeing flights with her.
Besides the Ju-52, Lufthansa has another historical project: From the remains of three Lockheed L1649A Super Stars, a whole one was to be restored. This aircraft is also stored in Bremen. Lufthansa explains that there is no new stand for this. The Quax association, when asked about a possible interest, does not want to comment on the Super Star.