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Junkers Ju52/3m D-2600 ‘Immelmann II’, Adolf Hitler’s personal transport aircraft, Berlin Tempelhof Airport, circa 1936.

Item code: AA36909

Undoubtedly one of the most distinctive aircraft of the Second World War, the tri-motor Junkers Ju52 can trace its origins back to a first flight in October 1930 and even though it was obsolete at the start of the conflict, it would go on to see extensive use and be produced throughout the war. From the early days of his political career, Adolf Hitler was one of the first major world figures to use aircraft as his preferred mode of transport and on becoming Chancellor of Germany, he began to establish his own private air fleet, which was based at Berlin Tempelhof Airport. Preferring to use the roomy and reliable Junkers Ju52, his aircraft were named after famous German airmen of the Great War, such as Immelmann, Richthofen and Boelcke, with his personal pilot Hans Baur overseeing the internal fittings of the aircraft to ensure Hitler’s comfort. Ju52 3/m D-2600 ‘Immelmann II’ was one of the famous aircraft operated as a Fuhrermaschine, usually serving as the lead aircraft (and Hitler’s preferred aircraft) but backed up by several other Ju52s to ensure constant availability. The aircraft were also available for use by other high ranking officials and in order to ensure Hitler’s safety, a number of aircraft were often operated at the same time, to minimise the risk of attack. At the insistence of Hans Baur, Hitler upgraded his main transport aircraft to the new four engined Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor in 1939, however, he retained links to his trusty Junkers by naming the new aircraft ‘Immelmann III’ and transferring the registration D-2600 – it appears Hitler was rather superstitious.

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