|D-CDLH of the Lufthansa historic flight takes off at ILA in Berlin in 2006.|
|A truly great aircraft - the German DC3 - the Junkers Ju52/3m was to
become the backbone of the Luftwaffe transport fleet during the Second World
Born out of the single-engined Ju52, the Tante Ju, or Iron Annie, looks far more antiquated today than other aircraft of the period, largely due to its corrugated construction and non-retractble undercarriage. But it was to prove the perfect aircraft for its time and Germany built 4,845, with 400 completed in France as the Amiot AAC1 and 170 in Spain as the Casa 352.
The Ju52/3m first flew in May 1932 and they type proved popular throughout the 1930s as a 15-17 seat airliner. By 1936 half the 450 built were equipping Nazi Germany's Legion Condor in the Spanish Civil War.
The type's solid and simple construction, reliability and short field performance meant the Ju52 outlasted far more modern developments during the Second World War but, after Germany's defeat, most of its fleet were scrapped. The aircraft diappeared quickly from the airline scene but one was reportedly still in airline service in Ecuador as late as 1971.
Most surviving aircraft are from French and Spanish production, The Spanish Air Force retained its T2B transports until 1975, while the Swiss Air Force kept its three aircraft even longer, eventually passing them to a Swiss airline, Ju-Air, which still uses them on pleasure flights.