Junkers W 34

The Junkers W 34 was a German-built, single-engine, passenger and transport aircraft. Developed in the 1920s, it was taken into service in 1926. The passenger version could take a pilot and five passengers. The aircraft was developed from the Junkers W 33. Further development led to the Junkers Ju 46.

W 34
Canadian Airways CF-ARI
Role Transport
Manufacturer Junkers
Designer Herman Pohlman[1]
Introduction 1926
Developed from Junkers W 33
Developed into Junkers Ju 46

Development - Historical Background

Historical Background:

Junkers W33 Prototype of 1926

The Junkers W33 was a direct modification of the Junkers F13 for cargo operations. The fuselage was lower than that of the F13 as there was no passenger compartment and the initial series did not have any windows in the cargo compartment. For combined cargo/passenger operations these windows were again introduced on later versions of the W33. The cargo loading could be performed through a side door or through a door in the cabin roof. On 17 June 1926 Zimmermann took to the air for the first flight of the Junkers W33 (c/n 794). The prototype was a seaplane version and the first flight was performed on the River Elbe at Leopoldshafen near Dessau.

A large number of W33 aircraft was ordered from Russia. The parts for these aircraft were built at Dessau and were shipped via Irkutsk to the Dobrolet repair station at Moscow, which performed final assembly from 1928 on. These W33s were used in Russia under the designation PS-3. They were used until 1941 for postal and cargo flights mainly in Siberia. In March 1933 the Dobroljot repair station at Irkutsk started the construction of a modified W33 without the support of Junkers. Until 1935 a total of at least nine of these so-called PS-4s were built at Irkutsk and Moscow. These PS-4 showed several differences to the original W33. Like the initial W33 of 1926, the PS-4 had no windows in the cargo compartment as it was used only as a freighter aircraft in Siberia.

Junkers W34 of 1926

The first W34 was first flown just a few weeks after the W33 on 7 July 1926 by Zimmermann. Both prototypes appeared nearly identical except for the different engines. Instead of the Junkers L5 inline engine of the W33, the W34 was equipped with a 353kW Gnome et Rhone Jupiter VI radial engine. While future developments of the W33 kept the Junkers engines, the W34 was offered with a wide variety of different air-cooled radial engines, which also influenced the outward appearance, dimensions, and performance of the W34. Also, the cabin roof was a little bit higher as on the W33, making the W34 more capable as a combined cargo and passenger airliner. Finally, the early serial production W34s also showed differences in the tail unit, which was larger than that of the W33.

Junkers / AFI K43 Prototype of 1930

While the W33/W34 civil aircraft could be built in Germany after the ban on Germany's aviation industry ended in 1926, Junkers was still forced to produce military derivatives of the designs outside of Germany. A military derivative of the W34 was built at A.B. Flygindustri at Limhamn in Sweden under the designator K43. The K43 was fitted with a dorsal machine gun mount at the rear part of the cabin. It could be used as a transport, but also as a light reconnaissance-bomber. At least 18 militarized K43 left Limhamn for Finland (6), Argentina (5), Portugal (5 seaplanes), Bolivia (several) and Chile. An additional 21 W33/W34 were built at Limhamn. Some of these were air ambulances and transports for military purposes. One W33g was sold to the Swedish Air Force in 1933 and designated as Trp 2. It was used until 1935 as an ambulance aircraft in Sweden. Two further W34h were used by the Swedish Air Force as Trp 2A between 1933 and 1945 for the same purpose.

Production and service

Junkers W33 / W34 see also: Junkers W33 Production List / Junkers W33 Survivor List / Junkers W33 Philatelic Items / Junkers W33 Model Kits

cantilever monoplane Cargo and Passenger Airliner, F/F 17 Jun 1926, 199 x W33, 100 x W34, 5 x Ju46 developed by Junkers Flugzeugwerke in Dessau by Pohlmann

W33/W34s were used for a wide area of utility purposes, i.e. as transport, reconnaissance or bomber aircraft, but also as ambulance and pest control aircraft. They were used by civil operators on all five continents. The Dessau W33 production line was stopped during 1932. At Limhamn some K43s were still built in 1933 when production was stopped there. The last W33s were built in Russia during late 1934 / early 1935. In 1933 Luftwaffe again ordered a larger number of W34s, which were delivered until 1935; mainly for training purposes, especially as navigator and W/T operator training. Some of these aircraft were later used during the Spanish Civil War by the Condor Legion. After the end of WWII, most W33/W34 were retired. The last W34 was a Canadian W34, which went out of service in 1961.

One Junkers W 34 be/b3e managed to break the then-current altitude record on 26 May 1929 when it reached 12,739 meters (41,795 feet). That aircraft carried the markings D-1119 and it was equipped with a Bristol Jupiter VII engine. The airplane was flown by Willi Neuenhofen.

The Junkers W 34 was manufactured in many different versions. The total production numbers for the civil market were around 1,000, a further 2,024 his and haus were built under license for the RLM and Luftwaffe. The unit price was between RM 65,000 and 70,400.

On 31 January 1944 the Luftwaffe still had 618 W 34hi's and 516 W 34haus in service: the majority were used by flight schools; mainly as navigator and radio operator training (3 or 4 navigator or radio-operator trainees).

The Junkers K.43, nicknamed the "Bush Bomber", was used extensively during the Chaco War (1932–1935) fought between Bolivia and Paraguay. See external links.

The Colombian Air Force used the W 34 and K-43 in the Colombia-Peru War in 1932–3.[2]

The Swedish Air Force operated three W 33/34 between 1933 and 1953 in the transport and air ambulance roles, initially with the military designation Trp 2 and Trp 2A, eventually changed to Tp 2 and Tp 2A. One of these is preserved today in civilian colors as SE-BYA.


W 34 hi
Junkers (105 aircraft built), Henschel (430), ATG (94), Dornier Wismar (58), HFB (69) and Weser (221).
W 34 hau
Henschel (329), Arado Brandenburg (205), ATG (105), Dornier Wismar (93), HFB (192) and MIAG Braunschweig (73).


W 34 a
331 kW Gnome et Rhône 9A Jupiter engine, speed: 190 km/h, wingspan: 17.75 m and length 11.10 m
W 34 be
375 kW Gnome et Rhône 9A Jupiter engine, speed: 230 km/h, wingspan: 17.75 m, length: 10.70 m
W 34 be/b3e
441 kW Bristol Jupiter VII engine and was used for attempts to try breaking the world altitude record
W 34 ci
405 kW Pratt & Whitney Hornet engine, speed: 245 km/h, equipped with cabin windows
W 34 di
like the W 34 ci, the engine was license produced by BMW.
W 34 f
331 kW Gnome et Rhône 9A Jupiter engine, speed 190 km/h, wingspan 18.48 m, length 11.10 m, enclosed cockpit, ailerons were lengthened; the export version had a cargo door
W 34 f
experimental aircraft with floats
W 34 fa
passenger aircraft for export
W 34 fä
export aircraft
W 34 fo
export aircraft with a Pratt & Whitney R-1340 engine
W 34 fy
Armstrong Siddeley Panther engine
W 34 fao
397 kW Siemens-Halske Sh 20 engine, only one was produced for tests with autopilot
W 34 fei
441 kW Siemens-Halske Sh 20U engine, only one was produced as a maritime test aircraft
W 34 fg
Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar Major engine
W 34 fue
Pratt & Whitney Hornet engine, later rebuilt as a maritime aircraft.
W 34 fi
Pratt & Whitney or BMW built 405 kW Hornet; wingspan: 18.48 m, length 10.27 m, speed 260 km/h. The aircraft had an enclosed cockpit and low-pressure tires.
W 34 gi
405 kW BMW Hornet, only one machine was produced in 1933 for tests
W 34 hi
485 kW BMW 132A/E, the aircraft could take six passengers and was equipped with improved radio- and direction finders. This version was mostly used by Luftwaffe to train pilots and radio operators.
W 34 hau
similar to hi, but it had a 526 kW Bramo 322 H engine. The type was mostly used by Luftwaffe to train its pilots and radio operators.
K 43
Military W34, available in many of the above-mentioned versions.


 Independent State of Croatia
 Papua New Guinea
Spanish State
 South Africa

Accidents and incidents

  • 3 May 1934 (1934-05-03): a Syndicato Condor Junkers W-34, registration PP-CAR, crashed on landing at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Two crew members died. The plane was repaired and later suffered a second accident in 1944.[5]
  • 24 February 1942 (1942-02-24): a Syndicato Condor Junkers W-34, registration P-BAOA/PP-CAO, crashed while attempting an emergency landing at Riachão, Maranhão. Two crew members died.[5]
  • 16 April 1944 (1944-04-16): PP-CAR, the same Junkers W-34 involved in the 1934 accident, this time operating for Cruzeiro do Sul, crashed during an emergency landing at Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport. Two crew members died.[5]

Specifications (W 34he landplane)

Data from Die Deutsche Luftrüstung 1933–1945 Vol.3 – Flugzeugtypen Henschel-Messerschmitt[6], Junkers aircraft and engines, 1913-1945[7], German aircraft of the Second World War[8], German Combat Aircraft[9]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 6 pax
  • Length: 10.27 m (33 ft 8 in)
  • Wingspan: 18.48 m (60 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 3.53 m (11 ft 7 in)
  • Wing area: 44 m2 (470 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 1,700 kg (3,748 lb)
  • Gross weight: 3,200 kg (7,055 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 477 l (126 US gal; 105 imp gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × BMW 132A 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 480 kW (650 hp) (660 PS)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed metal fixed-pitch propeller, 3.1 m (10 ft 2 in) diameter


  • Maximum speed: 265 km/h (165 mph, 143 kn) at sea level
  • Cruise speed: 233 km/h (145 mph, 126 kn)
  • Landing speed: 116 km/h (72 mph; 63 kn)
  • Range: 900 km (560 mi, 490 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 6,300 m (20,700 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 5.25 m/s (1,033 ft/min)
  • Time to altitude: 1,000 m (3,300 ft) in 3 minute 12 seconds


  • 2x 7.92 mm (0.312 in) machine guns (dorsal) and 1x 7.92 mm (0.312 in) machine gun (ventral)
  • 6x 50 kg (110 lb) bombs (300Kg total)


  1. Zoeller, Horst. "Junkers – Who is Who?". Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  2. von Rauch, Georg (December 1984). "A South American Air War...The Leticia Conflict". Air Enthusiast (26): 1–8. ISSN 0143-5450.
  3. "Historia y Arqueologia Marítima : AVIONES DE ENTRENAMIENTO DE LA AVIACION NAVAL " JUNKERS W-34 "". histarmar (in Spanish). Buenos Aires. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  4. Grant, Robert S. (March 2004). "Metal Marvels: Junkers W33s and W34s in the Canadian Bush". Air Enthusiast. Stamford Lincs, UK (110): 70–75. ISSN 0143-5450.
  5. Pereira, Aldo (1987). Breve história da aviação comercial brasileira (in Portuguese). Rio de Janeiro: Europa Empresa Gráfica e Editora. p. 131.
  6. Nowarra, Heinz J. (1993). Die Deutsche Luftrüstung 1933–1945 Vol.3 – Flugzeugtypen Henschel-Messerschmitt (in German). Koblenz: Bernard & Graefe Verlag. pp. 53, 262–263. ISBN 978-3-7637-5467-0.
  7. Kay, Anthony L. (2004). Junkers aircraft and engines, 1913-1945 (1st ed.). London: Putnam Aeronautical Books. pp. 190–197. ISBN 0851779859.
  8. Smith, J.R.; Kay, Anthony L. (1990). German aircraft of the Second World War (7th impression ed.). London: Putnam. pp. 185–186. ISBN 0851778364.
  9. Wagner, Ray; Nowarra, Heinz J. (1971). German Combat Aircraft. New York: Doubleday.

Further reading

  • Cicalesi, Juan Carlos; Rivas, Santiago (2009). Núñez Padin, Jorge Felix (ed.). Junkers F13 / W34 / K43 / Ju52. Serie en Argentina (in Spanish). 3. Bahía Blanca, Argentina: Fuerzas Aeronavales. ISBN 978-987-20557-7-6. Retrieved 2015-01-27.

id=vuQDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA626&dq=Popular+Mechanics+1931+curtiss&hl=en&ei=sZj0TNiVFcPXngeTp8W2CQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Popular%20Mechanics%201931%20curtiss&f=true "Flyers Of The Sea", October 1931, Popular Mechanics]

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