In 2012, RIMOWA first became an exhibitor and platinum sponsor at the legendary air show EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. This year, the company celebrated its grand comeback in sensational style! On July 20 2015, it presented a replica of the world’s first all-metal passenger aircraft after years of planning and a fifteen-month construction project.
The “Annelise 2” – based on the first Junkers F13 – is the first aircraft of this type that will fly again after so many decades. Having first taken to the skies in 1919, the F13 revolutionised aviation more than any other aeroplane and created new links between countries. The lightweight, cantilever low-wing aircraft superseded wooden models with a fabric covering and stood out for its reliability, robustness and long service life, as well as its low- maintenance design. Many features of the RIMOWA F13 can be seen in the basic concept of modern commercial aircraft to this day. By 1933, more than 330 units had been built, only a few of which can still be found in museums today. None of these are airworthy.
RIMOWA builds aircraft
Dieter Morszeck, CEO of RIMOWA, was involved in this exciting project from the outset and was overwhelmed by the sight of the F13: ‘The reconstruction of the “mother” of all commercial aircraft had long been my dream, and I am delighted to see it finally come true. I’m extremely excited about this plane, and I can anticipate demand for other copies on the market, so we have already established the Swiss-based company RIMOWA Flugzeugwerke AG for the roll-out. Here we will build the F13 in series to meet market demand.’
For further information on this topic, visit the RIMOWA Flugzeugwerke AG website at www.RIMOWA-F13.com.
Details about the plane
The team that built the RIMOWA F13 put in a total of 9.000 working hours. Those involved include the Association of Friends of Historical Aircraft (VFL), JU-Air from Switzerland and Kaelin Aero Technologies from the Black Forest. The successful reconstruction of an airworthy F13 was possible thanks to extensive research and a detailed 3D laser scan of a F13 in a Parisian museum. The plane consists of 2.600 individual parts and is held together by 35.000 rivets. Some 60 kg of paint was used for the finish. The aircraft can accommodate four passengers in an enclosed cabin. The crew consists of a pilot and a mechanic, both of whom sit in an open cockpit. The single-engine aircraft is powered by a Pratt & Whitney R- 985 Wasp Junior engine with 450 h.p. and a top speed of 170 km/h. The wingspan measures just under 15 metres, and the wing area about 40 square metres. The F13 is almost 10 metres long and 3.5 metres high with a maximum take-off weight of 2.000 kilograms and a full-load range of 600 kilometres. It will be approved for daytime flights under visual flight rules (VFR).
The connection between RIMOWA and the F13
There are many things that link RIMOWA to the F13. For example, both the Junkers and Morszeck families hail from the Rhineland. However, the most important connection is that Richard Morszeck decided to use Duralumin when manufacturing the first suitcase fit for the tropics in 1950 – almost by necessity, he chose the same material Hugo Junkers had favoured for his aircraft some 30 years earlier. During this era, airliners began to cross the Atlantic on scheduled flights. Travel was meant to be easy, so luggage had to be light. With this in mind, the son of the company founder began to produce the Topas, the first aluminium suitcase from RIMOWA. It was elegant, suitable for tropical conditions and protected against the dreaded termites. Above all, though, it was light. Just like Junkers, Richard Morszeck chose a grooved surface for his cases.
Milestones in RIMOWA’s history
Richard Morszeck, the son of company founder Paul Morszeck and the man who gave RIMOWA its name (Richard MOrszeck WArenzeichen) found inspiration in the aviation industry, among other things. In 1950 he presented the aluminium suitcase with the distinctive groove design. This was one of the lightest travel suitcases in the world at the time, and it established the trend of combining maximum capacity with minimum weight – even back then. The extraordinary design married form and function, rapidly turning the cases into a cult item among the jet set. In the years that followed, RIMOWA continued its success story and remained a pioneer in the industry. In 1976, the current CEO, Dieter Morszeck, developed the first waterproof camera cases, which are very popular with film and television professionals as well as photographers because they protect sensitive equipment against water, humidity, tropical heat and Arctic temperatures. At the turn of the millennium, the grandson of the founder had a stroke of genius: using polycarbonate, a recyclable raw material, made it possible to reduce the weight of suitcases even further without compromising stability. This innovation also shares a connection with aviation because polycarbonate is used to produce the windows of modern aircraft.
The new RIMOWA campaign
The new lookbook for 2015 / 2016 is dedicated to the 1920s, which was a very important period for the development of the company. Compiled under the title ‘A journey through time’, the campaign images were inspired by the glamorous world of the era, presenting models Alessandra Ambrosio and Johannes Huebl in amazing clothes and dynamic poses with the RIMOWA F13 in the background.