Big Wing - The Airbus of The Early 30s

Discussion in 'Aircraft & Aviation' started by Bengt F, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Anything New Under The Sun?


    You have a good point there. This plane represented cutting-edge technology and was one some respects ahead of it´s time in 1929 when it took off for the first time, breaking four world records doing it.
    Apparently, Hugo Junkers regarded this as a kind of 'test plane' for his large 1925 Junkers J1000 flying wing transcontinental concept, that would have competed with the Zeppelin airships as a faster (and safer) transport.
    There are many parallels to the Northrop XB-49 flying wing or the hi-tech Grumman-Northrop B-2 'Spirit' stealth bombers of today.

    I just found this interesting page:

    And here are some of the 'Nurflügel'-related planes:

    Bengt :wave:
  2. Gregory Shoda

    Gregory Shoda Member

    Wow! What an interesting airplane! Thanks for the history lesson.
  3. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Schreiber-Bogen Junkers G.38 Model

    Hi all,

    You´re welcome, Greg. I think it adds to the pleasure of the build if you can obtain a bit of background info and you also learn a thing or two.
    Moreover, aeroplanes are my biggest interest.

    If you like to se what this bird will look like, when I am finally done with all my extra detailing, here is a link to Pat over at, who has just finished the model in the original 1:100 scale - a superb piece of work and a very enjoyable thread (including a Kitty): G38&hilightuser=0&page=1

    Back to work -
    All the best,
    Bengt :thumb:
  4. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Slow But Steady Progress

    Hi all,

    Here are the latest news on my build; I have now reinforced the long 'box spars' for the wings. I used a stiff kind of thin card (I think it´s called bond card), which is relatively easy to score and fold. I cut out a piece as big as the folded out part and glued it to the inside - then I had to work fast before the glue would set, because the new card on the inside covers a slightly smaller width. Once the glue had set permanently, they became very strong indeed.
    With one exception - there is a groove for the wing former. The edge of the yellow-green spar is thin here, so I made strips of the thin card stock (on both sides) and soaked them on the inside with CA. Once they had hardened, they became almost as stiff as nail files - they now act as braces for the weakest points:


    Before this reinforcement, the box spars were very flimsy and weak (in this larger 1:72 scale) but now I am certain they will hold the wings straight. However, I am thinking about adding small wing formers at the very ends of the wing tips, to prevent the wings becoming too 'flat' at the tips.
    I did the same operation on the inner box spars, that will be attached to the wing formers with the landing gear struts. Here they all are for a 'dry-fitting' before final glueing:


    Behind the front windows of the leading edge of the wings, I will arrange a small passenger cabin with three small seats - I found a German newspaper article from 1969 on the web, portraying the captain of the Lufthansa 'D-APIS' or 'D-2500' Junkers G.38 (this model), Herr Otto Brauner.
    One of the blurry pictures shows the view from inside the passenger cabin in the left wing:


    I will make a small passage door through the inner-most wing formers (area marked above with a pencil) - something similar to the opening that I found in this picture, where the right/starboard wing has yet to be attached. This gives you an impression of the dimensions of this wing - the height of the cabins were about two meters:


    And in this exploded view of the Junkers G.38, you can clearly see the two passenger cabins in the front part of the wing, the sleeping cabins area and also areas for cargo storage and the numerous fuel tanks for the four JUMO diesel-oil engines. The two engineers onboard the plane had maintenance access to two engines each, during the duration of the flight:


    While working away on the inner structure (following the original model plan), I have also given some thought and planning to smaller details: here is the completed holder for the tail wheel (with the original part flat behind it) - it looks about the same as the one on the more common Junkers Ju-52/3m, only it must have been at least twice as large. This part is 14 mm long. I have also begun experimenting with wheels, and I will start looking for appropriate black O-rings for tires:


    Other details that I have given some more work are the propellers - I have sanded and painted them once more and now I consider them completed, save for the metal reinforcement on the edge of the blades. I tried here with a small strip of brass-looking foil (the spare G.38 prop in the Dessau Museum has brass plates) but I think I will just paint them on with silver paint. The position of the propellers can be seen in the picture below the propellers:


    I have also begun thinking about how to arrange the inner structure of the fuselage itself:
    The first discrepancy that I have discovered has to do with the cabin windows - it appears that the last two windows on the model are mysteriously placed too high:


    On all of the pictures of the original planes I have seen so far, there are double windows with space inbetween them or arranged in rows it is, however, difficult to detect in the period photos whether there are windows all the way through or if they are just separated by black decòr areas. If anybody has information regarding this, I would be most grateful:


    I have added two different of window designs to the (scanned) original sheet of the fuselage sections (in Photoshop). I will gather more info and decide which one I will eventually use.

    While on the subject of the windows and the interior of the fuselage:
    I have also started cutting out holes in the fuselage formers. This serves several purposes; it saves some weight, it opens up the fuselage for some more light from the cabin windows, and, last but not least, it makes it much easier to position and glue the formers to the ends of the fuselage sections. Between them, and below the line of cabin windows, I will install longerons of double thick card. The purpose of these, apart from keeping the fuselage straight, will be to support the weight of the wings:


    This is what it used to look like aboard the "Generalfeldmarscall von Richthoven" - the passengers have lots of space to move around in and are waited upon as if it were a restaurant. The sleepin cabins are at the very back of this pixcture. The German Lufthansa airline was well-known for their top-class service. The had to cater and care for their paying guests, because their biggest competitor in the luxury class was the Zeppelin (air)shipping company:


    That´s all for tonite - more later.

    All the best from
    Bengt :wave:
  5. cgutzmer

    cgutzmer Guest

    Fabulous update! I love how you work the model in with the news :) I sense a reserves thread in the making :)
  6. morewings

    morewings New Member

    Hi Bengt,
    I am also very interested in this model and love your fine build.
    A little remark to the G 38:
    All photos I saw of the G 38 have two 2-bladed and two 4-bladed propellers.

    Thank you for your detailed historical information.


    Attached Files:

  7. milenio3

    milenio3 Active Member

    I wonder how I missed your construction report, and not until tonight that I was doing some work for my clients (kind of boring this time), I found it out.

    I am glad to see your clean and accurate building process for this plane, which I've never seen it before. Thank you for that. Thanks also for all the historical reviews on the era. It is a pleasure to check it, and a big big inspiration to keep me building more models.

    Gracias, Compadre!!
  8. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Two Versions of The Junkers G.36

    Hello Roman,

    You have a keen eye. There were two versions of this aircraft. The first - the prototype (with the registration D-2000, later D-AZUR) was called Junkers G.38a and had a straight fuselage and two inner 4-blade propellers and two outer 2-blade propellers on it´s four Junkers engines. They were all of the traditional laminated wood type. A spare 2-bladed propeller remains in the Hugo Junkers Museum in Dessau, Germany.
    The second - improved - Lufthansa airliner version (with the registration D-2500, later D-APIS) was called Junkers G.38ce and had a higher fuselage with two passenger floors (accomodating 34 passengers) and it had 4-blade propellers on all it´s Jumo diesel engines. These propellers were also of the laminated wooden type but they were much darker, presumably built in darker wood materials or laquered in a darker color. This aircraft took part in the beginning of WW II as a troop transport plane but were bombed in Athens in 1941 by British aircraft.

    Here are both aircraft side by side - note the added height, number of passenger windows and the two extra outer tailplane fins on the later version:

    The prototype, Junkers G.38a, D-2000/D-AZUR:

    The Lufthansa airliner Junkers G.38ce, later ci (my model), D-2500/D-APIS:

    It is this later version that is the subject of my modsel build.

    All the best,
    Bengt :wave:

    PS: Some more info on these two aircraft (the only two that were produced) can be obtained from the Junkers home page - click Aircraft types, and Junkers G38:
  9. shrike

    shrike Guest

    Try to find this book

    "Hugo Junkers and his Aircraft" by Gunter Scmitt
    ISBN of the English version at least is 3-344-00303-8 published by VEB Verlag in the DDR in 1988.

    A very nice history of the the man and all the Junkers aircraft designed and produced up to his death in 1935 including all of the overseas production in Sweden and Russia.

    Did you know that Hugo Junkers made his fortune by inventing the modern household water heater?
  10. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Books on Hugo Junkers

    Hello shrike,

    Thanks for the tip - I will try to locate it. I tried my usual source for foreign books but it seems to be unavailable at the moment:

    I have another English book in the "Archive Photographs" series on Hugo Junkers and his aircraft designs, which is quite good and has many rare and unique photos of each aircraft, including the G.38.
    It is called "Junkers - A Pioneer in Aviation", compiled by Brian Walters and published by Chalford Publ. Co. in 1997.

    All the best,
    Bengt :thumb:
  11. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Junkers A 50 "Junior" Card Model by Reimers Modellbaubogen


    The small plane in front of the prototype Junkers G.38a in your posted (attached) photo is the smallest of the aircraft designed and manufactured by Junkers, in the same year as the G.38 (in 1929), by the way - the Junkers all-metal A 50 "Junior" light sports plane.
    I think the airplanes from the late 20s and the early 30s are quite often exceptionally beautiful designs, some of them with 'Art Deco' or Bauhaus School (in Dessau) design qualities.

    There is a very nice card model of this plane in 1:24 scale, by Reimers Modellbaubogen in Esslingen, Germany. Reimers Modellbaubogen produces airplane models of the highest standard.
    You may have a look at it here, at the Moduni home page:

    or here, at our very own member Elgers Esterle´s site: -just scroll the top menu to the far right and click "NEU AM MARKT", which will show new and old models from the varied Reimers model line-up.

    Bengt :thumb:
  12. Alcides

    Alcides Member

    Wow Bengt

    I love this kind of thread. I'm reading about a aircraft build something always good, I'm learning about an aircraft and the aircraft is a "flying wing". I'm a bit crazy about the "flying wings".

    Really this kind of thread is the "gold" in the forums at least to me. Go ahead!! waiting for more.:thumb:

    By the way: I'm just know about the Junkers A-50 junior. Do you know where I can found a 3d view? Maybe I can scratch build one someday. The model from Reimers Modellbaubogen is beautiful but I can't buy anything from Europe. The EURo is too strong in my country. Just for shipping from moduni I've to pay 25 EUR !!! which is more than 115 Argentine pesos :cry:
    if just the model was downloadable!!

  13. SAustin16

    SAustin16 Member

    Good Evening Bengt,

    You've chosen a wonderful project to build. You've done some wonderful research of aircraft I've never heard of before. These are truly jewels. What it must have been like to fly them. Enjoy your build, and keep up the great thread.

    Steve Austin
  14. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Thank you, Alcides And Steve,

    I am very glad to hear that you enjoy the thread. I have been occupied with a short film project for a couple of days (where I show some card modeling) but I will continue with the Junkers G.38 build and thread very soon.
    At the moment I am experimenting with a couple of window design alternatives and the black livery of the Lufthansa airline of the early 30s.
    I plan to convert the design of the wing stripes, window décor, name logo, etc, to reflect the design of the "Generalfeldmarchall von HINDENBURG", the flagship of the ealy days of that airline.

    Until then - all the best,
    Bengt :wave:
  15. milenio3

    milenio3 Active Member

    Guys, you know Bengt, when he's up on building a model, he goes all the whole-nine-yards (as they say in the US), research and finding all related to it. And we learn a lot, Bengt, thanks to you.

    Bengt, your film project, is it something like I did? Look at my blog and you'll find 3 little pieces of film of some of my 1/33 models:

    I wish you luck on your endeavors.
  16. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    ¡Hola, Gerardo!

    Thank you for those kind words. Yes, it´s true that I get a kick out of doing very thorough research for my models. The purpose of this is two-fold: I want to find out what the small details, markings and color look like in the real world, and I also like to find an existing subject to replicate as truly as the model sheets allow.

    Re. the film project:
    I am at the moment attending an applied course in digital editing (in the Apple Final Cut Pro software). As an assignment we should make a three-minute documentary on ourselves. So, I have made a short film (with about 20 min of material so far) about me making an airplane model from start to finish, explaining the technique and why I like the paper craft. It has been great fun. We will edit our short documentary project this coming Sunday.
    My aim with this course is to be able to edit films which have been shot in the Super 8 format and scanned into HDV format.
    By the way, I like very much the three videos that you have made on the Spitfire and Messerschmitt. Your choice of music is right on the spot.

    All the best from
    Bengt :wave:
  17. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Film Project with Airplane Build

    ¡Hola, Gerardo!
    Hi all,

    I have some pictures and a report now (in Kartonmodell-Forum) on the plane model that I built in a day (and night) during my short video documentary project last Sunday:

    This post doesn´t really belong to this thread but it is an aircraft model, which I can recommend very much - a stylish 1930s model of one of the very first commercial airliners of the Lufthansa airline in Germany, The Fokker F.II.
    This airplane was a development of the Fokker E.V/D.VIII WW I fighter monoplane and it has the same type of thick parasol cantilever wing. Fokker developed this design further and with the addition of one, and later two more engines, the larger (and very popular in the US) Fokker F.VII/3m was eventually born. Ford aircraft co. 'copied' this aircraft design for the famous 'Tri-motor', by the way. The original parasol wing design was used on a number of bigger aircraft, for example the coast-to-coast US mail plane Fokker T-2.

    Here is a link to the FREE download on Kartonmodell-Forum. You are members there, too, I hope? Thomas Pleiner, the well-known card model designer and Kartonmodell-Forum co-founder, has made it available both in A4 (Letter-sized) and A3 formats:

    Is is an easy but very pleasing build. I hope you all will like it.

    All the best,
    Bengt :thumb:
  18. milenio3

    milenio3 Active Member

    Congratulations for your picture of the week on Kartonmodell Forum, compadre!!

    And yes, upload your video to, and let us know!
  19. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Picture of The Week at Kartonmodell-Forum

    ¡Hola, Gerardo!

    Thanks for telling me - I didn´t know about that. It´s a great honor. Kartonmodell-Forum is a great card modeling forum. In addition, some of the members write in English and most undestand if you do.

    Bengt :thumb:
  20. Bengt F

    Bengt F Active Member

    Junkers G.38 Video on YouTube

    Hi all,

    While researching further for the proper look and markings of the 'Generalfeldmarschall von HINDENBURG', I found this amazing video on the Junkers G.38 on YouTube - most of the video shows the early Junkers G.38a (D-2000/ D-AZUR/ 'Deutschland') prototype. Enjoy:

    All the best,
    Bengt :thumb:

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