From Issue Three of the Gear Patrol Magazine.
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Nearly a century ago, the Junkers F13 took flight as the first all-metal commercial plane in the world. Now, premium luggage maker Rimowa has revived it, turning their expertise from what packs into a plane’s underbelly to the plane itself. They’ve preserved every bit of the original design, adding modern technology only where necessary. The landing gear and radial engine are new, for instance; using over 35,000 rivets, however, is not. Neither are the original parts that engineers borrowed from 1930s-era Junkers to replicate and fashion anew.
Only after years of research into the Junkers archives, and after poring over the original blueprints for the first run of planes, was Rimowa’s team ready to reach into the past to create something distinct: a seamless blend of design from airplane antiquity fused with modern know-how and a passion for the beauty of flight. As of writing, the planes have made their inaugural voyages, and customers can take delivery later this year if they’re able to afford the $2,200,000 price tag.
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A version of this story appears in Issue Three of the Gear Patrol Magazine, 320 pages of stories, reports, interviews and original photography from five distinct locations around the world. Subscribe Now: $39