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Junkers does it again

Another retro design revived, updated

OK, I admit it. I’m infatuated with corrugated metal. Molded into the shape of an aircraft. That’s why every year at Aero Friedrichshafen I report on the latest offerings from Junkers.

The Junkers A60 offers side-by-side seating. Photo by Josh Cochran.

This year’s new thing is the A60, its prototype placed prominently at the Junkers booth. Following the example of the Junkers A50 “Junior, an aircraft for the people” updated from 1929, the A60 is also a new design with retro looks.

“We wanted to offer our customers side-by-side seating, versus the tandem seating on the A50,” said Alexander Jainsky, the Junkers salesperson, who walked me around the aircraft. Not that I could afford it. Depending on which version you choose, prices are projected around $250,000 to more than $260,000 at current conversion rates. The difference between the two versions is the canopy. If you opt for the sliding version to give you that convertible, open-air feel, the windshield is different than the one in the fixed canopy. The aircraft is powered by a 100-horsepower Rotax 912 iS), and has retractable gear.

The A60 prototype hasn’t flown yet, and the specs are not yet final. I asked Jainsky how the aircraft got to Aero. On a trailer, he said. Turns out the wings can be disconnected and packed alongside the fuselage. Practical also, if you don’t have a huge hangar.

The Junkers A60 rudder pedals evoke aviation's early days. Photo by Sylvia Horne.Jainsky said that there’s a lot of interest in the aircraft, and he’s very optimistic about future sales. So who buys it? I mean, you don’t have to convince me, but at a currently estimated range of just under 650 nautical miles, you’re not going very far, and inquiring minds want to know. “It’s not about getting somewhere. The journey is the destination. It’s about the joy of flying an extremely beautiful machine, a lifestyle,” explained Jainsky.

Well, then, let’s have a look at the cockpit. The prototype thankfully is the open cockpit version and with a little bit of acrobatics I find myself in a surprisingly roomy seat with lots of elbow room. Avionics on the left will include a Garmin G3X Touch that will be optional on the right. But what catches my eye are the rudder pedals. They look positively industrial with their perforated metal and make me feel like an aviation pioneer.

As we’re really in the twenty-first century, though, there are options. The metal comes in eight colors, and there are several dyes for the interior leathers. Jainsky said most people opt for the classic silver look, but he’s partial to a light blue.

And while the F 13 is still my Junkers favorite, if you wanted to give me the A60, I’d take it. I’m not picky or anything. They’re all beautiful and a labor of love.

Sylvia Schneider Horne
Digital Media Editor
Sylvia Schneider Horne is a digital media editor for AOPA's eMedia division.
Topics: AERO Friedrichshafen

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