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Book Review
Junkers D.I (J 9)
When tin donkeys flew
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by: Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]


Beginning with the Junkers J 1 (factory designation) started on the 8 June 1915 and finally culminating in the J 9 at its roll out at the end of April 1918. There were never more than 12 machines at the front until the end of the war with a maximum of just 42 airframes finished during (1918-1919). It was post war that production literally took off and the main production of Junkers "Tin Donkeys" really went into high gear. This was the birth of all metal aircraft. Two companies built the Junkers D.I. The Junkers & Co. (Jco) and Junkers - Fokker Werke AG (Jfa). This happened because Idflieg (Miliatry inspection dept for aviation) did not trust Junkers to mass produce his machines. Briefly JFa became the main contractor and the parent company became a license builder of their own design. Curious I know. The Jco prototpe came out much earlier 15 April 1918. The Jfa company did not have a prototype they used the data from Jco to begin production.

Karaya publishing

“We are glad to introduce the first publication of Karaya. In our publication written by very good known aviation enthusiast - Seweryn Fleischer, we have covered the innovative construction of the first all-metal combat airplane of the world – Junkers D.I. The book traces the development of this unique plane, from Junkers J1 prototype to serial Junkers J9. (Junkers D.I). . .”

Book Contents

Size A-4, soft cover
40 pages of text in English and Polish.
28 pages of 9 total aircraft in 1:72 and 1:48 scale plan line drawings.
05 pages with 12 colour art profiles.
Artwork prepared by Jacek KECAY Jackiewicz.

This book covers the history, development and use of all-metal “D” type monoplanes designed by Hugo Junkers and Junkers Fokker Amalgamation companies from the very beginnings (1 February 1912 when a patent No 253788 was granted on the first metal airframe) till the last two examples of D.I captured and examined by Soviets in 1920. The text has been illustrated with colour profiles and scale planes of following machines:

J.2 (251/16 & 252/16)

Having looked at the book’s drawings of D.I I see one error with them All of the 1:48 drawings are undersized. But that is not the artist's fault. The drawings were made to 1:48 BUT! The publisher formatted them to the A4 proportions. To have the uniform border throughout the book the drawings were "shrunk down". The book’s drawings also show an upper fuselage rear deck (behind the cockpit) with corrugated plate running angled into side plates. This is correct considering known photographs. There is one minor detail on the front cover artwork shows the aircraft with two aileron actuation control horns. On the original airframes there was only one per aileron.

Concerning the book referenced camouflage colours, I have to confess I believe there is something to the 3 colour camouflage theory that is presented here. As has been mentioned by several published historians the camouflage scheme of the late war production Junkers aircraft never was the same pattern on any two airframes. The first model that I built of a Roden 1:48 Junkers D.I was in a 3 colour scheme (back in 2007-08). And my first generation images lead me to see the 3 colour upper surface camouflage on at least one JCo. airframe. I wish they had applied some colour pages to the 2 colour upper surface camouflage as well.

To be fair this not the final word on the subject. But it does give a brief overview and history to the lineage of the first all metal aircraft. If you don’t have any of the book's listed references / Bibliography (like the Windsock Datafiles #33 or #101 or the Air Enthusiast Annual No.25 from 1984) this might be a good choice for modern enthusiasts.


The model build images shown here are mine. They show the 2 & 3 colour camouflage I invisioned. These are speculative at best and are provided to show simple differences. It was later after the first build (Jco. airframe D.5185/16) when I checked 1st generation images that I discovered the 3 colour, if it existed at all should be on the other kit I modeled (the JCo. prototype simply labeled Junk D.I on the fuselage) Live and learn.

Machine in French Museum

On the museum machine, curiously the brown and green look like types seen on colourized images of French machines. But it is in a French museum. It seems like a late production type post the September 1918 amalgamation of Jco & Jfa.The engine cover over the exhaust is interesting as well.

Typically since mauve was so dominant in the German paint schemes (and because it was an easy colour to produce) You would think that mauve and green would be applied. If it has been repainted it may have been done so with existing French colours. Museums have done far more bizarre things to airframes.

When contacting manufacturers and publishers please mention you saw this review at AEROSCALE

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: It gives a brief overview and history to the lineage of the first all metal aircraft. Good general reference.
Lows: To be fair this not the final word on the subject. The line drawing have a issue with the original drawings shrunk to fit the page formatting.
Verdict: If you don’t have the listed refences in this book this might be a good choice for modern enthusiasts.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: #001
  Suggested Retail: $17.21
  Related Link: Roden kit
  PUBLISHED: May 03, 2011

About Stephen T. Lawson (JackFlash)

I was building Off topic jet age kits at the age of 7. I remember building my first WWI kit way back in 1964-5 at the age of 8-9. Hundreds of 1/72 scale Revell and Airfix kits later my eyes started to change and I wanted to do more detail. With the advent of DML / Dragon and Eduard I sold off my ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Stephen T. Lawson [ JACKFLASH ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.


I have been asked about the post war activities in the book and here is my response. "Part of the problem is that is it bare minimal. As the subject is limited to the D.I this story stops about 1920 with the last two captured by the Red Army. It does mention FA413, FA416 & FA417. and the use of D.I & CL.I against the Bolsheviks. You can imagine my contued interests as I am tracking Josef Jacobs during these events. The author mentions the fact that Jacobs piloted a Junker D.I in an airfight or two."
MAY 03, 2011 - 05:31 PM

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