The Junkers Ju 52/3m (nicknamed Tante Ju ("Aunt Ju") and Iron Annie) is a transport aircraft that was designed and manufactured by German aviation company Junkers. First introduced during 1930 as a civilian airliner, it was adapted into a military transport aircraft by Germany's Nazi regime, who exercised power over the company, for its war efforts over the objections of the company's founder Hugo Junkers.
Development of the Ju 52 commenced in the late 1920s, headed by German aeronautical engineer Ernst Zindel. The aircraft's design incorporated a corrugated duralumin metal skin as a strengthening measure, which was a material design pioneered by Junkers and used on many of their aircraft, including the popular Junkers F 13 1920s, the record-setting Junkers W 33, and Junkers W34. The corrugation was a strength and weakness; it created strength but also higher aerodynamic drag; more importantly it allowed the practical use of aluminum before newer alloys were developed.
The Ju 52's maiden flight was performed on 13 October 1930. It was initially designed with a single engine and trimotor; the single engine version was to be the freighter while the trimotor was the passenger airline. In the long run, the trimotor configuration was produced in far greatest numbers. The primary early production model, the Ju 52/3m, was principally operated as a 17-seat airliner or utility transport aircraft by various civil operators during the 1930s. Starting in 1933, the Nazi regime that had taken power in Germany demanded Junkers produce military versions of the Ju 52. Over Hugo Junkers' resistance, the company was compelled to produce military aircraft; in 1935, Nazi officials came to Hugo Junker's house on his birthday, resulting in his death under unclear circumstances and his company having been signed over to the state. Thousands of Ju 52s were procured as a staple military transport of the Luftwaffe. The Ju 52/3mg7e was the principal production model.
The Ju 52 was in production between 1931 and 1952. In a civilian role, it flew with over 12 airlines, including Swissair and Deutsche Luft Hansa, as both a passenger carrier and a freight hauler. In a military role, large numbers flew with the Luftwaffe, being deployed on virtually all fronts of the Second World War as a troop and cargo transport; it was also briefly used as a medium bomber. Additionally, the type was deployed by other nations' militaries in conflicts such as the Spanish Civil War, the Chaco War, and the Portuguese Colonial War. During the postwar era, the Ju 52 had a lengthy service life with numerous military and civilian operators; large numbers were still in use by the 1980s. Even in the 21st century, several aircraft have remained operational, typically used for purposes such as heritage aviation displays and aerial sightseeing.

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