Press release on April 04, 2019
Dübendorf, 4 April 2019. JU-AIR's overhaul of its three historic aeroplanes is so thorough it technically amounts to putting back in service aeroplanes that are as good as new. As a
precautionary measure, numerous parts will be replaced; these have to be newly built. As a result, the company will not operate any flights until spring 2021. All flight vouchers that have
already been issued will remain valid.
JU-AIR's three historic JU-52 aircraft will undergo a major overhaul. In doing so, all systems and components of the aircraft will be inspected and serviced to such a condition that they can be certified for a safe return to service for a specified amount of time. From a technical point of view, the aircraft will then be as good as new.
In the process of the overhaul, numerous structural parts of the wings, the fuselage, the undercarriage, the tail unit and the control surfaces, as well as parts of the engine and the fuel system will be replaced by new parts as a precautionary measure. As no new parts are available on the market for the historic JU-52, they will have to be custom-built by certified suppliers; the manufacturing is meticulous and time-consuming. The major overhaul of an aircraft is thus expected to take 20 months or more. That is the reason why JU-AIR's JU-52 will only be able to take off once again in the spring of 2021.
JU-AIR had previously intended to only begin with the major overhaul of one of its aircraft in fall 2019 so as to be able to fly it this summer. JU-AIR has now abandoned this plan as it turned out that the extra effort to return it to service temporarily would have been too big. These resources will now be invested in the overhaul.
JU-AIR engineers together with outside experts and suppliers are currently planning the details of the major overhaul of the aeroplanes. The program will then be presented to the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation for review, and will then be implemented based on their stipulations. JU-AIR cannot present any details of the major overhaul at this point; it will inform in due course. «We are investing in the safety and the future of JU-AIR. The major overhaul will make our aeroplanes fit for a renewed long-term operation. It will also help to dissipate any doubts about the airworthiness of the JU-52,» said the CEO, Kurt Waldmeier. «Of course, we regret that our many fans will not see any JU-52 in the skies in the next two summers. The flight vouchers will automatically renew and will remain valid.»
JU-AIR is part of the Association of the Friends of the Swiss Air Force (VFL), which has some 7,000 members. It has a fleet of three historic JU-52: The two aircraft stationed in Dübendorf,
HB-HOP and HB-HOS, are both 80 years old. They were delivered to the Swiss Air Force in 1939 and have been in service up to last November. The third aircraft, HB-HOY, was built under licence by
CASA in 1949 on Spain. She had been part of JU-AIR's fleet until 2016 and has since been exhibited in Mönchengladbach (Germany).
«For over 30 years, JU-AIR has been building up reserves for extraordinary situations. Over and above that, the association and its members, as well as many private individuals, are supporting us in material and non-material ways,» says Kurt Waldmeier. «Without their support, such a major investment would not be possible. I want to say a big thank you to all our supporters!»
What caused the crash of a JU-52 near Flims on the 4th of August 2018 is still unclear. The investigations into the tragic accident, however, have given no indication that technical causes have contributed to the crash. The major overhaul that is now being initiated is not related to the accident.
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