about me

about Bücker Airoplanes


At the end of World War I, the Treaty of Versailles became the harsh instrument of punishment for vanquished Germany. Many sanctions were imposed in terms of war debt repayment, military and economic restrictions, etc. Among these was a strict  prohibition that Germany not be allowed to build powered aircraft.

The very punitive conditions caused a hyperinflation in that country after the war which was exacerbated by the world wide depression, beginning in 1929.

This led to the rise of Nazism and, of course, Adolph Hitler. When he assumed power in 1933, he openly dismantled the Treaty, embarking on many programs to establish an economic base, and begin a new military. Among these were resuming the construction of powered aircraft of all types. One area would include the design and building of training aircraft for his future Luftwaffe.

One person he summoned back to Germany to participate in this was Hr. Carl Clemens Bücker ('u' umlauted). Since his days as a German naval pilot in the war, Bücker had gone to neutral Sweden to continue his work in the aircraft construction industry unimpeded by the Treaty. Among others, he founded the Svenska Aero, AB - now SAAB during that time.

In the fall of 1933, when he and his chief design engineer, Anders J. Andersson, arrived in Germany, they were ordered to design a lightweight, inexpensive, and easy to maintain 2 seat trainer and 'sporting' aircraft. Design concept was begun in September of that year, with the prototype completed in March, 1934 !

The maiden flight of this first Bücker aircraft to be built in Germany (Bu 131V-1, registration no. D-3150) took place on 27 April, 1934 at Johannisthal with Joachim von Koppen, a test pilot with the German Aviation Sport Union (DLV) at the controls.

This became the ideal trainer for novice pilots on the one hand and would-be aerobatic pilots on the other.

As a former naval officer and admirer of the Navy, Bücker gave this first airplane to be built in his German works the sea-cadet title "Jungmann". As time passed, two thousand were built, with engine power increases and also export / licensing agreements to build by other countries. In the writings of many Luftwaffe pilots, some already having had glider experience during the 1920s, the Jungmann became their first powered aircraft. Later on the manufacturing was moved from Johannisthal to Rangsdorf, due south of Tempelhof in Berlin.

The next model to be constructed at the B.cker Flugzeugebau (airplaneworks) was the Bu 133. This single seat biplane, smaller and more powerful than its predecessor, the"Jungmeister" was the aircraft which was destined to make the name of Bücker internationally famous and which, for decades, was considered to be the world's foremost aerobatic airplane. Its prototype, the Bu133V-1, registered as D-EVEO was first flown in 1935 by Luise Hoffmann, the first woman works pilot in Germany. This machine was equipped with a 6 cylinder, 140 HP Hirth (in-line) engine, the HM 506, which could also be pumped up to 160 HP.

All subsequent German (& Swiss) Jungmeisters were then powered by the Siemens-Halske-BRAMO Sh 14A-4, 7 cylinder 160HP radial engine. This is where the magic starts, as that round engine compacted the CG big time, thus the unbelievable balance.

The first three Spanish Bu 133s were Siemens powered, but the
remainder were in-line Hirth powered, however this version was not particularly successful and Spain destroyed most of them!

The Jungmann I own is of Czechoslovakian manufacture (1948), S/N 238. The Jungmeister is of Swiss manufacture (1940), S/N 47, the last of the regular production run at Altenrhein, Switzerland. In Czechoslovakia, the Bücker works later evolved into the beautiful aerobatic Zlin aircraft production works.

In 1984 at the annual Santa Paula Bücker Fly-In several of our Jungmanns flew on the 50th anniversary day, April 27.

There is no airplane I have ever flown with the handling qualities, control harmony, agility, and smoothness of these two. I have flown aerobatics for over 46 years. Put another way, if you haven't flown a B.cker, you only think you've flown an airplane! Or alternatively, if you're out of Bud, you're out of beer, but when you are out of Bücker, you are out of business.

With thanks to several articles on the Bücker legend, and to Die Bücker-Flugzeuge by Erwin Konig, published by NARA-Verlage, Deutschland.

Jungmeisterly Jours, Hpt. Wilhelm von Meyer
Reprinted from December, 2007 RUPANEWS
-- with the author's (my) permission.
Bücker !
Jungmeister spoken here   (click HERE for a link)
Coming !