RIMOWA celebrates glamorous roll-out of the RIMOWA F13.
Monday evening, another significant milestone was reached in the history of RIMOWA: in a ceremony attended by 150 invited guests, company President & CEO Dieter Morszeck presented a faithful replica of the Junkers F13. The world’s first all-metal commercial aircraft, which was produced in Germany from 1919, can only be found on the ground in a few museums at present.
The RIMOWA replica will take to the skies next year – a real sensation! ‘We’ve been working towards this day for a long time, and I’m incredibly pleased that everything has worked out so well. I would like to thank the entire team for their tireless efforts and the passion they have put into this project. Finally we can hand back to the world a piece of cultural heritage that has shaped the aviation industry as well as RIMOWA as a company,’ said Dieter Morszeck.
The supporting program was every bit as spectacular: the location was decorated in the style of the Roaring Twenties with every last detail in keeping with the era so that guests felt they had been transported to the 1920s. The first sight that greeted people was a large curtain hinting at something of a grand scale. The highlight of the show was when the curtain was lifted, revealing the historic aircraft.
Alessandra Ambrosio and Johannes Huebl were dressed in costumes from the ’20s and very impressed by the RIMOWA F13. At the same time, models presented a special edition exclusively designed for this occasion: the silver aluminium shell of the F13 suitcases is embossed with a drawing of the aircraft and framed with decorative black leather handles and corners. To end the event on a high note, nine-time Grammy Award winner Norah Jones took to the stage, enthralling the audience with her superb voice and piano skills.
In his speech, Dieter Morszeck emphasized the importance of aviation for RIMOWA and explained some parallels to Junkers, the company that produced the F13. Both businesses have roots in Germany and became famous around the world for their bold innovations – in each case involving Duralumin, the material discovered by Alfred Wilm in 1906.
Whereas Hugo Junkers became the first to build an aircraft out of aluminium, superseding wooden planes with a fabric covering, Richard Morszeck took the daring step of launching a series of suitcases made from the same material. The F13 was exported around the world, and the luggage with the grooves can also be found all over the globe. For both companies, the distinctive groove design has become something of a trademark, and quality made in Germany has been an important feature from the outset.
The replica of the ‘mother’ of all commercial aircraft is a joint project between RIMOWA, JU-Air and the Association of the Friends of Historical Aircraft (VFL). Just like the historical model, the replica has a closed cabin for four passengers who can sit down on upholstered seats, whereas the two pilots are exposed to the elements. Another highlight for the whole team will be the plane’s maiden flight next year, when the F13 will finally take off once again.
The largest air show in the world, the EEA AirVenture in Oshkosh, USA, offered the perfect venue to roll out the aircraft as aviation enthusiasts from around the world meet here once a year to admire the latest developments in the world of flying.