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Sunbird Photos by Don Boyd | all galleries >> Oldie-Goldie Galleries of Slide and Print Aviation Stock Photos (National, Braniff, Eastern, Pan Am, military, USCG, etc.) >> Prints and slides Gallery of Corporate and Private Aircraft stock photos > Martin Caidin's Junkers JU 52 N52JU (now D-AQUI) "Iron Annie" photo #CPP79 JU-52_IronAnnie
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Martin Caidins Junkers JU 52 N52JU (now D-AQUI) Iron Annie photo #CPP79 JU-52_IronAnnie
1979 (or late 70's) Sunbird Photos by Don Boyd

Martin Caidin's Junkers JU 52 N52JU (now D-AQUI) "Iron Annie" photo #CPP79 JU-52_IronAnnie

Miami International Airport

The oldest airworthy JU 52, built in 1936. Serial 5489. Reg. D-AQUI. Sold to DNL Det Norske Luftfartsselskap in 1936, registration LN-DAH. Confiscated by German Army 1940. Given the old D-AQUI registrartion but named Kurt Wintgens. After World War II, the Allied returned it to its former owners, DNL. Registered as LN-KAF. It served on the Norwegian coast Tromsø - Kirkenes from February 1948 until 1956. Parked at The Oslo Fornbu Airpot for one year, sold to Transportes Aereos Orientales in Ecuador, new registration HB-ABS. Taken out of service in 1963 and left at the Quito Airport for six years, it was bought by an former U. S. Air Force pilot, Lester Weaver for $52,500. Given registry N130LV, but American authorities certified her only as "Experimental". In 1975 an American writer, Martin Caidin ("Cyborg", "Marooned") bought it for $150,000. He christened it "Iron Annie", registered N52JU. He flew it at air shows until Lufthansa acquired it in December 1984. It was flown to Hamburg via Greenland, Iceland and England. After a year it took to the air again, better than ever. The official registration painted under the tail is D-CDLH . Aircraft´s name now Tempelhof. The old registration D-AQUI is painted on the wings.

other sizes: small original
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QuintLeo 12-Jun-2017 15:45
Check out Caidin's novel "Wingborn" for an appearance of a JU-52 obviously inspired by the story of Iron Annie.
JIM SHEPHERD 26-May-2017 20:57
It was a great ride, I still have one of the "Mannschaff" crew member patches. Marty was a hoot to be around.
Nate 01-Sep-2016 21:37
I recall this aircraft at one of the early VAC airshows at KTIX in the late 70's. In fact, I think they did "penny a pound" rides in it on at least one occasion. That was a time I could've used a dollar!
William Breeze 16-Dec-2015 19:53
I think while "Annie" was in Gainesville, Martin gave type rating to myself and two other pilots. Biggest problem with "annie" was getting it started since hydraulic system was on one engine, electrical on a 2nd , and I forget where the fuel pump was since it took a strong arm a LONG time on the wobble pump. Plus the switches behind the pilots head were reversed. Loved flying "Annie" a plane without a redline. Still have the JU-52 Wings Martin presented me when he signed off the type rating, but they are in sad shape, sort of flattened and melted.
Guest 13-Oct-2015 18:28
looking at this is awesome. I remember when my mothers boss arrived at MIA with it from quito.
Maurice Stander 28-Aug-2015 13:03
I also flew with Martin Caidin in his JU-52 when it was based in Gainesville. he loved that plane. He had quirky placards (humorous) in German Style sayings. Wish I had taken photos. The plane was in great shape when I flew it.
Sunbird Photos by Don Boyd24-Jan-2014 15:40
Ray, that's great about you being on the same flight. I will post it on YouTube someday but right now it's still on a VHS tape with many others in a couple of boxes in my closet. Hopefully during 2014 I can get it up on the net and I'll provide a link to it here on this page. Best regards!

Guest 22-Jan-2014 21:56
Hey Don,

I was on the Blown #2 flight in the 90s. It would be great if you could post the video.

Ray Mittan
chalete01-Mar-2013 02:37
When this aircraft first arrived into the Quito, Ecuador Int. airport back in 1957 she sported a SAS yellow lettering and blue cheat lines if my memory serves me well. Next time that I go to Germany I definitely plan to visit this old friend and buy at the very least two rides, anywhere!.
Kelley Phillips 31-Aug-2012 18:21
Flew right seat several times in the early 80's. Martin Caidin was a colorful character and the JU-52 fit him to a "T". When you flew with Martin you got a great ride and a fascinating history lesson.
Guest 09-Jul-2012 19:58
Bob Bruce:

I worked on this aircraft when it was based in Gainesville, quite a machine
Guest 25-Jun-2012 00:56
Kermit M. Brown In my message I left out a word. I ment to say "a wonderful aviation memory"
Kermit M. Brown 25-Jun-2012 00:50
Kermit M. Brown On Oct. 18th 1980, at the Fla Air Fair,I was invitied to take a flight. I was allowed to fly right seat. A great 45 min flight. It will remain a wonderful aviation. Yes, I have pictures..
Guest 25-Jun-2012 00:50
Kermit M. Brown On Oct. 18th 1980, at the Fla Air Fair,I was invitied to take a flight. I was allowed to fly right seat. A great 45 min flight. It will remain a wonderful aviation. Yes, I have pictures..
Sunbird Photos by Don Boyd26-Jan-2012 02:33
Thank you Bill, and the other visitors, for all the comments about this fine bird. I had the pleasure of being invited to fly onboard her in the late 1990's when Lufthansa brought her to Miami on a tour of the USA. We were supposed to fly for half an hour up the coast of Miami Beach after takeoff from MIA but they blew the #2 engine on takeoff from runway 12 and we had to circle back to the airport by going north over Miami Springs and then back to land on the same runway. They had all the fire equipment rolling out to meet us and the airport fire chief was across the aisle from me. I have a VHS video of that trip which I'll post on the net someday and put the link here.

Bill Friddle 15-Jan-2012 18:00
I was a member of the us Army parachute team The Golden Knights My name is Bill Friddle. At an airshow in Gainsville in I think 1981 my team mate Dave Smith and I jumped out of Iron Annie with Martin Caden at the controls. She was a smooth flyer.
Lou Becker 13-Nov-2011 12:20
As a kid in the '70's, I grew up in Merritt Island FL. This Ju spent a lot of time there. I was a military brat with interests in aviation. We lived less than a mile from the airport. Often, I'd turn on my air frequency radio(they had a 'knob' back then) when I got home from school, and listen to find out if 'Annie' would be taking to the air. It looked so ominous in flight. It flew so slowly, it seemed like it was about to fall out of the sky. It would often fly short trips- to Green's air park(in Rockledge) and back, over the Indian River. It was also a common sight lumbering along, just a few hundred feet above the waves of Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral. I
heard Martin Caidin passed away quite a few years back, & always wondered what ever became of that unique and very noisy aircraft. Now, even though it is in Europe- and I probably won't ever lay eyes on it again, its nice to know that it is in better condition than ever, still flying and back to it's 'roots.'
Eric Smith 18-May-2010 20:19
I remember my Dad, Tony Smith, working on some of the avionics in Gainesville. I couldn't have been more than 7 or 8 years old. I'd tag along with him when he went out for repairs on Saturdays. He used to work on Mr. Caidin's plane all the time. This particular Saturday, I had brought some Legos along. I remember sitting on the floor of the cabin playing with them until my Dad finished up.
Jay Rosenfeld 05-Feb-2010 22:20
I was there when she was rebuild in Miami, Fl. My dad and I had exclusive rights to photo document the rebuild. This included some special photos of the paint stripping and repainting of the exact photo below. This was in 1976!! We took over 5000 photos both in B&W and in Color. This was also the actual aircraft the Adolph Hitler used in WWII. The plane was found in the jungles of Brazil. The wings were disassembled from the fuselage and transported on a cargo ship to Miami.
Cynthia Irvin 12-Nov-2009 16:25
I worked on this aircraft for a short while for Martin Caidin. It was based in Gainesville FL at the time and I was fresh out of the Air Force where I was a helicopter Crew Chief (UH-1N).
Mike Weaver 30-Nov-2008 14:05
Lester Weaver was my father and there are a host of stories surrounding this aircraft, from when he acquired it to the adventure of getting it flown to the U.S. Luftanza published a book about its restoration and Dad was proud to be mentioned in it and a part of the "rescuing" of this vintage aircraft.