In late 1916, the demand for a durable observation aircraft capable of performing ground attack missions led to the introduction of the Junkers J.I. Developed in early 1917, it was the world's first all-metal aircraft produced in quantity. Eliminating the need for external bracing wires, the fuselage, wings and tail were constructed of Duralumin while the engine and two-man crew were protected by a nose-capsule of 5-mm chrome-nickel sheet-steel. Although this unique design resulted in a strong and durable aircraft capable of surviving the effects of enemy ground fire, the Junkers J.I was heavy, cumbersome and took forever to get off the ground. The only surviving example of the J.I biplane was sent to Canada in 1919 and is now part of the National Aviation Museum's collection.
Junkers J.I Specifications
Junkers Flugzeug-Werke AG
Benz BZ.IV, inline engine, 200 hp (147 kW)
Daimler-Mercedes D.IVa (191 kW) 1918