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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
Country: Germany
Manufacturer: Junkers Flugzeug-Werke AG
Type: Observation
Entered Service: August 1917
Number Built: 227
Engine(s): Benz BZ.IV, inline engine, 200 hp (147 kW)
Daimler-Mercedes D.IVa (191 kW) 1918
Wing Span: 52 ft 6 in (16 m)
Length: 29 ft 10¼ in (9.1 m)
Height: 11 ft 1 7/8 in (3.4 m)
Empty Weight: 3,893 lb (1,766 kg)
Gross Weight: 4,718 lb (2,140 kg)
Max Speed: 96 mph (155 km/h)
Crew: 2
Armament: 2 machine guns
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