by Horst Zoeller, 1996 - 2020, 67th Edition, 22 Nov 2020

Junkers J3

see also:  J3 Production List

Experimental Fighter Aircraft, uncompleted, two designs
developed by Junkers + Co. in Dessau

Historical Background:

Following the experiences of the J1 and J2, Junkers realized, that the iron structure of his aircraft was to heavy to fullfill the demand for satisfying climb performance as well as maneuvering. Therefore he advised Dr. Mader to think about the utilization of Duralumin, which reduces the weight for about 60% compared to iron structures. While Mader, Reuter and Brandenburg were engaged in the construction of the new aircraft design, named J3, Steudel was responsible for the research of new production technologies for the utilization of Duralumin.

The developement of the J3 were privately financed by Junkers and ICO without any support by IDFLIEG or the German government. Two versions of the J3 were designed, a single seated fighter aircraft and double seated battle aircraft. In late summer 1916 the production of the single seated J3 prototype was started at Dessau. The fuselage tube construction and the complete wing with corrugated Duralumin panels were already finished, when Junkers ran into financial difficulties for this project and in October 1916 the further project was stopped. Even if the J3 did not become the world's first aircraft, which was built from light metals, all calculations proofed, that the utilization of Duralumin was heading towards lighter metal aircraft, which offer convenient performances compared to the conventional wooden and textile covered aircraft.

The wing and fuselage sections, which were already mounted, were later transfered to the Junkers Educational Exhibition, where they remain until they were destroyed during an air raid against Dessau in 1945.

Technical Data


year engine length
in m
in m
wing area
im sqm
net weight
in kg
in kg
seats speed
in km/h
in km

J 3 fighter
J3 observer


Oberursel U III (114kW)






1 pilot
2 seats





no dedicated J3 Literature known yet

introduced Jul 1996, transfered Jun 2017
contents last updated 23 Dec 2002