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Gallery » Danzig Report 99 - April, May, June 1998 » Pioneer Danzig Aviation

Pioneer Danzig Aviation

One of the planes most likely to be seen on the Danzig terminal was the Fokker-Grulich F.III, powered by a BMW 320 hp engine, 5070 lb max. takeoff wt., and 350-mile range. One of the Danzig planes was registered D-175 and named the Molder,. Written off 16.6.31. It held five passengers and could cruise at 95 mph.

 Fokker-Grulich F.III

Dr. Karl Grulich's name was applied to this model (and to the F.II) since becoming the technical manager of Deutscher Aero Lloyd, and who had coordinated German postwar breakup of its aircraft industry. Only a thin line separated aircraft manufacture from operation. Deutscher Aero Lloyd, for example, was involved in the F. II and F. III construction.

The Junkers organization, which had overproduced the F. 13, at first supplied aircraft, provided technical support, and even printed timetables for many airlines, and only later decided to put its own name on an operating company.

The reason for Danzig's having its own airlines was that it was a privelege extended due to the fact that only Danzig-registered aircraft could fly over the "Polish Corridor" This drew the attention of other lines who seeked outlets for eastern expansion, such as the Deutscher Luft-Reederie (DLR) established in October 1919, an affiliate, the Danziger Luft-Reederie.

It should be possible to chronicle the dates of the various routes from two sources: the above-mentioned Michaelis book and also from the R.E.G. Davis book, Lufthansa -- An Airline and its Aircraft. It seems that the postal authorities decided not to bother with any official special cachets, handstamps, or specially-designed first day covers for any of the flights. It was up to the private sector if it desired such frills.

11.11.1919        Berlin-Schneidemuhl-Danzig-Elbing-Koenigsberg Arranged due to rail strike. Covers are rare.
12.11.1919        Return flight
16.1.20                Danzig-Koenigsberg-Danzig, then to Stettin & Berlin Covers are rare; contain no air mail stamps, which were first issued on 29.9.20.
1.10.20                Mail flown from Danzig until weather aborted flights from 30.10.20. Mail was allowed only to the Netherlands, Great Britain and Denmark. Not allowed to Germany. Short flying period makes these covers very rare.
27 12.20             Special flight from Berlin via Danzig to Koenigsberg.
28.12.20             Return flight to Berlin.
20.2.21                Danziger Luftroederei (Danzig Air transport Co.) is formed. On 11.11.21 became Deruluft. This company had sole franchise for carrying mail. Routes opened to Germany & adjacent areas.
1.4.21                  Berlin via Danzig to Koenigsberg by Lloyd-Ostflug.
14.4.21               Opening of flights to Ansterdam.
19.4.21                Daily service extended to Memel.
6.5.21                  Stettin and Stolp set up as part of Berlin to Danzig.
26.6.21               Opening of route to Kovno. Now known as Kaunas in Lithuania.
29.7.21               Danzig-Koenigsberg-Riga (Latvia) route is opened as part of Agriculture & Industry show.
20.8.21              Danzig-Kovno route extended to Riga.
20.9.21              Route to Riga extended to Revel. Now known as Tallinn in Estonia.
21.10.21            Suspension of all air traffic.

According to Michaelis, 1921 was a difficult year, due to the provisions of the Versailles Treaty. Fokker planes belonging to the Danziger Luftreederei were seized, and, until the 10th of August, older planes were pressed into service. These seizures brought operations to a halt on 8th September. Further restrictions caused traffic to Berlin to cease on the 14th of September. The remaining planes were shifted to flights on the eastern routes only.


Danzig Report  Nr. 99 - April - May - June - 1998, Page 20.

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