Air Enthusiast 1996-09
P.Cooksley - Celestial Coaches
The ‘Komet’ III was licence-built in Japan in 1926. J-BANA owned by the Kawasaki Dockyard Company was operated by the Tozai Teiki Kokukai (TTK) airline, one of Japan’s first.
‘Komet’ III ‘Panther’, later to become a ‘Merkur’, carries the route board ‘Berlin-Koln’ on the fuselage side under the wing. It is seen landing at what was later Berlin’s Tempelhof.
Switzerland’s second ‘Merkur’ was Walter Mittelholzer’s floatplane named after that country and numbered 171.
D972 ‘Konigstiger’, later to become D-UQET, takes off from Berlin’s central airport in 1926.
Mittelholzer’s ‘Merkur’ floatplane flew to Cape Town in the winter of 1926-27.
With the early Soviet registration RR-34 repeated under both wings, a ‘Merkur’ II shows its intermediate wing struts necessary due to increased weight. This is probably a machine operated by ‘Deruluft’.
‘Merkur’ II ‘Kreuzfuchs’ joined ‘Deruluft’s’ fleet in 1929. The panel before the forward window reads ‘Moskau-Berlin’.
The prototype ‘Merkur’ showing the strengthening rib above the wheel which identified the early models.
The ‘Merkur’s’ BMW VI engine which dispensed with ‘Komet’s’ face-type radiator. The airscrew bears the red and black Dornier trademark.
A Swiss Red Cross ‘Merkur’ I named ‘Mercurio’ carries the Italian licence-build marking ‘Construzioni Meccaniche Aeronautica Marina di Pisa’. There were only two machines of this type in Switzerland.
‘Merkur’ II D-546 ‘Hyane’ (the name appears in minuscule letters under the final pair of letters of ‘Luft Hansa’) at Stuttgart with a Daimler-Benz van providing scale. Note the relatively crude navigation lamp mounting on the wingtip.
Broken lines on second side view show outlines of door and additional side window on starboard side of both ‘Merkur’ I and II. Scrap view shows ‘Komet’ III fin and rudder. Also illustrated are Dornier logo carried on the airscrew blades and the ‘Luft Hansa’ logo.