1941 Bucker Bu 133-C
Jungmeister "Young Master"

Teutonic Acrobat German aviation during the early 1930s was a multilayered deception. Its goal was the circumvention of the Treaty of Versailles while Germany built up the manpower and hardware necessary to once again become a world power. It was in this environment that one of the most legendary aerobatic airplanes ever built was born: the Bücker Bü.133 Jungmeister.

Winning was useful to the Reich's propaganda machine, and the Jungmeister was designed to win. It was Germany's bid to dominate world aerobatics competition. And it often did. The Jungmeister was for years considered the finest aerobatic aircraft for training and competition ever built until the advent of higher performance aircraft of the post World War II era. Designed by Carl Bücker and produced in Germany for the Luft Sports Bund, it became the advanced aerobatic trainer for the future fighter pilots of Hitler's Luftwaffe. Almost every German pilot who flew against the Allies during World War II earned his wings in a Jungmeister. Powered by a 160 hp Siemens SH 14A4 radial engine, the Bücker's combination of excellent control effectiveness and light control pressures made it popular in aerobatic competitions around the world.

The Jungmeister did what the pilot asked of it exactly when the pilot asked. A lithe 925-pound ballerina, the Jungmeister was then and is now the standard by which snap rolls, for instance, are measured. In that maneuver, it was totally predictable and wonderfully controllable. And that was just one of a long list of stylistic moves the Jungmeister had up its wire-braced sleeves. Names like Alex Papana and Count von Hagenberg made the airplane popular on this side of the Atlantic in the late 1930s just before everything German became decidedly unpopular.

The Bücker Bü-133 Jungmeister was a production biplane built in Germany before World War II and in Spain during the war. It was the single-seat version of the Bü-131A Jungmann, a two-place advanced aerobatic sport and training plane introduced in 1934 by Bücker Flugzeugbau in Berlin. The Jungmann became popular with the flying schools of Luftsportverband, a civil flying association during the early 1930s before military flight was allowed in Germany. In reality, the association trained the pilots who formed a clandestine air arm that later became the Luftwaffe. In 1935, Carl Bücker introduced the single seat Jungmeister, so similar to the Jungman that parts could be interchanged. While the Jungmeister was designed to use either the Hirth HM 506 160-hp inline air-cooled engine or the seven-cylinder radial air-cooled Siemens Sh-14A of 160 hp, the latter engine was used almost exclusively. The fuselage was a steel tube covered with fabric, and the wings were built of wooden spars and ribs with fabric cover, with the upper and lower panels being interchangeable. The outer wing panels had an 11-degree sweep-back.

Because of its agility and lightness on the controls, it was selected by a number of European flying clubs and air services as an advance trainer for aerobatics. Some pilots of the prewar era contend that the only aircraft that matched the Jungmeister were the specially, built Great Lakes trainers: others even question this comparison. A number of Jungmeisters still exist, both here and in Europe, and command high prices because of their scarcity and demonstrated maneuverability. After the World War II, a limited number of the airplanes were produced near Munich, but, high labor costs made them almost prohibitively expensive. This situation and the growing enthusiasm for aerobatic flying led to the development of rival types as the Pitts Special, the Zlin 526A Trener Master, and the Yak 18 PS.

The aircraft at the Virginia Air Museum was once owned by Count Jose L. Aresti, originator of the Aresti Aerobatic Shorthand System, and is painted to represent the color scheme used by the late Beverly "Bevo" Howard, one of the world's premier air show aerobatic pilots.

ConstructionSteel tube and wood framework with fabric covering
EngineOne 160hp Siemens Sh 14A-4 seven cylinder air cooled radial
Maximum Speed137 mph (220 km/h)
Range310 miles (500 km)
Service Ceiling14,760 ft (4,500 m)
Wing Span21ft 8in (6.6m)
Length19ft 9in (6.02m)
Height7ft 2.5in (2.2m)
Weightempty 937lb (425kg)
Weightloaded 1,290lb (585kg)

AeroFoil, A 2-d Airfoil Design And Analysis Program