N.V. Nederlandsche Wereldverkeer Maatschappij – NWM (1922-1934)

By Rob Mulder

One of the most interesting airline companies in Europe was the Dutch Junkers-affiliated airline company N. V. Nederlandsche Wereldverkeer Maatschappij – NWM. This company had a long birth. The first plans were made in 1919 and discussion finally led to the formation of this airline company.  The collapse of the Junkers-empire in Germany in the autumn of 1925 led to the end of the company.

The entry of Junkers in the Netherlands

The company behind this airline company was the German aircraft factory Junkers Flugzeugwerk AG – Jfa. The first attempts dated back to the early years after the Great War. Right after signing of the Peace Treaty of Versailles Jfa started to find a way to save the Junkers J 13-fleet from the hands of the IAACC. Jfa wanted to find a storage outside Germany and after the rejection of two possible sites in Denmark and Norway, the Netherlands was regarded as interesting, due to its good relations with Great Britain and France. But to find a suitable site in the Netherlands was not easy. Through the German Ministry of War, the Junkers Werke AG & Co. – Jco came in contact with Franz Kaumanns. Born in Germany in 1870 he was general agent for Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft, Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, Vulcan-Werke in Hamburg-Stettin and some other German manufactures. In 1913 he had opened an affiliate in Dutch East Indies and returned to Germany in 1915 to fulfil his military duty. He could return already in 1915 and resume his business. The Dutch press was negative towards him due to his connections with Great Britain and France. Part of his staff resigned. After the War he still had some general agency left.

At the end of December 1918 Major Seitz (Jco) took up contact with Kaumanns to see if his was interested and on 20 February 1919 the first personal meeting between the two was held in Berlin. Kaumanns was certainly interested and took information back to the Netherlands to read. He applied for all the rights for the Netherlands, the Dutch colonies, Great Britain and the United States of America. On 7 March Mr Kaumanns met with Prof Junkers. Although the plan was to sell only heavy oil engines, Kaumanns soon came with his first request for six flying boats for the Dutch Indies. Jfa offered to deliver the J 11 (in the German Army known as the CL I) as floatplane, with as alternative model a biplane. Kaumanns took the Dutch Kapitein der Artillerie (Artillery Captain) Van der Werff in his service. He was specialized in aviation matters. After Van der Werffs visit to Dessau, Jfa started planning a sales tour to the Netherlands. This was scheduled for the months September-October 1919. The Jfa-employee Christian van Staden left on the 4 July for the Netherlands to prepare this flight and to find out more about the possibilities for production of the Junkers J 13 in the Netherlands. During his four weeks trip (return on 3 August) he visited Utrecht, the airfield Soesterberg, ‘s Gravenhage and Scheveningen. In Den Haag (The Hague) a request for the scheduled demonstration flight was handed over and later approved by the Ministerie van Oorlog (Ministry of War). The flight was approved and Van Staden could go to Colonel Walaardt-Sacré at the Soesterberg Military Airport to finalize the details.

Van Staden found out that it would be possible to found an aircraft manufacturer in the Netherlands with German capital. The company should be registered on the name of at least two Dutch citizens, but the capital could well come from Germany. Jfa would have to use straw men.

The demonstration flight was scheduled for the end of September and a maximum of two Junkers J 13s were to participate. This was reduced to just one: the D 183 Herta, c/n 531 – the prototype. Prof Junkers and his wife were to join the flight. After a delay until the end of October, the tour had to be cancelled in the beginning of November due to bad weather.

In December 1919 talks were held with the NV Maatschappij tot vervaardigen van snijmachines volgens Van Berkel’s Patent, which had just formed an Afdeeling Vliegtuigen – an aviation department. It was to build some 41 Hansa-Brandenburg aircraft under licence. The company’s representative Dr Ing Gehlen visited Dessau and held talks with Jco-representatives. Van Berkel’s Patent was also in negotiations with the Zeppelin-Werke Staaken G.m.b.H. Jco wanted to send a huge number of Junkers J 13 to the Netherlands, where Van Berkel’s Patent would assemble and sell them. The Dutch company, however, was not willing to take such a big financial investment and the two parties did not come to an agreement. Another, be it fake contact, was the Dutch Colonel Walaardt-Sacré. He resigned from the Dutch Army and started to work for the Vickers House Ltd. He had informed the Jco that Vickers House Ltd. was interested in a co-operation and he wanted to visit Berlin and Dessau for talks. The first impression from Jco-side was positive, but the deal was never made. The Vickers House Ltd. just wanted to get some information about the all-metal Junkers-aircraft.

For the first six months of 1920, the official general agent in the Netherlands was Aero Industrie, where Mr Jablonsky worked. In the early months of 1920, Jco discussed the delivery of a number of Junkers J 13 for the KLM – Royal Dutch Airlines for the service Amsterdam – London.

Another company interested in the Junkers J 13 was the Internationale Lucht Vervoer Onderneming – ILVO. Mr Kleiboer met at Jco-office in Berlin in February 1920 for the delivery of some Junkers J 13 for the services between Leeuwarden, Groningen, Deventer and ‘s Hertogenbosch. Jco offered also to participate in the company, but also this meeting led to no orders from the Netherlands.

The year 1920 passed without any Junkers-success in the Netherlands. During the spring and summer of 1920 Jco had to export some Junkers J 13 to the Freistaat Danzig for not to be confiscated by the Inter-Allied Aviation Controlling Commission – IAACC. The IAACC thought that the Junkers-aircraft were overpowered and wanted to check the aircraft. Production at the Jfa-factory increased rapidly and by June 1921 some one hundred aircraft had come from the production line in Dessau. Twenty-six were sold to the United States of America and imported by J L Larsen, but for some 25-30 aircraft Jfa had not yet found a buyer. The new general agent in the Netherlands, the NV Het Globe Safety Gas Syndicaat of Mr E A van Ameringen was asked to assist and to see if an airline company and an aircraft factory could be formed in the Netherlands. The airline company would get the immediate disposal of at least twenty (!) Junkers J 13, which could directly be sold to abroad. A warehouse was found in the vicinity of Nijmegen (a factory hall of a marmalade plant). The German industrial Karl Kirchberg owned this warehouse, whose son, Jakob, ran the Dutch factory. On 3 June 1921 Jakob Kirchberg and Jfa signed a lease for the rental of the hall. The dimensions were 16×19 meter and 5 meter high. An office on the first floor was at the Jfa’s disposal as well. On the backyard dismantled aircraft in cases could be stored as well. By train twenty-three Junkers J 13s were delivered here and stored for the time being. Another ten aircraft were already in Amsterdam. In a report dated 14 July 1921 Jfa mentioned that 33 aircraft were in the Netherlands, of which 26 with short wings, 7 with extended wings. In addition three pair of floats were stored (See table):

Object Total In Amsterdam In Nijmegen
Fuselage of J13 27 11 16
Short wings (packed by the pair) 11 11
Short wing (not packed by the pair) 10 10
Long wing (by the pair) 6 6
Sets of spare parts 4 4
Sets of spare parts for 70 % ready 7 7
Sets of spare parts for 35 % ready 3 3
Sets of instruments for 50 % ready 3 3
Floats 6 6
Parts of floats 2 2
Same, but including tools 2 2
Propeller 11 11
Junkers J 16 without engine 2 2

In the spring of 1922 the pilot Wilhelm Zimmerman made some trial flights with some of the stored aircraft, before they were delivered to their customer. The plan to start up a factory in the Netherlands was further examined by Gotthard Sachsenberg (Jfa). He visited some possible sites in March 1922 and looked, among other places, at the airfield near Ede (here was the factory of Joop Carley). This airfield was considered too small. The start of a production line in the Netherlands was due to the financial crisis in Germany postponed. During the years 1923-30 a number of location were reviewed, but none was acceptable.

The Junkers J 13 and the J 16 in the Netherlands

On 10 March, the NWM and the Jfa organized a demonstration flight from the military airport of Amsterdam, Schiphol. Here the Jfa had rented a hangar and stored one Junkers J 13 (c/n 579) and one J 16 (the prototype with the c/n 465. This aircraft had made its first flight possibly at Amsterdam/ Schiphol). The pilot Zimmerman made some trial flights with these two aircraft on the Sunday (12 March) prior to the day of the demonstration flights. All was ready for the expected guests. On Monday 13 March Van Ameringens guests arrived. Among them were Mr Wolf (director of the Rijks Studie Dienst voor de Luchtvaart), General Doorman, the General Consul of Germany in the Netherlands Prince von Hatzfeld, the vice-consul F Benzler and the General-Consul of Serbia Mr Meerens (later member of the Board of Directors of the NWM). The press was represented by the Dutch newspapers NRC, (Rotterdam), De Standard (Amsterdam), Algemeen Handelsblad (Amsterdam), Het Volk (Amsterdam), Auto-Leven, De Telegraaf (Amsterdam), the well-known publisher Henri Hegener and a photographer from the Centraal Foto Pers Bureau. Jco’s representatives were beside Van Ameringen, Dr Hannes Kaufmann and Gotthard Sachsenberg. With the Junkers J16 he performed 30 flying minutes and with the Junkers J13 (with the constructor’s number 579) 90 minutes.

Twenty representatives participated in the flights with the Junkers J 13, while the J 16 made one trial flight and two flights with passengers. Zimmermann had problems at the start of the heavy loaded J 16 and reported this to Jfa immediately. The Siemens & Halschke Sh.11 engine was possibly not strong enough. Mr Wolff showed great interested in the product and was repeatedly invited to come to Dessau for a demonstration of the aircraft and a look at the Jfa-factory. He also suggested starting the production of the all-metal aircraft in the Netherlands, where Mr Sachsenberg replied that the high labour costs and the high duty tax made this for the time being impossible.

On 14 March the Junkers J 13 (c/n 579) had made the flight to Ede with Sachsenberg. He had scheduled to fly to Soesterberg and Venlo as well, but the engine of the J 13 ran terribly and the engineer Wollenweber did not manage to fix the problem in time. The next day the aircraft flew to Rotterdam for a demonstration. Here Mr Kaumanns had invited one representative of the German Embassy, one representative of the Rotterdam Bank and the lawyer A Elberts Doyer (responsible for the Junkers-patents in the Netherlands). Also the press was present again. Despite the bad weather, two flights were made, while after the third flight the aircraft had to be repaired on its cooler. At 5.30pm the Junkers J 13 departed from Rotterdam for the return flight to Amsterdam. At Amsterdam/Schiphol, the engine of the aircraft was taken from each other and checked by a new engineer, Mr Hermann.

During the meeting following this demonstration, Mr Sachsenberg talked with Mr Kaumanns about the possibility to open the air service Rotterdam – Frankfurt am Main and further to Stuttgart and with connection on the air service Fürth – Stuttgart – Konstanz – Zürich – Genève. An amount of ƒ. 300,000 should be needed for the airline company. Mr Kaumanns told that this amount would be hard to get in the Netherlands. But Sachsenberg said he could help in this matter.

The formation of the company

Between 2 and 17 of September 1922 the Junkers J 13, D 192, c/n 616 and the later joined by the Junkers J 13, D-204, c/n 582 (only on the 4th and 7th of September) participated in the Internationaal Concours Aviatique Rotterdam – ICAR (International Aviation Festival Rotterdam), in commemoration of the fifteenth anniversary of the Royal Aero Club of the Netherlands. The festivities were held at the new airport of Rotterdam, Waalhaven. On the Air Show, the Junkers-aircraft made several joy ride flights with passengers. Together with the Fokker-aircraft more than 1,000 passengers made a flight. On 4 September both Zimmermann and Straszer in each their Junkers-aircraft participated in the distribution of pamphlets over the city of Rotterdam.

But the formation of an airline company in the Netherlands seemed to be a little bit easier. By the end of 1922 the NV Nederlandsche Wereldverkeer Maatschappij – NWM was formed with a stock-capital of ƒ 20,000 provided entirely by the Jfa. The Dutch company was approved by Royal Degree of 5 January 1923.

The NWM did not get any of the Junkers J 13 scheduled for the Dutch airline company. In fact it was not until the plan for an air service between the Netherlands and Germany started to take shape that the NWM entered the Dutch aviation scene again. In 1925 after the announcement of the KLM that it would open an air service Rotterdam – Dortmund, the city of Essen was interested in starting up an air service between Essen and Amsterdam and Essen and Berlin. The city’s airline company Luftverkehrsgesellschaft Ruhrgebiet AG – LURAG (formed 24 February 1925) and the Junkers Luftverkehrs AG – Jlag were to operate the service in co-operation with the NWM. But for this purpose the stock-capital of the NWM had to be increased (this plan was already introduced in 1923). Through the Internationale Bemiddeling- en Handelmaatschappij – IBH (an inter-national trade company with strong connections in Germany) the city of Essen took care of the extension of the stock-capital to ƒ 300,000. This money was needed for the delivery of three Junkers G 24s. The Board of Directors of the NWM was extended with some celebrities from the Netherlands, among them Members of Parliament and the Lord Major of the city of Haarlem, Mr Maarschalk. The aircraft should be delivered through Swedish Junkers-affiliated aircraft factory AB Flygindustri in Limhamn. They were to be registered in the Netherlands as H-NADA Haarlem (ex S-AAAM, c/n 844), H-NADB Rotterdam (ex S-AAAK, c/n 843) and H-NADC Amsterdam (ex S-AAAL, c/n 842), but these registration could not be used as the company’s managing director Mr van Ameringen was not Dutch (he lost his Dutch citizenship during the Boer War in South Africa). Instead the aircraft received the Swedish registration and were delivered on 30 June 1925 at Amsterdam/Schiphol airport. They had to be parked outside, as the KLM could not spare any space in their hangar for the NWM-aircraft. On 4 July the three aircraft made a trial flight over the route Amsterdam – Essen (airport: Dorsten). In addition, one week later a demonstration flight with Dutch celebrities was performed. The NWM, LURAG and Jlag announced the opening of the service on 17 July 1925. Delay of the approval by the Reichsverkehrsministerium – RVM (Ministry of Traffic) forced the companies to postpone the start of the service, but on 21 July the service Amsterdam – Essen (Dorsten) – Berlin could finally be opened. The results on the stretch between Amsterdam and Essen were not too positive. The stretch further to Berlin had much better results.

The end of NWM

By December 1925, the Jlag merged with the Deutscher Aero Lloyd AG to form Deutsche Luft Hansa AG. This led to the discontinuation of the services of the NWM and the process of liquidation was started. Although the NWM was kept alive for the time being, problems with regard to the shares of the NWM, misunderstandings about the contract (Mr Van Ameringen thought he was promised a five year contract, but in fact he only received a two year contract) and the personal controversy between Mr Van Ameringen and Jlag-director Terfloth led to the final collapse of the company. Privately Mr Van Ameringen had lost many friends due to his anti-Dutch attitude and also his Gas-company had lost a number of clients. By 1927 he was mentally down and even wrote a personal letter to Prof Junkers, asking for a position in the Junkers Flugzeugwerk AG as trouble-shooter or what so ever. According to German sources the NV Nederlandsche Wereldverkeer Maatschappij – NWM was finally dissolved in 1934. KLMs main opponent in the year 1925 had stopped its operations. In the pre-War period no airline company has been a serious threat towards the position of the KLM in the Netherlands.

Aircraft stored in the Netherlands:

Below please find a list with the Junkers J 13 Type Fs known to have been stored in the Netherlands:

W/Nr. To … Status at 14 July 1921 Registration Name Date of Remarks
(c/n) delivery
576 War compensation, to Japan Packed for overseas transport 1921 Confiscated by IAACC in Hamburg and to Japanese Navy
577 War compensation, to Japan Packed for overseas transport 1921 Confiscated by IAACC in Hamburg and to Japanese Navy
578 War compensation, to Japan Packed for overseas transport 1921 Confiscated by IAACC in Hamburg and to Japanese Navy
579 Latvijas Gaisa Satiksmes AS Packed for overseas transport B.L.A.T.A.* Kondor Sep 1921 Via Danziger Luftpost (Dz 32), Russia (Dz 32) to Latvia
580 PLL Aerolloyd To be modernized and packed P-PALA Amsel May 1922 To Ad Astra Aero AG (CH 91), but sold to PLL Aerolloyd
582 PLL Aerolloyd Packed for overseas transport P-PALD ** Hänfling Nov 1922 Later to PLL Aerolot and PLL Lot, 27 Aug 1931 crashed
583 Ad Astra Aero AG Packed for overseas transport CH 91 Drossel 28 Jul 1922 Sold to PLL Aerolloyd as PP-ALA
589 PLL Aerolloyd To be modernized and packed P-PALB Krähe 1922 Came from Lloyd Ostflug GmbH as Dz36
594 War compensation, to UK To be modernized and packed 1921
595 War compensation, to UK To be modernized and packed 1921
596 War compensation, to UK To be modernized and packed 1921
597 War compensation, to Belgium To be modernized and packed 1921
598 War compensation, to UK To be modernized and packed 1921
599 War compensation, to UK To be modernized and packed 1921
600 War compensation, to Belgium To be modernized and packed O-BACC 26 Mar 1923 To Mr C Chaidron, Brussels, used for pigeon transportation
601 War compensation, to Belgium To be modernized and packed O-BACD 1922 Not confirmed
603 War compensation, to France To be modernized and packed 1921
604 War compensation, to France To be modernized and packed 1921
605 War compensation, to France To be modernized and packed 1921
606 War compensation, to France To be modernized and packed 1921
607 War compensation, to France To be modernized and packed 1921
608 War compensation, to France To be modernized and packed 1921
609 War compensation, to France To be modernized and packed 1921
613 UAE, Spain D191/M-AAAJ Marabu Jun 1922 To Jfa and later transferred to Spain
616 Jfa and to JW, Abt. Luftverkehr D192 Meise 22 Jun 1922 Flew later for TREU and handed over to Deutsche Luft Hansa AG
617 Ad Astra Aero AG Packed for overseas transport CH 94 Star 6 Jul 1922 1931 to Germany as D-2226
619 Reimers To be modernized and packed Pirol

* B.L.A.T.B.= A review dated 24 Oct 1925 stated that Kondor = B.L.A.T.B., while B.L.A.T.A. can be found in a review dated 6 Jan 1926.

There it is mentioned that B.L.A.T.B. = W. Nr 570 Eule (ex D251) and stationed at Fürth for overhaul.

** P-PALD c/n 582 can be found in a review dated 6 Jan 1926 as W/Nr. 583 Hänfling. Though, W/Nr. 583 is CH 91.

W/Nr. 576, 577 and 578 were possibly not in Holland.

© 2003 – Rob Mulder, Norway