Flight of the Rimowa | A Continuous Lean.

Flight of the Rimowa

Aug 2nd, 2012 | Categories: Travel | by Michael Williams

It’s not everyday you get cruise down the Hudson river, circle around the statue of Liberty and then buzz back along Manhattan’s West Side in a vintage German Junkers JU-52. That’s exactly what the iconic German luggage maker Rimowa organized for a lucky few last evening. There’s a real connection to the Junkers too, it’s not just marketing (though it was a marketing thing, a very fun marketing thing).

In 1937, Richard Morszeck (son of Rimowa founder Paul Morszeck) introduced the first pieces of Rimowa hand luggage made from aircraft grade aluminum, the same material that was used to make the German airplanes of the era — the Junkers 25 among them. The cases proved popular for the sturdiness and light weight that was provided by the aluminum construction. Then in the early 1950s the company introduced the ribbed exterior texture (inspired again by the aircraft exterior) which has become a calling card for the brand. If you see a groved silver metal case, you know it’s a Rimowa.

Being a frequent traveler and owner of several Rimowa cases (all aluminum) myself, it is refreshing to see a family company that can innovate while also remaining true to its roots. To me Rimowa is the perfect example of how to run a company. It has all of the heritage anyone could ever ask for, it stays true to the values on which it was founded, and it continues to make a quality product to the highest standards. What else could you possibly want? Well maybe a personalization option. never mind, I have that covered.

Comments: 25

25 Comments to “Flight of the Rimowa”

  1. henrik
    on Aug 2nd, 2012
    @ 12:49 PM

    now those are some rad photos!

    i am too much of a scaredy cat these days after a close call… went for an airshow ride in an old 1960′s dc-3 some 15 years ago- it had left prop engine problems mid flight. even the captain started freakin’ out and thought we were done with. after some major sputtering with a ton of black smoke and all, it somehow fixed itself and down to the landing we went.

    to this day, i try to avoid commuter prop planes as much as possible; even the modern ones!

  2. adam c.
    on Aug 2nd, 2012
    @ 1:04 PM

    amazing shots.

  3. Jimmy
    on Aug 2nd, 2012
    @ 1:26 PM

    That is so cool!

  4. Sir Fopling Flutter
    on Aug 2nd, 2012
    @ 2:30 PM

    Very very cool. Lufthansa has a JU-52 and I’ve been lucky enough to fly in it over Berlin.

  5. eric y.
    on Aug 2nd, 2012
    @ 6:12 PM

    The cockpit photo just invoked a serious case of airplane nerd jealousy.

  6. RKW
    on Aug 2nd, 2012
    @ 8:10 PM

    Now I know who makes the aluminum Porsche luggage! This whole thing is very cool.

  7. Laurent
    on Aug 3rd, 2012
    @ 4:41 AM

    Nice !

    (But I could add a JQuery lightbox to your site so the picture may be easier to watch :)

  8. Blake
    on Aug 3rd, 2012
    @ 9:22 AM

    Saw you guys fly over Hoboken a few times… you went right over the Mumford & Sons concert!

  9. Hans
    on Aug 3rd, 2012
    @ 9:23 AM

    Really dig the connection between the aircrafts’s exterior and the cases. Amazing photos too.

  10. agnesj
    on Aug 4th, 2012
    @ 3:27 AM

    No mention that this plane was primarily used by the Luftwaffe during WWII to kill people? Heritage brands and vintage aviation are wonderful, but let’s not forget historical context.

    Marketing events could be scrutinized a bit by ACL, not just given a glossy thumbs up. Without some context, the danger of course is that these enthusiastic personal accounts become reduced to mere boosterism.

  11. Sir Fopling Flutter
    on Aug 4th, 2012
    @ 6:45 AM

    In reply to agnesj, not really.

    It was used by many countries, for both military and civil puposes. In military use in WW2, it was primarily a transport aircraft. Certainly used as part of the German military machine (including for carrying paratroops), but as a bomber it was largely superseded in WW2 by more modern aircraft like the He-111 and Do-17. It was used in the Spanish Civil War though, including at Guernica.

    If we’re going to avoid commemorating aircraft that were used in killing people, then we need to steer clear of B-17s and Lancasters.

  12. Johnny Horn
    on Aug 4th, 2012
    @ 1:28 PM

    Fantastic pics and great to see someone keeping old classic aircraft in great (and safe) condition. As a kid on holiday in early 80s, we used to watch an old Shackleton bomber getting daily training flights out of Lossiemouth over the Moray Firth (NE Scotland). We used to look up in awe at the size and what possible history the old plane may have had.

  13. Brian Miller
    on Aug 6th, 2012
    @ 11:27 AM

    Sir Fop, I was as caught off guard as agnesj was, perhaps. That a site that honors Americana was featuring a machine utilized by the enemies in an attempt to destroy America is…interesting. I get it, quality is quality, but I still found the choice an interesting one.

  14. randy
    on Aug 6th, 2012
    @ 2:44 PM

    Deutschland uber alles.

  15. ldv
    on Aug 7th, 2012
    @ 5:30 AM

    Amazing photogs. Hell yes I would be in that plane. Cases aren’t bad either.

  16. Joshua
    on Aug 7th, 2012
    @ 6:43 AM

    Beautiful photos indeed.

    I had to wonder however, did anyone have to endure TSA agents sticking their hands down anyone’s pants or do body cavity searches before boarding (e.g.-little kids, & grannies in wheelchairs, etc)?

    Were there any air marshals ready to blow people’s brains away?

    Amazed you could see straight into the cockpit from the rear, the audacity, hope the FAA didn’t find out.

    Also, did flying around the Statue of Liberty require an F-16 escort?

  17. gregg harper
    on Aug 8th, 2012
    @ 12:16 PM

    what a shame the products look great but the after sales service is terrible… I now have an 800 euro case which is not used any more due to the broken wheel I cant seem to get replaced anywhere…

  18. ejwright
    on Aug 8th, 2012
    @ 7:43 PM

    Great shots, nice plane and all, but it has flown over my top floor deck about 4 times now here in Toronto. It was really low and extremely loud. It was so low I read the Rimowa name on the wing’s underside.

    Google brought me here, to say: what a pain in the ass that stupid plane is.

  19. Geez
    on Aug 8th, 2012
    @ 9:07 PM

    ejwirght, don’t be such a sourpuss. The plane is cool. Deal with it.

  20. ejwright
    on Aug 9th, 2012
    @ 10:29 AM

    Sorry… I forgot how cool advertising is.

  21. Chris
    on Aug 10th, 2012
    @ 12:00 PM

    You live a life to be envied, my friend. Wonderful pictures; thanks for sharing.

  22. Rimowa Las Vegas
    on Aug 15th, 2012
    @ 5:56 PM

    @gregg harper

    Hello, Do you live in the United States? If so, please feel free to contact us at the Las Vegas Rimowa store. We can assist you with your wheel. :)

    We look forward to hearing from you!

    -Rimowa Las Vegas

  23. Rimowa Las Vegas
    on Aug 15th, 2012
    @ 6:30 PM

    P.S. If you’re having trouble finding our contact info, it is the following:



    -Rimowa Las Vegas

  24. J.B.
    on Aug 18th, 2012
    @ 11:58 AM

    Incredible airplane!

    I’m guessing they spent more on fuel that day then they did anything else….


  25. Hans Peterse
    on Aug 20th, 2012
    @ 6:55 AM

    Video footage of the event -