08/31/2012. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "Since 1929 Luft Hansa performed postal flights from NDL (Norddeutschen Lloyd, North German Lloyd) transatlantic ocean liners, using the Heinkel HE 12a (D-1717 c/n 334) from the "Bremen", and the Heinkel He 58 (D-1919 c/n 365) from the "Europa". They were launched from catapults when the steamers were still about 621 mls (1000 km) off the coast, hence the post was delivered about a day earlier.
Luft Hansa was very satisfied with the W 34 performance, so to modernize the postal service the airline asked Junkers to make this type suitable for catapult launches. Under the designation Ju 46, chief designer Ernst Zindel and W 34-designer Hermann Pohlmann started the design, which got a strengthened fuselage and an enlarged tail unit. Registered D-2244, the first of five Ju 46s was first flown in March 1932, and the next month it was assigned to the steamliner "Europa".
These Ju 46s were painted red all over for easy spotting in case of an emergency landing at sea. As the Ju 46 had an improved range, they were catapulted while the steamers were still about 932 mls (1500 km) off the coast. On westbound routes they flew to New York, while on eastbound routes they landed at Southampton for a refueling stop and then continued to Bremen.
The pictured D-2491 was delivered to Luft Hansa in June 1933, in 1934 it was reregistered D-UHYL and during 1934-1935 it flew from the steamliner "Bremen", making its last catapult takeoff October 9, 1935, 639 mls (1,028 km) off Southampton. Subsequently it was reregistered D-OBRA, still serving with Luft Hansa. Early it was sold to Hansa Flugdienst of Bremen, later that year it was transferred to the Luftwaffe."