Willie Messerschmitt: biography of the German aircraft designer

Wilhelm Messerschmitt is a German engineer,aircraft designer and manufacturer of fighter aircraft. His cars were in service with Nazi Germany and took part in aerial battles during the Second World War.


Willy (Wilhelm Emil) Messerschmitt was born inGermany in Frankfurt am Main on June 26, 1898. When the boy was about 6-7 years old, his family moved to Bamberg, a small town of textile workers located in Northern Bavaria. His father was a prosperous vintner, and his mother a housewife.

Even in his youth, Willie Messerschmitt, like mosthis peers, was literally fascinated by the man's ability to fly. Special enthusiasm was attracted to him by large and beautiful airships bearing the name of his inventor, Count F. von Zeppelin. This fascination with flying machines led the future aircraft designer to a real school, where those who planned to devote their lives to the study of various sciences and technologies were educated. Ibid Messerschmitt gets acquainted with Friedrich Hart - lover of aviation, architect and enthusiast of glider construction. Soon they will unite their efforts to design, build and test the first aircraft.

When the First World War broke out in 1914, Hartawill be called up for military service, and Willie Messerschmitt will remain and continue his work on the S5 glider. In 1922 they will again work together to create aircraft and even open their flight school. Hart kept arguing with the Messerschmitt about the imperfection of his designs. Soon their cooperation ceased altogether.

Willie Messerschmitt biography

Work for the benefit of Nazi Germany

It is known that Willy Messerschmitt (photo in the article)was a very ambitious personality, so he almost immediately joined the Nazi party as soon as Hitler came to power. The aircraft designer got acquainted with Hermann Goering, the Reich Minister of Aviation, and became his close friend. During the Second World Messerschmitt was a technical adviser to the Luftwaffe.

Even in his youth, he registered his owna company for the production of gliders and light aircraft in Augsburg. Thanks to his connections with the Nazis, he became quite a notable figure in the Third Reich. For his work, Willy Messerschmitt was awarded several state awards, he often appeared in the media, and also met with senior government officials.

Willie Messerschmitt

Aircraft structures

With the outbreak of war, its factories earned in furiousthe pace, releasing a huge number of aircraft. However, over time, his workers were taken to the army one by one, and finding new ones became more difficult. Therefore, slave labor began to be used in its factories - workers brought from countries occupied by the fascists.

Willie Messerschmitt, whose biography was inmainly associated with the construction of short-lived gliders, believed that the fighters should not have excessively reinforced structures. In his view, the military pilot had to survive solely at the expense of personal flying skills, and not because of the strength of the aircraft. Therefore, his cars were lighter, more maneuverable and faster than fighters of the same class, developed by other aircraft designers.

Willy Messerschmitt photo

After the war

When in April 1945 the Allied forcesentered Bavaria, Willy Messerschmitt was captured by the British. He was placed under house arrest at his estate in Oberammergau. In 1948 he was tried by a military tribunal as an accomplice of the Nazis. He spent two years in prison on charges of using slave labor at his enterprises. In addition, after his release, he was forbidden to work in the aviation industry. Messerschmitt had to deal with the production of consumer goods. His company produced sewing machines, prefabricated houses and even small cars.

In 1952, using his previous achievements,The German aircraft designer created a jet plane Hispano HA-200 for the Spanish aircraft. Three years later, Germany abolished the moratorium on the production of lethal vehicles. Messerschmitt AG almost immediately received permission to manufacture a new Fiat G.91, as well as the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter for the West German Air Force. In the 60s, the aircraft designer worked on a light supersonic interceptor Helwan HA-300, which came into service with the Egyptian Air Force. This aircraft was the last of its developments. Subsequently, the Messerschmitt enterprise underwent two mergers with other airlines, where the illustrious aircraft designer was chairman until 1970, until he resigned. He died in a hospital in Munich on September 15, 1978.

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