26.6.1898 Frankfurt-M/D - 17.9.1978 Munich/D
Willy Messerschmitt graduated in engineering at the Munich Institute of Technology in 1923. By 1926 he was a chief designer at the Bayerische Flugzeug-Werke in Augsburg. After having designed light aircraft due to the ban on military aircraft, he had a major impact on the military aviation after 1933, with the Nazis. In 1934 Messerschmitt designed the Bf108 Taifun, a small aircraft with a fighter-like appearance. The fighter Bf109 was launched in 1935 and used in the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939. In 1938 the Messerschmitt AG was founded and airplanes thus were named Me instead of Bf. The Me109V-1 broke the world air speed record at 755 km/h. During World War II, some 35,000 improved Bf 109 were released, and other successful twin-engines followed, such as the Me110 serving both as a bomber and as a night fighter. Messerschmitt's Me262 twin-engined jet fighter was the first jet aircraft of the world; it flew during the early war but was never given a high priority. The Me163 Komet was the first rocketpropelled fighter to enter service. The small tailless aircraft had a maximum speed of 880 km/h but its duration was only for ten minutes and it was used in 1944 to intercept the US Airforce bombers during their daylight raids. At the other end of the scale, Messerschmitt produced the Me321 Gigant, a huge transport glider which was towed behind a flight of three Me110s.
At the end of the war, Messerschmitt was detained by the Americans for two years. In 1952, he became an aviation adviser to the Spanish government, and his Bf 109 was produced in Spain as the Hispano Buchon for years and powered with Rolls-Royce Merlin engines. His German factory, banned from building aircraft, produced prefabricated houses, sewing machines and from 1953 to 1962 a series of bubble cars. In 1958 Messerschmitt resumed aircraft construction in Germany and later became a Honorary Chairman of the merged Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm company.
Anonymous (1996). Messerschmitt, Willy E. Biographical dictionary of the history of technology: 485-486, L. Day, I. McNeil, eds. Routledge: London.
Ebert, H.J., Kaiser, J.B., Peters, K. (1992). Willy Messerschmitt. Bernard&Graefe: Bonn. P Ishoven, A. van (1975). Messerschmitt, aircraft designer. Gentry Publications: London. Madelung, G. (1992). The inaugural Willy Messerschmitt Lecture. Aeronautical Journal 96(12): 365-372. P
Messerschmitt, W. (1939). Die Entwicklung der Flugleistung. Festsitzung der Deutschen Akademie der Luftfahrtforschung zur Erinnerung an den Tag der Freiheit. München.

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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