In the region of Wiener Neustadt aircraft construction started already in the monarchy.
In the year 1914 the aircraft construction company "Oesterreichische Flugzeugfabrik Aktiengesellschaft Oeffag" was founded. Shortly afterwards the first biplanes of the types Oeffag CI and CII were built. Already in 1916 the company had about 800 employees. In the last two years of war one of the most popular single-seated fighter planes of the First World War was constructed in Wiener Neustadt - Albatros D II and D III.After the war had ended in November 1918 and the peace treaty of St. Germain had been signed the aircraft construction in Wiener Neustadt stopped. The material was delivered to the Allies or destroyed. Oeffag then built car bodies instead of single-seated fighters and sea planes.In 1927 the company merged with Daimler Motorenwerke. When Daimler moved the production to Steyr the company Oeffag was closed forever.
In 1930 the Phoenix Flugzeugwerk started and stimulated the aircraft construction Wiener Neustadt for a short time. They built several sport biplanes of German origin. Because of sales difficulties the company closed soon. In 1935 the "Wiener Neustadter Flughafengesellschaft" was founded on initiative of the famous fighter pilot of the First World War Julius Arigi. Popular names like Lampich, Meindl and Arigi were like motors for the aircraft construction in Wiener Neustadt. Several sport planes from Lampich and Meindl were built as well as small series. The company had about 40 employees.
When service and repair works of Air Force planes got part of the company`s program the situation improved.
When in March 1938 the German Wehrmacht marched in Hermann Goring announced to build barracks, airports and to open the aircraft construction company of Wiener Neustadt. A lot of jobless people in the region gained hope. The "Wiener Neustadter Flugzeugwerke GmbH" turned into a prestigious object of the aviation ministry.
Already in 1928 the completion of the later famous German single-seated fighter jet - Messerschmitt Me 109 - was started in Wiener Neustadt. In spring of 1939 the first plane was ready. In the beginning Me 199 E planes of different series were produced. Later there followed planes of F and G series, even K prototypes were constructed.
In the "biggest German fighter construction plant" the employees did not only build but also repair planes. Bomber jets of the type Ju 88 and He 111 were repaired, flew and crashed again in Wiener Neustadt. The Dritte Reich propaganda celebrated the company, newspapers reported about it and foreign journalists were allowed to visit the plant. When the Allies had the possibility to bomb the Austrian region the plant in Wiener Neustadt was their first aim. Then time was running. The plant was destroyed. At new year 1943/44 the production of Me 109 was stopped. Decentralising and moving started. Until the end of the war about 8,500 Messerschmitt fighters of different series and types were built in Wiener Neustadt.
On July 16, 1909 the hangar built by the city of Wiener Neustadt (toady Flugplatz-West) was rented by the industrialist Igo Etrich. Etrich immediately noticed the perfect condition of the Steinfeld. With his plane "Etrich 1" ("Etrich-Spatz") he reached in August 1910 a considerable jump in the air. In a height of 4 m the plane could fly 40 m. In 1910 Etrich built a new plane, the so called "Etrich-Taube". This plane was equipped with a motor constructed by Ferdinand Porsche, director of Daimler. It flew on May 17, 1910 for the first time over Austria (Wiener Neustadt - Vienna without stop). The plane was built by Rumpler Werke in Germany and became the first military plane in Germany in big number of pieces.
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The content above was published at Airports-Worldwide.com in 2007.
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