MESSERSCHMITT

On 11 July 1938 Board of Directors of BFW voted to change name of Augsburg company to Messerschmitt AG, because of success of Bf 109, sole single-seat fighter in production for Luftwaffe. Designations Bf 108, Bf 109, Bf 110, Bf 161 and Bf 162 remained unchanged. Aircraft whose development began after spring 1937 were allocated air ministry 8-series numbers with prefix Me. These aircraft were: Me 209 racer; Me 209 (originally 209-II) fighter, a totally different design based on Bf 109G; Me 210 twin-engined fighter/bomber, a serious failure; Me 261 intended as long-range record-breaker; Me 262 twin-jet fighter; Me 263 rocket interceptor (later Ju 248); Me 264 long-range reconnaissance bomber; Me 309 fighter; Me 310 fighter/bomber; Me 321 Gigant glider and Me 323 powered development; Me 328 twin-jet bomber; and Me 410 fighter/bomber. Prof. Messerschmitt re-registered company 1948, and began to rebuild Augsburg factory. One part, called Neue Technik GmbH, began to make prefab housing and commercial buildings. Messerschmitt AG restarted November 1949 to make Zick-Zack automatic sewing machine, P 511 advanced passenger car and KR 200 kabinenroiler (bubble car). In 1951 Messerschmitt and design team moved to Seville, Spain, where they set up Hispano Aviación (see Hispano-Suiza). Augsburg factory expanded to repair railway rolling-stock, and from 1955 this extended to rebuild and overhaul of T-6 and T-33 trainers for Luftwaffe. In 1956 Messerschmitt and Ernst Heinkel GmbH jointly formed Flugzeug-Union Süd to build Fouga CM.170 Magister under licence, and from 1958 Messerschmitt published civil projects which remained unbuilt. In 1958 Messerschmitt, Heinkel and Dornier began joint production of Fiat G91, Messerschmitt producing fuselage. In 1958 Messerschmitt, Heinkel, Dornier and Siebel formed Arge (Arbeitsgemeinschaft) Süd to build 210 F-104Gs, plus 32 TFs, Messerschmitt making forward fuselage and carrying out assembly and test at Manching, near Munich. In June 1958 Messerschmitt, Heinkel and Bölkow formed EWR (Entwicklungsring, development group) Süd to work on advanced jet V/STOL: see EWR. In 1965 Messerschmitt purchased all parts of former Junkers organization in Federal Germany, which was key move in formation in May 1969 of MBB.

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