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Flettner GmbH

Anton Flettner G.m.b.H

Anton Flettner (1885-1961) was born in Germany and attended the Fulda State Teachers College in Germany. On finishing his studies, he was employed by Zeppelin on development work into remote-control systems for lighter-than-air craft. When he was teaching mathematics and physics in a high school in Frankfurt, he began to develop ideas leading to his work for Germany in World War I.

From 1926 to 1945, Mr. Flettner was president of the Anton Flettner Aircraft Corporation in Berlin.

The "Anton Flettner G.m.b.H." was a small engineering company dedicated to helicopters. It is believed that the firm was founded in Berlin in 1935. The earliest document the author has been able to find is a letter from the Military Economics inspectorate (W.I.) III, Berlin to the RLM concerning firms involved in production for the Luftwaffe and dated October 2, 1936. The letter states that the W.I. III first became aware that the firm had been given important work by the RLM (LC II) as the result of a formal application for an exemption from military service for one of Flettner’s skilled workers.

The same inspectorate sent the secrecy agreements to the Flettner Company, Berlin-Johannisthal, Segelfliegerdamm 27, for signature on January 22, 1937.

Due to the growing number of air raids on Berlin, in August 1943 the company began transferring its operations to Schweidnitz in Silesia (approx. 50 km SW of Breslau); due to the deterioration of the transportation system the operation took several months. The Fl 282s on hand with the company were also flown to Schweidnitz to continue the test program. In February 1944 the workforce reached approximately 120 men, its highest level ever.

With the Red Army approaching Silesia, in January/February 1945 the company moved back to Berlin-Tempelhof. Any systematic work or further production was of course out of the question under these circumstances. To make matters worse, two days after its arrival the rest of the company's equipment was destroyed in a night raid on Tempelhof. What was left of Flettner was subsequently evacuated to Bad Tolz (Upper Bavaria); two Fl 282s were also flown there. The history of the Anton Flettner G.m.b.H. ended there with the arrival of American troops.


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