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Messerschmitt Flugzeugbau GmbH
Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFW)


Founded by Willi Messerschmitt at Bamberg in 1923 as Messerschmitt Flugzeugbau and became GmbH April 28,1926.
It was in Augsburg that on 30 July 1926, the Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFW) was incorporated and established itself in the former Rumperwerke factory.

S-16 powered glider flown 1924; M-18 three-passenger, single-engined airliners built for Nordbayerische Verkehrsflug AG and others 1925. Developed into M-20 and M-20b built for Lufthansa 1928. Highly successful M-23 two-seat sporting monoplane introduced 1929.

A number of crashes led Lufthansa to refuse to accept any more M20s, which resulted in the Messerschmitt company, Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (BFW) going bankrupt on 1 June 1931. An agreement was reached with all creditors in December 1932 and on 1 May 1933 the BFW AG was able to start a new career. Renamed Messerschmitt AG 11 July 1938.

Messerschmitt airplanes are variously coded with the letters Bf and Me; they refer to Bayerische Flugzeugwerke and Messerschmitt AG, respectively - firm names under which he did business. The Bf designation was dropped in 1938, but designs executed before that time properly carry the prefix Bf.

After being renamed in 1938 continued production of BFW's Bf 108 and of Bf 109 fighter, Bf 110 twin-engined long-range fighter. Rocket-powered Me 163 fighter first flown August 1941, and first of Me 262 twin-jet fighters on 18 July 1942. Bf 110 developed into Me 210 fighter-bomber first flown September 2,1939, built up to 1944, and reengined Me 410, which made maiden flight in late 1942. Me 321 Gigant troop carrier/cargo glider (54.68m wingspan) introduced 1941; 175 built together with 201 of Me 323 powered version with six Gnome- Rhone radial engines.

Reconstituted postwar company formed Flugzeug-Union Sud with Heinkel in August 1956, building Fouga Magister under license and later taking part in programs for Fiat G.91, Lockheed F-104G, Transall C.160 and Bell UH-1D.

Amalgamated with Bolkow as Messerschmitt Bolkow GmbH 1968 and then with Hamburger Flugzeugbau to form Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm 14 May 1969.

 


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