Hugo Junkers was German engineer and designer, known as pioneer to develop all-metal airplanes. In his time, aircraft was not fully covered with metal plate. He designed flying wings integrated to body with full plate.
He had company Junkers Flugzeug-und Motorenwerke AG that produced several aircraft models. The most popular design and production was Junker J1 in 1915. In early days, he was known as inventor for several appliances, such as caloriemeter, pressure regulator, and gas stove.
Early Life and Education
Hugo Junkers was born on 3 February 1859 in Rheydt, Kingdom of Prussia. He died on 3 February 1935, in Gauting, Bavaria. His family was known as industrialist and could support his education.
After completed his abitur, he continued to study in the Royal Polytechnic University then the Royal Technical University. Both are located in Charlottenburg and Aachen respectively. He completed his degree in 1884.
After finished her degree, he returned home. At first, he started to be employee in his father’s company. He also visited Charlottenburg then leaned thermodynamics and electromagnetism from Adolf Slaby. He worked under Slaby to develop piston engine.
He created caloriemeter while worked to measure heating level. His invention received gold medal at 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. He founded his own company, Junkers & Co to produce his inventions. He developed and created practical appliances for domestic utilization.
He started to involve in aeronautical field in his old age. At first, he had vision to develop full aircraft design covered with metal and attached fly wings. The design was ready and he tested until production.
His company entered aircraft production and one of best designs was Junker J 1. He patented it and created other models. He was forced to increase production and merger with Fokker in order to fulfill war’s supply.
Hugo Junkers was a pacifist and socialist. He often had cross sword with existing leadership and authority in German. Government forced his company to scale the war production during World War 1. That was the reason his company partnered with Anthony Fokker for high scale manufacturer process.
In Nazi era, he had completely opposite opinion regarding government political view and action. They tried to take over his company and obtained his patents. In later life, the company was no longer in his control. Nazi used technology from his patents and resources in his company for war.
Other Business and Legacy
He did not just build aircraft production in German. His venture expanded to other countries, such as Bolivia. He was responsible for early developing of Luft Hansa.
Some of his ventures were succeeded. Other was failed due to several problems. However, he was still active in aeronautical business for long time until he died.
Hugo Junkers lived in difficult era because of World War I and Nazi regime. However, he was capable to invent aircraft that became the best in the world. In World War II, most of aircraft from Nazi used his company production and technology.