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Hugo Junkers
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    (February 3, 1859-February 3, 1935)
    Born in Rheydt, Germany
    Engineer and aircraft designer
    Founded Junkers Flugzeug und Motorenwerke (1895)
    Designed the first successful all-metal airplane, the Junkers J 1 (1915)
    He was a pacifist who built military aircraft during WWI.
    To get around the postwar ban on Germany building military aircraft, he agreed to build a manufacturing plant, secretly financed by the German government, outside of Moscow.
    When the Moscow venture failed, he was unable to repay his government loans and lost control over most of his companies (1926).
    His oldest son died in the crash of a plane he designed (1923).
    Before entering the field of aviation, he ran a successful business making diesel engines, steam boilers and heating equipment.
    To demonstrate the strength of his first aluminum plane, the J 3, he set up a wing like a diving board and showed it could support the weight of 42 men.
    He predicted, 'The time will not be far off when as many people will cross the ocean by plane as they now do by ship.' (1923)
    After the Nazis rose to power in Germany, they placed him under house arrest to pressure him into selling off his aircraft patents at a fraction of their worth.

Credit: C. Fishel

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