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MAIER, Fritz Franz

* 19. 7. 1844, Znojmo, Czech Republic
† 15. 12. 1926, Vienna, Austria

Shipbuilding engineer

As the son of a regiment doctor, M. spend his youth in Milan, Verona, Mantua and Venice, due to multiple transfers of his father's Regiment. He studied shipbuilding at the Technical University in Vienna and gained the practical part of his education in the shipyard in Trieste. A four-year stay in the USA only expanded his knowledge of shipbuilding.
After returning home, he was first employed as a lead engineer in the shipyard in Neu-Pest, and then he became director of the Institute for material testing in Steyr. After that he again embarked on a journey, this time in England and Scotland.
Shortly afterwards he was called back to Vienna by the emperor and was appointed representative of Austria in the international study commission to examine the navigability of rivers in Siberia. After that he managed the regulation of rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina and at the same time constructed specific ships that could not be turn over to travel on these rivers. Even in his teenage years, M. was trying to find ship forms, which would be better for navigation and would create less water resistance as those that were in use. Since his forties he dealt with theoretical and practical tests of ship forms. In 1898 he resigned from all his public functions, and started dealing only with an idea that was later named after him as the „Meier form“.
In his view, the ship bows had a too cumbersome shape. They would lose water, rather than share it. Instead of U-shaped ribs M. used the V-shaped ribs, which caused the resistance to decrease by 15 to 18 per cent. In 1905 he patented his new design for the ship. Initially, all attempts to realize his idea failed. Finally, through the Boden Creditanstalt he managed to attract the interest of the Navy. He equipped a standard marine tender with a new bow for comparative trials. Experimental shipping in 1917 fully confirmed all expectations. The planned construction of the two torpedo ships with this form was not materialized due to the collapse of the monarchy.
Despite the comparative experiments at the Vienna Marine research institute, M. started with the construction of tugboats with a new form in the company of vapour transport on the Danube, but again without success. He attracted public attention in 1926, when he registered his ship with a 16 per cent resistance at the tender for the best ferry travelling from Kiel to Korsör.
Managers of Hamburg shipyard Blohm & Voss decided that their new fast steamboat Europa should be equipped with a „Maier bow form“, since it allowed eleven per cent savings. But the restless explorer and inventor could no longer receive the good news as he died in his apartment in Vienna – a result of coal-gas poisoning only a day before, on 15th December 1926.
In order to use their father's patents two of his sons, Erich and Werner M., established companies in Germany, Switzerland, Trieste and New York, which were really successful. The further development of the ship forms led to the construction of a V-shaped bow.

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Izdelava spletnih strani:  Positiva