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* 25. 12. 1879, Trutnov/Horní Staré Město, Czech Republic
† 4. 2. 1967, Salzburg, Austria

Aircraft developer, entrepreneur

E.'s parents were linen drapers and flax mill owners in the suburbs of Horní Staré Město, which was part of the eastern Czech town of Trutnov. He was the first of four children. In his home town he attended folk and a secondary modern school and later studied in Leipzig. After studying he was supposed to take over and manage his parents' company.
As his father Ignaz was interested in technique in general, he after the Lilienthal's death accident in 1898 bought an old glider (type 10) and the wing-flapping flying device (type 17) for his son's study purposes. The latter was powered by a carbonic acid engine. In 1900/01 father and son developed a glider with three-wheel chassis, which used the ramp as a runway. But their design failed to meet success. In 1903 they with the intervention of Wilhelm →Kress hired a young engineer Franz →Wels from Maribor to study the literature. →Wels detected a hint in the book of F. Ahlborn (Hamburg) about the flying seed Zanonia macrocarpa. Following a number of models and studies, a glider with a wing span of 6 meters was made in 1904 and it was used in the first successful glider flights. Further intensive studies led to the patent record No. 23465 »Igo →Etrich and Franz W. in Oberaltstadt Trautenau (Slovakia) - flying machine«, which was registered on 3rd March 1905. According to the patent drawing, this flying machine was just an aircraft with wings, two propellers and one engine. Wels, who was from 1906 on helped by Karl Illner (later a pilot and designer of E.'s concepts), built this aircraft. It was first tested without the engine, but the glider with a range of 15 metres proved to be unstable. In early 1907 a small motor airplane was tested (»Etrich I«), yet again unsuccessfully. There was a significant recovery of the glider, with which Wels succeeded in the first glider flight on 2nd October 1907. By mid 1909 further processing followed (the incorporation of a traction propeller instead of a pushing screw, the incorporation of vertical tail etc).
In February 1908 E. and his airport workshop moved to Vienner Rotunde. At the same time E. continued to process the »Etrich I« and tested it on the prater alley »Hauptallee« until he on 29th November 1909 succeeded in flying over the entire length of the airfield in Vienner Neustadt. In winter 1909/10 Illner (→Wels meanwhile left E.'s workshop) according to E.'s plans produced motor airplane with fuselage »Etrich II«, which was given the name »Taube« (Dove) (Austrian Patent record No. 51064, »Igo E. in Vienna - wing for flying machines« – registered on 11th September 1909). This construction proved to be very successful (the first flight took place on 6th April 1910). In the same year the Viennese firm Lohner opened a new hall for serial production of aircraft for private individuals as well as the army. In Germany Edmund Rumpler made a license agreement with E. and thus the aircrafts were made there as well. Since E. type of aircraft could not be patented in Germany, all the plants soon began to manufacture their own »Doves« that would win aviation competitions and set new records. Until the outbreak of World War I, the Austrian army only possessed aircrafts type »Taube« and »Lohner's Pfeilflieger«. Despite the achievements in the field of aviation, the main source of income for E.'s family was still the textile industry. However, at the beginning of 1912 he in Liebau (Silesia) built a new aircraft factory E.-Flieger-Werke GmbH, which first continued to develop the »Taube« aircraft and where new models, such as a »Schwalbe« (Swallow) and »Luftlimousine« (Air sedan) were produced. Air sedan meant that the passengers flew in a secured enclosed cab for the first time. After the German army bought a relatively small number of E.'s »Taube« aircrafts, the family switched to the biplanes production.
In order not to regress the family decided to build a large aircraft factory. On 1st April 1914 construction of the factory Brandenburgischen Flugzeugwerke GmbH started in Briest near Brandenburg. Ernst Heinkl was employed as the principal designer and later the director. After initial losses in 1915 the family sold its equity stake to Camillo →Castiglione, who in Austria-Hungary already established a joint stock company Ungarische Flugzeugwerke AG located in Budapest and the Österreichisch-ungarische Albatros-Werke GmbH company in Vienna. Merging the two companies resulted in the German joint-stock company Hansa-Brandenburgische Flugzeugwerke AG, managed by Heinkel. At the end of World War I, E. married for the second time. His wife gave birth to three daughters. Afterwards E. once again dedicated himself to designing aircrafts. In 1929 the aircraft »Sport-Taube« was made in the textile plant in Trutnov. The aircraft was intended to be sold to a private sector and not military, but due to difficulties in obtaining permits its mass production did not occur. Technical University in Vienna in 1944 granted him a honoris causa degree in engineering. In 1945 he was dispossessed as the owner of a number of flax mills, moved to the labour camp, and finally arrested. At the end of 1946 E. had to leave Czechoslovakia together with his family. E. lived from the annuity, which was given to refugees in Schwarzach in Lower Bavaria, while constructed fibre stretcher, which was planned already during the war and was subsequently used quite extensively in the combed yarn industry. Number of contracts for this stretcher enabled the serial production of such machinery and income from patent rights after 1955.
In 1950 E. and his wife moved to Freilassing, near the home of their daughter, who lived in Großgmain near Salzburg. He soon established new relationships with air pilots and designers in Salzburg. On his 75th birthday he among other things became the honorary president of the Salzburg aero club. In 1961 he moved to Salzburg and spent the rest of his life there.

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Izdelava spletnih strani:  Positiva