Claude Honoré Desiré Dornier was born in the southern German town of Kempten on May 14, 1884.
After completing his studies in mechanical engineering, he began working for the Zeppelin airship manufacturing company in 1910, where he developed a revolving hangar for airships. Count von Zeppelin immediately recognised and promoted Dornier’s talent and put him in charge of his own department, where he was able to focus entirely on experimenting and technical design.
The department became an independent company in 1917. The company was renamed Dornier-Metallbauten GmbH and moved its headquarters to Friedrichshafen-Manzell in 1923, and Claude Dornier became the sole shareholder in 1932.
Dornier designed and built a number of aircraft in the 1920s that were revolutionary because they were made almost entirely out of metal. The Do Merkur achieved seven world records; Roald Amundsen set out for the North Pole in a Do Wal in 1925, and the Do X made history as the largest flying boat of its time. Dornier designed over 100 different types of aircraft over the span of his career, and because many of them were produced abroad, he gained international fame early on. After his death on December 5, 1969, ownership of the Dornier Group passed to his widow and six sons.
DORNIER MUSEUM FRIEDRICHSHAFEN
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