Founder and pioneer
Claude Honoré Desiré Dornier was born on 14 May 1884 in Kempten, Germany.
After receiving a degree in mechanical engineering, he began his career at Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH in 1910. While there, he developed a rotating hall for air ships. Count Zeppelin recognised and supported Dornier’s talent immediately. In his own department, he was able to devote his time to technical designs and trials.
The department became a spin-off, Dornier-Metallbauten GmbH, that was headquartered in Friedrichshafen-Manzell. In 1932, Dornier became the sole shareholder. In the 1920s, he realised a number of projects involving aircraft that were almost completely made of metal – a technological revolution. His Merkur flew seven world record; the polar explorer Roald Amundsen used his Wal <br/> to explore the Arctic with spectacular flights; and the Do-X flying boat made history as the largest aeroplane of the day. Since many of the over 100 types of aircraft were manufactured abroad, Dornier had an international reputation early on. After his death on 5 December 1969, Dornier GmbH was controlled by a community of heirs consisting of his widow and six sons.