Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Flugkapitan Fritz Wendel 1915-1975

Fritz Wendel was a German test pilot during the 1930s and 1940s.

On 26 April 1939 Fritz Wendel set the world air speed record of 469.22 mph, flying the Messerschmitt Me 209 V1. He defeated the record set on 30 March 1939 by Hans Dieterle flying the Heinkel He 100 V8. He was also the first pilot to fly a liquid rocket airplane in the Me 209 as well as a jet engine powered airplane in the Heinkel He280. Relics of the Me 209 V1 still exist in the Polish Air Museum at Krakow.

On 18 July 1942 in Leipheim near G├╝nzburg, Germany, Wendel test flew the Messerschmitt Me 262. This flight was significant as it was conducted with jet engines (Junkers Jumo 003) for the first time. The Me 262 had flown first on 8 April 1941 with piston engines.