Hirth was founded by Hellmuth Hirth in 1920 as Hellmuth Hirth Versuchsbau, renamed Leichtmetall-Werke GmbH and finally Elektronmetall GmbH as a manufacturer of light alloy engine components, specifically the magnesium alloy Elektron, including parts for aircraft engines. In 1927, Hirth separated this part of the business, renaming it as Hirth Motoren GmbH, with the remainder becoming Mahle GmbH.
The first Hirth Motoren GmbH engine, the 4-cylinder inverted in-line HM 60, was released in 1931 and was fairly successful. An upgrade in the form of the HM 60R improved efficiency, and was followed by 6, 8 and 12-cylinder versions based on the same machinery. Over the next decade, Hirth became one of Germany’s leading aero engine manufacturers.
Following Hirth’s death in an aircraft crash in 1938, the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (“Reich aviation ministry”) nationalised the company, and in 1941 it was merged with Heinkel to make Heinkel-Hirth. Although the existing engine series were continued, Heinkel also used the Hirth production facilities as a basis for work by Hans von Ohain on a series of jet engines as well under the new name of Heinkel-Strahltriebwerke, although for various reasons none was widely used. Their final design, the Heinkel HeS 011, for which only 19 testing prototype powerplants were ever built, was intended for use in a proliferation of German jet combat aircraft design proposals late in the war.
Following World War II, this merger was dissolved, and Hirth was independent once again. Because of the prohibitions on German aviation during the Allied occupation, Hirth manufactured small stationary engines, as well as motors for snowmobiles. Eventually, Hirth returned to aircraft engine manufacturing in 1965, but in 1974 went into voluntary liquidation. The company was acquired by Hans Göbler, who returned it to making small two-stroke engines.
The beginnings of ultralight aviation in the 1980s created another opportunity to re-enter Hirth’s original marketplace, and the company has been a notable builder of engines for these aircraft ever since.
Made of wood, aluminum and steel, and originating from a Hirth Aircraft Engine, this item is in SUPERB used condition! Though it does feature some corrosion, damage, and marks, it retains MUCH its original shape and structure, as well as 95% original paint! The main engine manufacture plate is still attached, clearly showing, “HIRTH NABE”. Werk Number is clearly stamped into the wood, along with a matching hand-painted number on one blade. Each blade features a hand-painted logo that features a Swastika with a White Flying Wing (though the wings are heavily faded). I believe this is a stylized DLV logo that was painted by the ground crew. As this was too big to send home (6.5 feet long approx.), the serviceman had to make a “duffel-cut” down the middle. As such, this is no longer airworthy, and is for display only. I have shown the exact location on a Bucker Bu181 in the last photo, however it was used in other aircraft as well. Could use a bit of a clean-up…but PERFECT for restoration or display!
Note that due to the size, shipping will range approx. $300-$500. Please ask for an exact quote before bidding.