Otto Fuchs 1897 - 1987

Otto Fuchs 1897-1987
Otto Fuchs 1897-1987

The successful reconstruction of the German Aviation Research Centre and its predecessors after 1945 was largely due to Reinhold Otto Fuchs.

Otto Fuchs was born in Frankenthal in the Palatinate on 7 March 1897. During the First World War he served in the field artillery and, from 1916, as a fighter pilot in the Luftwaffe. After the war, he studied philosophy and literature in Heidelberg and then agriculture in Bonn. In 1924 he decided to study aeronautical engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt. From 1927 to 1930 he interrupted his studies to work at the German aircraft testing centre in Lipetsk, Russia. Otto Fuchs, who had been involved in model flying as a schoolboy, had become well known in Germany as a motor and glider pilot since the First World War; during his studies he was a member of the Akaflieg Darmstadt. After graduating, Fuchs joined the DVL in Berlin-Adlershof in 1933, where he set up the department for young engineers, which he headed until 1945. In 1944 he was appointed deputy director by the supervisory board.

Before the end of the war, some of the German Aviation Research Centre had already been moved to southern Germany. Attempts to protect the remaining facilities in Berlin from dismantling were in vain. Directors Günther Bock and
E. Oskar Müller were taken prisoner by the Russians, as was deputy chairman Friedrich Lange. August Wilhelm Quick was taken to England and later worked in France. As the remaining board member in Germany, Fuchs was responsible for reviving and rebuilding the DVL. Shortly after his return from England in November 1945, he contacted the DVL's trustee, Wunderlich, who informed the American authorities of Fuchs's intention to restore the DVL's legal capacity. Fuchs succeeded in preventing the Allied Control Council from dissolving the DVL and was released from the control of its assets on 1 October 1949. He was provisionally appointed a full member of the board in 1949 and confirmed as a full member of the board in 1951, together with Karl Lürenbaum. Fuchs also reunited the institutes of the DVL and the TH Aachen and set up the DVL Test Centre for Aviation Equipment in Munich on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Transport.

In 1951, Otto Fuchs also initiated the clarification of the legal status of the Oberpfaffenhofen Flight Research Institute. As a member of the FFO, he took care of the membership, the powers of representation and the financial situation with regard to the Reich and the association's assets. In 1952, he was appointed emergency chairman by the Munich Registry Court to convene a general meeting to decide on the activation of the association's activities. In addition to Prof. H. F. Mayer of Siemens & Halske Werke and Dr Kübler of the Federal Ministry of Transport, Otto Fuchs was appointed to the new board.

Otto Fuchs was also appointed provisional director of the German Research Centre for Gliding, which resumed its work in April 1954. He also took over the management of the Institute of Flight Technology, which became the Institute of Gliding in 1959, and once again focused on promoting young talent. Following the merger of DVL and FFO and the creation of the Munich Flight Research Centre (FFM), Fuchs retired in 1966.

Otto Fuchs died in Dachau on 8 November 1987.


Beiträge zur Geschichte der Deutschen Versuchsanstalt für Luft- und Raumfahrt e. V. 1912-1962, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the DVL in April 1962, published by the Scientific Secretariat of the DVL under the editorship of Peter Bruders, 1962

Aeronautical radio research in the Munich area 1908-1962 published by the Aeronautical Radio Research Institute Oberpfaffenhofen e. V., Oberpfaffenhofen, 1963

Quick, A. W.: Dipl.-Ing. Otto Fuchs, in: DVL-Nachrichten, issue 33, June 1967, p. 270.

Zacher, Hans: Otto Fuchs, in: DGLR-Jahrbuch 1987 der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Vol. 2, Bonn, 1987, pp. 976-984.