Gotha Aircraft

From the London Bomber to the Flying Wing Jet Fighter

Andreas Metzmacher

Known for the London bomber of WW1, Gotha also built successful seaplanes. During WW2, Gotha built cargo gliders and the Messerschmitt Bf 110 under licence, gearing up in 1945 to build flying wing jet fighters, even designing its more radical successor. After the war Gotha returned to producing gliders and production finally came to an end in 1954.
Date Published :
February 2022
Publisher :
Fonthill Media
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781781557068
Pages : 144
Dimensions : 9.75 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : In stock


The Gothaer Waggonfabrik (GWF), originally a German rail vehicle manufacturer, entered the aircraft industry in 1913. The driving force behind this major change in production in this small Thuringian duchy in central Germany was a member of the British royal family. Gotha aircraft managed to make a name for themselves internationally. As with ‘Fokker’ regarding fighter aircraft, the name ‘Gotha’ is synonymous with German bomber aircraft of the Great War. Even successful seaplanes and the world’s first asymmetric aircraft were a part of GWF’s production at this time, and lasted until the postwar Treaty of Versailles forced the abandonment of aircraft production. Aircraft could not be built in Gotha again until 1933. GWF did get development contracts for the Luftwaffe, but they were essentially incidental side issues and not of the lucrative mass construction variety. In 1939 a world altitude record on the sports aircraft Gotha Go 150, provided GWF with a small though internationally significant highlight. During the war the GWF developed cargo gliders and, under license, built the Messerschmitt Bf 110. In 1945 Gotha was supposed to undertake batch production of the flying wing jet fighter, Horten Ho 229, and even designed its more radical successor. In 1954 the aircraft construction finally ended and once again, the production consisted of gliders and one last proprietary design was created.

About The Author

Andreas Metzmacher started out as an aviation author when he made a documentary for a German TV station about the history of Gotha aircraft, although his interest dates back to building models in his youth. Aside from aviation in Gotha, his home town, he is interested above all in the service histories of aircraft and their pilots and writes articles for various German and British aviation magazines.


"To find such a plethora of information on so many unique aircraft is the hallmark of a valuable research tool."

- Air & Space Power History

" impressive bit of research, especially as records and drawings were scattered all over the place, if not outright destroyed."

- Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

"This book is grounded in World War I, but will broaden the reader’s horizons. It is recommended highly."

- Over the Front

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