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Edmund Rumpler

Edmund Rumpler Austrian automobile and aircraft designer

Austrian automobile and aircraft designer
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Austrian automobile and aircraft designer
A.K.A. エドムンド・ルンプラー
Was Engineer Designer Aerospace engineer
From Austria
Type Arts Creativity Engineering Science
Gender male
Birth 4 January 1872, Vienna, Austria
Death 7 September 1940, Züsow, Germany (aged 68 years)
Star sign CapricornCapricorn
Edmund Rumpler
The details
Biography
Hellmuth Hirth (Middle.) and Rumpler (right.) 1911
Memorial plaque in Berlin
Tropfenwagen

Edmund Elias Rumpler (4 January 1872 – 7 September 1940) was an Austrian automobile and aircraft designer.

Born in Vienna, then Austro-Hungarian Empire (now Austria), he worked mainly in Germany. An automotive engineer by training, he collaborated with Hans Ledwinka on the first Tatra car (at that time called Nesselsdorfer-Wagenbau), the Präsident, in 1897.

By age 30, in 1902, he had quit Daimler to become technical director of Adler. He designed the first German engine to have engine and gearbox as a unit at Adler. The next year, he patented a swing axle rear suspension system (an idea later adopted by Ferdinand Porsche for the KdF Wagen and Porsche 356, as well as by Chevrolet for the Corvair).

The Wright brothers turned Rumpler's attention to aviation. He quit Adler in 1907, and in 1910, copying countryman Igo Etrich's Taube, Rumpler became the first ever aircraft manufacturer in Germany.

Rumpler continued to be interested in automobiles, and after the First World War, he applied aircraft streamlining to a car, building the Tropfenwagen (German, "drop car") in Berlin. A production model proved a sensation at the 1921 Berlin Auto Show. Rumpler's efforts produced a car with an astoundingly low Cw of only 0.28 (when tested in 1979); the Fiat Balilla of the period, by contrast, was 0.60.

The Rumpler design inspired the 1923 Benz Tropfenwagen (which used the virtually-unchanged Rumpler chassis) and Auto Union (also built in part by Rumpler engineers) Grand Prix racers.

Rumpler's Tropfenwagen was not a commercial success, and only 100 Tropfenwagen were built, just two of which survive. Rumpler returned to aircraft.

Because Rumpler was Jewish, he was imprisoned after Adolf Hitler took power in 1933, and his career was ruined, even though he was soon released. He died in Züsow Germany in 1940, and the Nazis destroyed his records.

Sources

  • Lyons, Pete. "10 Best Ahead-of-Their-Time Machines". Car and Driver, 1/88, pp. 73–4.
  • Setright, L. J. K. "Aerodynamics: Finding the Right Shape for the Car Body", in Northey, Tom, ed. World of Automobiles (London: Orbis, 1974), Vol. 1, p. 38.
  • Wise, David Burgess. "Rumpler: One Aeroplane which Never Flew", in Northey, Tom, ed. World of Automobiles (London: Orbis, 1974), Vol. 17, p. 1964.
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Reference sources
References
https://authority.bibsys.no/authority/rest/authorities/html/5095998
https://d-nb.info/gnd/117599026
http://isni.org/isni/0000000040754617
https://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/no95018906
https://aleph.nkp.cz/F/?func=find-c&local_base=aut&ccl_term=ica=xx0212813&CON_LNG=ENG
https://viaf.org/viaf/32778007
https://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-no95018906
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