Wittemann Brothers
Wittemann Brothers
Paul & Walter Wittemann - 1909
Library of Congress Collection

Paul W. Wittemann
Paul & Walter Wittemann
from the Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey
Courtesy of H. V. Pat Reilly, 7-18-05
from the Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey
Courtesy of H. V. Pat Reilly, 7-18-05
     In 1905, Charles, Paul and Walter Wittemann opened the first airplane manufacturing plant in the United States on their family estate in Staten Islad. After experimenting with gliders, they designed and built their first airplane in 1906 and continued to manufacture a number of eeperimental planes and models until their ever increasing production forced their move to a more spacious building on the north edge of the Newark meadows. In 1917 they built a new plant at Teterboro Airport where the Wittemanns received the consent of the U.S. Army to convert unused DH-4 aircraft for the Post Office to be used fot the first air mail postal service. The planes were modified to carry 400 lbs. of mail and in 1919 further improvements were made to accomodate 1000 lb. payloads. Approximately 75 of thes single engine aircraft were produced at Teterboro.
Barling Bomber
New Jersey's Famous Aircraft
Designed by Walter H. Barling. Built by Wittemann Aircraft Corp., Teterboro Airport, N.J. - 1922. Largest aircraft in the world at that time - three wings, eight wheels, six engines. Test flown Dayton, Ohio.
from the Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey
Courtesy of H. V. Pat Reilly, 7-18-05
       In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson appointed Charles to the President's Aviation Commission as Aeronautical Advisor. In 1920, the Wittemann Corporation was awarded an Army contract to build the Barling Bomber, a six engine monster that was then the largest airplane of its type in the world. The first plane was completed and tested in 1923. It was successfully flown with many advantages, but failed to prove some of the particular characteristics planned for it by the Engineering Division. Thus, due to numerous design changes demanded by the Army and a fixed-price contract, the Wittemanns were financially squeezed out of business and sold their plant to Anthomy Fokker, the world famous Dutch aircraft designer in 1925.
     Years later, Paul Wittemann sadly remembered how his family was squeezed out of the aviation business when they couldn't meet their payuroll due to delayus in payments from the government. "It was a very sad time, indeed. " Paul said. Paul, Walter and Charles were among the first inductees into the Hall of Fame in 1972.

Barling Bomber
Barling Bomber
At the 1923 Saint Louis International Air Meet
Collection of Roy Nagl, 1-23-06

     If you search for "New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame", using the Google search engine, (6-21-05), you will find about 291 links. It is only on the Hall of Fame homesite itself that any reference to the Wittemann brothers is found.

Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey
     On this website you will find an interesting introduction to the history of aviation in New Jersey. If time permits, I suggest that you take the "TOUR." The reference to the Witteman's is found in the "Directory" section and offers this brief but interesting to their involvement in the production of the Barling Bomber.
"1922 The world’s largest airplane, the Barling Bomber, was constructed at Teterboro Airport by the Wittemann brothers."
     You can find a nice photo of the bomber, as well as a brief description of it on the Harold R. Harris page of my website. You can access it by clicking on:
Barling Bomber

     You can access the homepage of the Hall of Fame by clicking on the title above.

via email from Richard Simpson, 11-20-05
     Walter Wittemann died 05/01/1980. He is buried with his brothers, Charles (07/08/1967), Adolf (02/14/1938), Harold (07/25/1970) and Paul (01/13/1987).
Thank You,
Richard Simpson

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