For the Messerschmitt Foundation, the main objective of the Aviation Museum is to commemorate the engineering work of art of its founder, Professor Willy Messerschmitt – a world-renowned pioneer in aircraft design. Hence the Foundation’s goals include a commitment to keep a number of his important technical milestones in airworthy condition.
For Airbus Defence and Space, following in the lineage and traditions of Messerschmitt Bölkow Blohm GmbH, these aircraft also represent a key pillar in company history.
Together, we are committed to jointly preserving this aviation legacy by collecting and maintaining important examples of Messerschmitt aircraft.
We don’t just want to preserve these machines as museum pieces, however. We really want to bring Messerschmitt aircraft to life and show them at their best – namely in full flight.
The Messerschmitt Museum of Flight is the home base for eight Messerschmitt aircraft. Nearly all machines are capable of flight. The collection includes a replica of a 1925 M 17, an HA 200 from 1966 and a replica Me 262 from 1942. This is a unique portfolio of eight aircraft, all proudly bearing the Messerschmitt name.
We keep as many aircraft as possible – and economically viable – in airworthy condition. The planes are restored, maintained and flown at the Messerschmitt Museum of Flight, which is located at the Airbus Defence and Space production site and airfield in the Bavarian town of Manching.
To keep the planes “airworthy”, we have to strike a delicate balance between preservation and use.
On the one hand, the machines need to be flown for a certain number of hours to ensure that our pilots retain the requisite skills and experience in the air. On the other hand, they also have to be flown as little as possible to ensure they stay in good condition and are not subjected to excessive wear and tear.
We want our Messerschmitt aircraft to be displayed regularly for many years to come. To ensure the aircraft remain in airworthy condition for as long as possible, we have to limit the number of flying hours and the number of events we attend.
This means that although the aircraft are brought to events outside of their home base, we have to be very selective about the events we visit to ensure they do not exceed their annual flying quota.
The planes are not operated commercially. They are owned by the Messerschmitt Foundation and Airbus Defence and Space and are primarily used to support the company’s and Foundation’s interests.
In addition to the aircraft, we also hold temporary exhibitions showing other examples of Willy Messerschmitt’s work such as Messerschmitt cabin rollers and Messerschmitt sewing machines.
Messerschmitt Museum of Flight