Industriewerke Ludwigsfelde — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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MZ RT 125/1
MZ RT 125/1

Aero engines for the Luftwaffe [ edit ]

Daimler-Benz DB 603 engine, partly sectioned to show internal working.

Daimler-Benz established the Ludwigsfelde factory in 1936 to make DB 600 aero engines for new Luftwaffe bomber and fighter aircraft. [ 1 ] In the course of German re-armament and the Second World War the factory went on to make Daimler-Benz DB 601. DB 603 and DB 605 engines for various Luftwaffe aircraft.

Post-war recovery [ edit ]

Pirna 014 jet engine at the Spring Leipzig Trade Fair in March 1958

Brandenburg was part of the Sowjetische Besatzungszone (SBZ or Soviet occupation zone ) from 1945 and the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR or German Democratic Republic ) from 1949. The Volkseigener Betrieb Industriewerke Ludwigsfelde was founded on 1 March 1952. [ 3 ] Initially it made marine diesel engines. [ 3 ] machine tools [ 1 ] and machine elements. Assembly of Multicar M21 Diesel-Ameise (diesel ant) vehicles was transferred to Ludwigsfelde from the Schmiedewerk Roßwein (Roßwein Forge Works) in Saxony. [ 3 ] In 1953 IWL became involved in the development of motor scooters. which entered production in 1954. [ 3 ]

In 1958 IWL began production of drop forging. precision-casting, jet engines, agricultural machinery and one-off special machinery. [ 3 ] The jets were 32.3kN (7,300lb f ) Pirna 014 engines for the Dresden 152 airliner, [ 3 ] whose first prototype made its first test flight in December 1958. In 1960 VEB Flugzeuge Dresden was building 20 aircraft to enter service with Deutsche Lufthansa der DDR (which in 1963 became Interflug ), for which IWL had begun series production of the Pirna 014.

However, the first 152 prototype crashed in March 1959 killing its crew, and the second prototype was grounded after a fuel tank malfunction caused a dangerous reduction in fuel supply to the engines. During ground testing in September 1960 the third prototype also suffered a fuel tank fault, and its ground tests were ended in December. In February 1961 the SED Politbüro decided to terminate aircraft production, [ 3 ] which brought Pirna 014 production to an end at IWL.

One engine was tested on an Ilyushin Il-28 aircraft until June 1961 but this did not lead to the Pirna 014’s further use or production. In about mid-1961 all Dresden 152 aircraft were scrapped.

Cancellation of the 152 left IWL with 30 completed jet engines [ 3 ] and a gap in planned industrial production. The engines were later used to power minesweepers for the Volksmarine . [ 3 ]

IWL motor scooters [ edit ]

A complete sequence of IWL motor scooter models in historical order. From left to right: Pitty . SR 56 Wiesel . SR 59 Berlin and TR 150 Troll 1.

After the Second World War, various manufacturers — and particularly aircraft and aircraft components makers — diversified into other products including motor scooters. In Italy, Piaggio launched the Vespa in 1946 closely followed by Innocenti ‘s launch of the Lambretta in 1947. The new scooters found a market among customers who could not obtain or could not afford a car but wanted a machine that was cleaner, simpler and gave more weather protection than a motorcycle.

Both Piaggio and Innocenti fitted specially designed engines mounted on one side of the rear wheel, which kept the wheelbase short and maximised urban maneuverability. A bulbous rear enclosure kept the engine enclosed, which made a scooter cleaner than most motorcycles of the period. The use of aircraft industry techniques, combined with more stylish appearance made Italian scooters commercially successful, and Innocenti and Piaggio both exported large numbers of their scooters and licenced manufacturers in the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (BRD or West Germany ) and other countries to make them.

Numerous European manufacturers who were not licenced to build Italian-designed scooters, developed their own models in an attempt to compete. In 1951 the automotive manufacturer Hans Glas in Bavaria launched his own design of scooter, the Goggo . initially with a 123 cc engine but from 1953 with more powerful 147 cc and 198 cc engines. In 1953 the West German aircraft maker Heinkel launched the Tourist . initially with a 149 cc engine but from 1954 enlarged to 174 cc.

However, West German designers tended to use conventional motorcycle-type engines which were not small or light enough to fit beside the rear wheel. They were therefore mounted in front of the rear wheel, which significantly lengthened the scooters’ wheelbase.

MZ RT 125/1
MZ RT 125/1

East German engineers responded to the growing market and competition by developing a number of prototype scooters between 1950 and 1954. [ 1 ] August Falz of Döbeln in Saxony had built a primitive motor scooter in 1950, and by 1954 had developed a prototype with streamlined bodywork and powered by a 174 cc ČZ engine imported from the ČSSR. [ 1 ]

However, the DDR decided that its scooter would be made only with indigenous DDR components, so the MZ RT 125/1 unit was selected. [ 4 ] The engine displaced 123 cc, produced 5.5bhp and had a three-speed transmission. It was smaller and less powerful than 174 cc ČZ engine, and also than engines that were being fitted in West German scooters by 1954 that produced abetween 9 and 12bhp. [ 4 ] This put the DDR’s scooter at a competitive disadvantage before it even entered production. The MZ factory at Zschopau would increase engine production to supply the expected scooter demand.

The DDR’s established EMW. MZ and Simson motorcycle factories were already fully occupied making their own products, [ 1 ] so if the country was to make its own scooter it would have to be in a different factory. The DDR’s planned economy could be criticised for choosing the IWL factory as thousands of MZ engines would have to be transported at least 110 miles (180km) from Zschopau to Ludwigsfelde. However, Ludwigsfelde was in the centre of the DDR and is on the outskirts of Berlin.

The capital’s radial rail and road links could distribute the finished scooters efficiently, and East Berlin could be expected to be one of the largest urban markets for them. If there was a mistake, it was to rely on expanding engine production at Zschopau when IWL had nearly 20 years’ experience of making engines at Ludwigsfelde.

The prototype scooter really needed further development before being put into production. [ 4 ] However, in the wake of the June 1953 uprising the DDR government was in a hurry to implement its Neue Kurs (New Course) policy to improve the supply of consumer goods. [ 4 ] This put the VEB Industriewerke Ludwigsfelde under great pressure to begin scooter production by 1955. [ 4 ]

Pitty [ edit ]

1955 IWL Pitty

IWL’s first production model, named the Pitty . was launched early in 1955 at a retail price of 2,300 Marks. [ 5 ] The Pitty ‘ s front wheel had leading link suspension, [ 5 ] while its rear wheel had hydraulically damped swingarm suspension on which the engine and gearbox unit was mounted: [ 5 ] an arrangement that Vespa had pioneered. [ 4 ] However, IWL followed West German practice in mounting the engine in front of the rear wheel instead of beside it, thus giving the Pitty a much longer wheelbase than its Italian counterparts.

At the beginning of 1955, reporters from the East German Der deutsche Straßenverkehr magazine tested the Pitty and gave IWL numerous suggestions to improve it. [ 6 ] Numerous customers who bought the scooter also complained. [ 6 ] The Pitty has a dualseat that riders complained was too hard. [ 7 ] Unlike most scooters, the Pitty has no steering lock for security. Its only anti-theft device is a flap in the enclosure under the seat that can be closed over the fuel tap and locked. [ 7 ] IWL reacted to criticism by quickly developing a successor model, and kept the Pitty in production for only just over a year. [ 6 ] In this time a total of only 11,293 Pitty scooters were built. [ 5 ]

MZ RT 125/1
MZ RT 125/1
MZ RT 125/1
MZ RT 125/1
MZ RT 125/1
MZ RT 125/1

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