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Wolf Hirth Aircraft Designations


Jul 25, 2007
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Wolfram ('Wolf') Kurt Erhard Hirth - 1900-1959

Wolf Hirth was a well-known glider pilot who had earned his pilot's licence in 1920. He was also the younger brother of Hellmuth Hirth, founder of Hirth Motoren GmbH. After graduating from the Technischen Hochschule Stuttgart in 1928 with an engineering degree, Wolf Hirth toured the world given gliding demonstrations. Like Hellmuth, Wolf stayed briefly in the United States. It was in the US that Hirth made his first foray into manufacturing gliders.

In 1931, a joint venture was formed with Augustine ('Gus') Haller in Pittsburgh, PA - the Haller-Hirth Sailplane Corporation (sometimes listed as the Haller-Hirth Sailplane Manufacturing Company). Haller-Hirth Sailplane Corp. ran a flying school (Haller School Of Soaring Flight, Greensburg, PA) with fellow German glider pilot, Martin Schempp as chief flying instructor (and company secretary). The firm also imported German-made glider kits and sold or assembled them for the US market.

The first Haller-Hirth 'product' was the 1931 single-seat Haller Hawk - an imported RRG (Rhon-Rossitten-Gesellschaft) Professor kit assembled in the Haller family garage in Mt. Lebanon, a suburb of Pittsburgh. Other Haller-Hirth gliders offered to the US market were the 2-seat Haller-Hirth K-20 Junior Hawk (Kassel Flugzeugbau Kassel 20 kits) and the Haller-Hirth Sparrow primary glider (Rhon-Rossitten-Gesellschaft RRG-1 Zögling kits).

A brief chronology of Wolf Hirth's career follows:

1933 - Wolf Hirth (and Martin Schempp) return to Germany*
-- * Some sources list date as 1934 (but see next chronology entry)

1933 - Lecturer at his alma mater, the Technischen Hochschule Stuttgart (THS)

1935 - Hirth is 'silent partner' in Sportflugzeugbau Göppingen Martin Schempp

1937 - Sportflugzeugbau Göppingen Martin Schempp moves to Kirchheim unter Teck*
-- Other souces list Kircheim/Teck move date as 1938 (see later entry)

1938 - Wolf Hirth officially joins Schempp company as partner (and shareholder)
-- Company is renamed Sportflugzeugbau Schempp-Hirth OHG

1938 - Schempp-Hirth OHG moves to Kirchheim/Teck (date according to corporation)
-- Wolfgang Hütter brings Gö 4 design, Ulrich Hütter brings his H 17 (as Gö 5)

1939 - Wolf Hirth GmbH founded in Nabern/Teck

1939-41 Wold Hirth conscripted (basic glider training in East Prussia)

1940 - Wolf Hirth GmbH begins component assembly for military aircraft makers

1945 - Schempp-Hirth begins the prod. of wooden furniture, parts, etc.

1950-51 - Martin Schempp abandons glider building to benefit Wolf Hirth

1956 - Schempp-Hirth begins building powered aircraft

1960 - After Hirth's death, Martin Schempp starts building gliders again

1962 - Schempp-Hirth develops license-built Standard Austria S glider


The Aircraft Designs of Wolfram ('Wolf') Kurt Erhard Hirth (1900-1959)

Early on, Wolf Hirth helped design a number of gliders at Göttingen. Most of these, grouped here, fall within other designer's designation systems. The exception is the 1931 Hirth Hi II prototype.

The Hirth Hi II designation suggests an earlier 'Hi I' but I've found no direct evidence of such an aircraft. But there is a possible hint in history of FAG I (Flug- und Arbeitsgruppe I/Flight and Working Group I) at Göppingen. At the 1929 founding of FAG I, construction of two basic training gliders was initiated. One was an enclosed ("verkleideter") type (likely the Hi II, below), the other was an "offener" type (presumably meaning open framed). Was this open Göppingen glider the 'missing' Hirth Hi I?

Early Wolf Hirth Aircraft Designs

Laubenthal Württemberg - 1927 single-seat sailplane, span 15.2 m
- Württemberg: Unbraced parasol, desig. with Paul Laubenthal

Schneider Grunau Baby II A - 1929 training glider, span 14.5 m
- Schneider Grunau Baby: Braced parasol wing training glider
-- Desig. by Edmund Schneider and Wolf Hirth, Göttingen airfoils

Hirth Hi I -- [??]

Hirth Hi II - 1931 pod-and-boom training glider, span 10.8 m, x 1
- Hi II: Named 'Dolf', Gründung der FAG I (Flug- und Arbeitsgruppe I)
-- http://www.j2mcl-planeurs.net/dbj2mcl/planeurs-machines/planeur-fiche_0int.php?code=3745

Grunau 7 Moazagotl - 1933 high-performance glider by Wolf Hirth
- Grunau 7 Moazagotl*: Braced gull-wing, span 20 m, 1 x prototype
-- Desig. by Friedrich Wenk and Wolf Hirth, Göttingen airfoil sections
-- * The Moazagoatl is a föhn-type wind of the Sudeten Mountains
-- http://www.knzink.de/moazagotl/b1.jpg

Grunau 8 - 1935 Schneider Grunau 8 training glider, span 14.5 m
- Grunau 8: Braced parsol, built by Edmund Schneider Grunau (ESG)
-- Desig. by Edmund Schneider and Wolf Hirth, Göttingen airfoils



Jul 25, 2007
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Sportflugzeugbau Göppingen Martin Schempp / Schempp-Hirth OHG Designations

In 1933-34 both Wolf Hirth and Martin Schempp returned to Germany from the US. In 1935. Hirth assisted Schempp in founding Sportflugzeugbau Göppingen Martin Schempp ar Göppingen in Baden-Württemberg. Hirth, largely responsible for this firm's design work, became a shareholder and official partner in 1938. The company was renamed Sportflugzeugbau Schempp-Hirth (or simply Schempp-Hirth-OHG)* and relocated to Kirchheim unter Teck.

The original Göppingen location explains the firm's 'Gö' series designations applied to original (or 'inherited') aircraft designs. Despite its move to nearby Kirchheim unter Teck, Schempp-Hirth-OHG retained the 'Gö' for Göppingen designations.

* OHG stands for Offene Handelsgesellschaft (or General Partnership)

Göppingen Martin Schempp/Schempp-Hirth OHG - 'Gö' Aircraft Designations

Gö 1 - Wolf, 1935 parasol 1-seat training glider, span 14 m, x ~100
- Gö 1: Desig. Wolf Hirth/Reinhold Seeger, Grunau Baby competitor
-- 'Wolf' for Wolf Hirth, sometimes as WOLF, aka 'Wolf-Göppingen'
-- http://www.j2mcl-planeurs.net/dbj2mcl/planeurs-machines/planeur-fiche_0int.php?code=2471
-- 3v: http://richard.ferriere.free.fr/3vues/go1_wolf_3v.jpg

Gö 2 - 1935, improved Grunau 8 basic training glider, span 14.50 m
- Gö 2: Dual-control, tandem two-seat trainer
-- http://www.ig-albatros.ch/images/goe-2/goe-2-a.jpg
-- 3v: http://www.flyhard.ch/ig-albatros.ch/fundgrube/funfgrubes-goe-2/goe-2-d.jpg

Gö 3 - Minimoa,* 1935 1-seat competition sailplane, span 17 m, x 110
- Gö 3: Desig. Hirth/Reinhold Seeger, gull-wing desig. Friedrich Wenk
-- * Gö 3 was a reduced-scale Moazagotl - hence 'Mini(ature) Moa'
-- Prototype (and repl.) both named "D-Göppinger Industrie"
-- http://minimoa.jimdo.com/g%C3%B6ppingen-g%C3%B6-3-history/

Gö 4 - Gövier, 1937 2-seat training sailplane, span 14.8 m, x 120
- Gö 4: Hirth/Hütter desig. side-by-side seat devel. of Gö-3 Minimoa
-- Gövier = Gö + vier (4); aka Gö Gövier-4 and (1951) Gö Gövier III-4
-- 4v: http://www.cmrmodels.co.uk/cmr72-g5013/goppingen-go4_%28assembly%29.gif

Gö 5 - Göppingen-produced Hütter Hü 17 1-seat training glider, x 5
Gö 5: 1938 utility trainer, span 9.7 m,* x ~100 (all makers)
-- Desig. by Ullrich and Wolfgang Hütter in Austria (as the 'H 17')
-- * Hü 17/Gö 5 employed Göppingen 535 airfoil (at the wing root)

Gö-6 - Minimoa 2A, 1937 2-seat vers.* of Gö 3 Minimoa, span 17 m, x 1
-- * 2nd seat aft of mainspar, cockpit fwd 0.36 m, 0.26 m longer (for c/g)
- Gö-6: aka Mo 2a or phonetic 'Mozwoa', reg. D-15-923 (later D-7-3742)
-- Plans for prod'n abandoned (1.8 m more span required for sink rate)
-- 3v: http://www.fm-hahnweide.de/pdf/Minimoa_2a_Mozwoa.pdf

Gö-7 - [Project] 1937 two-seat sports aircraft design, not built
- Gö-7: Volksflugzeug concept predating Hirth Hi 20 MoSe motor glider

Gö-8 - 1940 test glider (1:5 scale Dornier Do 214 flying boat wing), x 1
- Gö-8: Desig. by Wolfgang Hütter (and Dornier Werke), span 12 m
-- http://www.j2mcl-planeurs.net/dbj2mcl/planeurs-machines/planeur-fiche_0int.php?code=3714
-- 3v: http://j2mcl-planeurs.net/dbj2mcl/planeurs-machines/3vues/Goeppingen_Goe-8_3v.jpg
-- http://www.luft46.com/dornier/do214.html
-- http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,10650.msg150779.html#msg150779

Gö-9 - 1939 experimental a/c to prove Dornier pusher* patent (Do 335)
- Gö-9: Built by Schempp-Hirth to design of Ulrich W. Hütter
-- * 1 x 80 hp Hirth I M60R driving extens. shaft to 4-blade prop
-- 3v: http://forum.valka.cz/files/g__9_3d_view_526.jpg
-- http://www.luft46.com/images/go9-3.jpg

I can find no evidence of a Göppingen 'Gö-10' design. During the war, Schempp-Hirth built DFS Habicht E (108-53-E) training gliders (designed in 1936 by Hans Jacobs): http://richard.ferriere.free.fr/habicht/Stummel-Habicht_06.jpg



Jul 25, 2007
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Wolf Hirth GmbH

Wolf Hirth GmbH was founded in 1940 to develop training gliders for German military use. Designations followed Hirth's earlier 'Hi' style but used arabic rather than roman numerals (and Wolf Hirth GmbH designations begin at '20'). Wolf Hirth GmbH aircraft designations run from the Hi 20 MoSe prototype to the Hi 27 Acrostar (designed by Arnold Wagner and Richard Eppler a full decade after Hirth's death). Why the Wolf Hirth GmbH designation series begins at '20' is unknown to me.

Wolf Hirth GmbH also produced wooden parts for other German aircraft manufacturers - this included parts for the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter, and Me 163S Komet training glider, and the Me 321 and Me 323 Gigant transports.

Wolf Hirth GmbH was also scheduled to design and build composite metal/wood wings for Me 109K fighters. These wings were to house internal 30mm MK 108 cannons plus ammunition. An experimental gun installation was completed in Nov 1943. Structural strengthening would be needed so the planned production run of 3,995 wing sets was cancelled.

Another wartime project was the Hirth-built prototype for the Hütter Hü 211. A high-altitude, long-range development of He 219 night fighter, the Hü 211 was to have wooden wings and tail surfaces. The semi-completed Hü 211 prototype was destroyed by Allied bombing in Dec 1944.

There's no evidence to suggest that components built by Wolf Hirth GmbH for other manufacturers were ever assigned 'Hi xx' designations.

Wolf Hirth GmbH Aircraft Designations

Hirth Hi 20 - MoSe,* 1941 2-seat motor glider, span: 14.78 m
- Hi 20 MoSe: Based on Göppingen Gö 4 side-by-side seat glider
-- 1 x fold-away 25 hp Werner Krauter air-cooled 4-cyl engine
-- * MoSe is a contraction of Motorsegler (motor glider)

Hirth Hi 21 - 1944 2-seat side-by-side multi-purpose training glider
- Hi 21: Variable sweep wing, plywood fuselage, retract. u/c, x 1

Hirth Hi 22 - [Project] Wanderfalke cabin monoplane
- Hi 22: High-winged, rear-engined, single-prop pusher
- Hi 22: 2 x ?? HO4 engines, span 12.00 m, fixed trike
- Hi 22: 4-seater, belt connects staggered engines
-- 3 view: See Reply #15
-- Segel- und Motorseglertypen lists incorrect*
-- * Lists Hi 22 as a 2-seat motor-glider, span 16.00 m

Hirth Hi 23 - [Project] 1941 military transport glider, span 15.00 m
- Hi 23: Twin-fuselaged glider with rocket assist (800 or 1,000 kg)
-- see Reply #8, below

Hirth Hi 24 - [Project] 1944-45 single-seat obs. a/c, span 8.15m
- Hi 24: Single-seat twin-boom observation pusher monoplane
-- Scale model RC glider POC, 1 x pusher Eisfeld Modellmotor HO6
-- Hi 24 prototype const. begun late 1944, never completed
-- http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=23989.0

Hirth Hi 25 - Kria, 1958 high-performance sailplane, span 11.9 m
- Hi 25: High-winged single-seater, GRP (fibreglass) constr.*
-- Designed by Hermann Nägele, Richard Eppler, and Wolf Hirth
-- * 2nd GRP sailplane built in Germany (after FS-24 Phönix)
-- 3v: http://j2mcl-planeurs.net/dbj2mcl/planeurs-machines/3vues/Hirth_Hi-25_Kria_3v.jpg

Hirth Hi 26 - [Project] MoSe II, 1959 motor glider, abandoned*
- Hi 26: Consruction begun on MoSe II prototype, not completed
-- * Wolf Hirth had died while gliding, 25 July 1959
-- aka Schempp-Hirth Hi 26 MoSe II
-- http://www.airnieuws.nl/phregister/477/HIRTH.jpg
-- AIRnieuws reports Hi 26 fuselage shipped to South Africa
-- http://www.airnieuws.nl/phregister/477/luchtvaartnieuws.html

Hirth Hi 27 - Acrostar, 1970 aerobatic aircraft, span 8.82 m
- Hi 27: Single-engine,* single-seat, low-wing monoplane
-- * 1 x 220 hp Franklin 6A-350-C1 air-cooled HO6
- Hi 27 Acrostar Mk II* : Prototype + 8 prod., 1970-1973
- Hi 27 Acrostar Mk III : Lightweight vers., x 1 no prod.
-- Designed by Arnold Wagner & Prof. Richard Eppler (STH)
-- ** 'Acrostar Mk I' was SAI KZ VIII test a/c D-EBIZ [??]
-- https://ww2aircraft.net/forum/threads/hirth-acrostar-details-questions.15828/
-- http://www.airventure.de/hahnweide07/3/Hahn_2007_Hirth.jpg
-- 3 view: http://www.airwar.ru/image/idop/la/hi27/hi27-1.gif

Wolf Hirth GmbH Undesignated or Missing Designation Aircraft

Hirth Hi [??] - [Project] Single-wheel Hi 21 deriv. by Wolfgang Hütter
- Hi [??]: Hi 21 deriv. with short-span wings to meet RLM glide slope

Hirth Hi [??]: [Project] Tandem-seat Hi 21 deriv. by Karl Schewyer
- Hi [??]: Hi 21 deriv. with a high wing and dismountable u/c

Hirth Hi [??]: [Project] Tandem-seat Hi 21 deriv. by Ferdinand Schmetz
- Hi [??]: Hi 21 deriv. with a low-mounted wing and retractable u/c

Hirth Lastenträger - [Project] 1944 Bf 109G-6 bomb-carrying glider
- Hirth Lastenträgerr*: Underslung winged pod w/ 2 x SC500 bombs
-- * Lastenträger translates as 'Load Carrier'
-- http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,22090.msg222137.html#msg222137

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Jul 25, 2007
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Schempp-Hirth Flugzeugbau GmbH - Post-War 'HS' Aircraft Designations

In 1945, Schempp-Hirth turned to producing non-aviation wooden products. In deference to Wolf Hirth, Martin Schempp did not resume glider production until after the former's death. The first post-war Schempp-Hirth glider was the license-built Standard Austria in 1962 but the approach to designations was somewhat erratic.

The Standard Austria series were given Schempp-Hirth designation letters after the name. First was the Standard Austria S with 'S' for Schemmp to distinguish it from the original 14 Austrian-built examples. This was followed by the heavier Standard Austria SH (for Schempp-Hirth) and the retractable gear Standard Austria SH-I (although I do not know the significance of that '-I' suffix).

Standard Austria - 1962 single-seat sailplane, span: 15 m
-- Wooden structure (GRP nose), all-moving 'V'-tail
- Standard Austria : 14 x initial 1959 Austrian prod. vers.
- Standard Austria S: 1962 licensed Schemp-Hirth model
- Standard Austria SH: Improved, heavier variant, x 5
- Standard Austria SH-I: SH with optional retr. u/c

An original design followed (albeit, one heavily influenced by the Standard Austria SH). This was designated the SHK, with the 'SH' standing for Schempp-Hirth and the 'K' for Martin Schempp's co-designer Rolf Kuntz. At a later point, an attempt was made to rationalize Schempp-Hirth Flugzeugbau designations and the SHK was given another designation - HS 1.

The 'HS' designation system attempt to apply numbers to Schempp-Hirth's named gliders. This may have been primarily for internal use on drawings but, in any case, the 'HS' designation system seems not to have been widely accepted. The 'HS' designations are for designer Klaus Holighaus (coming from Akaflieg Darmstadt) and Martin Schempp ... which makes its application to the SHK rather odd (unless Holighaus was also involved with the SHK's design or, perhaps, its productionization).

Schempp-Hirth sub-types are given model letters after their names. Such sub-type letters don't ever seem to have been applied to the 'HS' designations.

Below is a listing of known Schempp-Hirth 'HS' designations

Schempp-Hirth HS 1 -- SHK, 1965 Standard Austria deriv., span: 17 m
-- HS 1: aka SHK, aka SHK-1

Schempp-Hirth HS 2 -- Cirrus, 1967 high-perf. sailplane, x 700
- HS 2 Cirrus: V-tail prototype, conven. tail for prod'n variants
- HS 2 Cirrus: 'B' model, 16 m wings (vs 15 m for basic model), x 11
-- Steel-tube center section, fiberglass/foam fuselage & wings

Schempp-Hirth HS 3 -- Nimbus, 1969 high-perf. sailplane, 1 x prototype
- HS 3: Open Class Cirrus fuselage with new, 3-piece 22 m wing*
-- * HS 3 Nimbus suffered from insufficient tail area, aka SH 3

Schempp-Hirth HS 4 -- Standard Cirrus, 1969 hi-perf. sailplane, x 700
- HS 4 Standard Cirrus: V-tail prototype, conven. tail for prod'n types
- HS 4 Standard Cirrus: 'B' model, 16 m wings (vs 15 m for basic), x 11
-- Constr.: Steel-tube center section, fiberglass/foam fuselage & wings

Schempp-Hirth HS 5 -- Nimbus-2, 1970 high-perf. sailplane, span 20.3 m
- HS 5 Nimbus-2: Redesigned HS 3 Nimbus, shorter span 4-piece wing
-- HS 5 Nimbus-2 : First x 132, T-tail with Cirrus pendulum elevator
-- HS ? Nimbus 2b: T-tail with conventional elevator
-- HS ? Nimbus-2c: Airbrake flap system, also a lighter version
-- HS ? Nimbus-2M: Motor glider vers. with fold-out 50 hp Hirth
-- HS ? Nimbus-2CS: Test example with new 23.5 m single-piece wing
--- Nimbus-2CS acted as a test article for successor Nimbus-3

Schempp-Hirth HS 6 -- Janus, 1974 2-seat sailplane, span 18.2 m
- HS 6 Janus: There are seven Janus sub-type models

Schempp-Hirth HS 7 -- Mini Nimbus, 1976 single-seat racing glider, x 159
- HS 7 Mini Nimbus: Mod. Cirrus fuselage with new 15 m wing*
-- * Wing design also applied to the Glasflügel 303 Mosquito

Schempp-Hirth HS 8 -- [?? Nimbus ??] probably a typo for HS 3

It is possible that Schempp-Hirth 'HS' designations were dropped altogether after the HS 7 Mini Nimbus. But they do continue to appear afterwards as drawing numbers (eg: HS 8 - 31005). Still, I can find no evidence for a 'HS 9' or 'HS 10'.

There's no hint of designations for the later-model Cirrus or the Discus, DuoDiscus, Ventus, etc. Does anyone have more on Schempp-Hirth 'HS' designations?

FWIW, Martin Schempp fully transferred Schempp-Hirth Flugzeugbau GmbH to Klaus Holighaus' control in 1977. Holighaus was killed in a gliding accident in the Alp on 09 August 1994.



CLEARANCE: Above Top Secret
May 26, 2006
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Amazing work my dear Apopheniaو

and I can add,the Vogt Lo-150 single seat glider,deigned by Alfred Vogt but produced
by Wolf Hirth;



Jul 25, 2007
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Thanks Hesham. Schempp-Hirth and Wulf Hirth GmbH never seemed to apply their own designations to 'outside work'. Alas, it was in the Lo-150's aerobatic predecessor - the Vogt Lo-100 - that Wulf Hirth met his end.


Senior Member
Oct 25, 2007
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Excellent postings, Apophenia! To add more to the topic, and for those with a flair for (tiny) aviation engines, please read:


The Hirth Hi-24 was to be powered by a Eisfeld boxer engine, made up of 6 HO6. Neat! I wonder what was to be the powerplant for the Natter "Lerche". A Kratzsch?


Fight for yor Right!
Jan 14, 2007
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The project Hirth Hi.23 was a double-fuselage glider from the year 1941.
The design was made for the same reasons as the well-known DFS.203.
Another competitor was the Jacobs-Schweyer Jas.P.5 from the same year.

The Hi.23 had a take-off weight of 3700 kg, a wingspan of 15,0m and was 12,5m long.
"With rocket engines amounting to 800kg of thrust the Hi.23 could manage a
horizontal top speed of 507 km/h or 570 km/h with a thrust of 1000kg."

Pictures and drawings can be found in the latest issue of Dan Sharp's "Secret Projects of the Third Reich."


Jul 25, 2007
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Great stuff Maveric! Looking at your Hi 22 Wanderfalke 3-view drawing, its hard not to see it as an evolution of the Hirth-built Göppingen Gö 9 prototype.


Fight for yor Right!
Jan 14, 2007
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Ok, you say my "Wanderfalke"-3view is the Hi.22?


Jul 25, 2007
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This was my assumption based on that "Projekt Wanderfalke Hi-22" quote in your link. Or perhaps the name Wanderfalke was used by Hirth more than once?