C. and A. Wittemann Aeronautical Engineers

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According to the finding aid for the Charles R. Wittemann Papers, Charles founded the first airplane manufacturing plant in the U.S. in September 1905. Charles had experimented with aerial devices since 1896, see above. Brothers Charles R. and Adolph D. Wittemann were the named members of C. and A. Wittemann Aeronautical Engineers. Brothers Paul and Walter were also involved.

In the first few years, the firm manufactured series of hang gliders and pusher biplanes and a few helicopters. These include a pusher biplane with two propellers,1906-1907; a triplane in the same period; a helicopter in 1908; and a helicopter, a biplane, and gliders in 1909. In January 1910, it was reported that nine men were employed, some 15-20 gliders had been sold, 12 gliders were going through the shop, a Voisin-type biplane of their design was being started, and two power machines were being built to the designs of their inventors. The latter appear to have been a lightweight with two steam engines for George Bold and a Voisin-type biplane with one propeller for Charles W. Miller. Also built a Curtiss-type for George Schmitt in 1910. Also, beginning with the first in 1910, it built the Red Devil Curtiss-type biplanes flown by Thomas S. Baldwin. In 1911, it built a pusher with Hall-Scott engine and in 1913-1914, produced several Curtiss-type pushers. Later, there were monoplanes, biplanes, hydroplanes, and seaplanes, all of the company's own designs.

Charles R. Wittemann and Adolph D. Wittemann were granted a US patent 28 Oct 1913 (application date 1910 Apr 18) for a flying machine. Adolph reportedly left the company in 1914 but the C. and A. Witteman company name stayed until Wittemann-Lewis Aircraft Co. was formed, apparently in late 1916 but possibly the date is late 1915. Either by then or after Wittemann-Lewis Aircraft Co. was formed, the C. and A. Wittemann plant closed. If Wittemann-Lewis was formed in 1915, it would appear to have had a year in Staten Island before the principals went to Newark, NJ.


SD308, 203; 1910 Aeronautics30 (Jan), 14-15 (Jul); and an ad between 180-181 (Nov); 1910Aircraft 193; 1911PM462; 1913Aeronautics113 (Sep); SSCAPH-V2, 888, 907, 913; NASMRD, aerofiles.com; WRCPFA

Names C. and A. Wittemann Aeronautical Engineers, Wittemann, Wittemann-Lewis Aircraft Co.
Country US
City Ocean Terrace and Little Clove Road, Staten Island, NY
Started aero 1905
Ended aero 1915 or1916
Key people Charles R. Wittemann, Adolph D. Wittemann