AGO Flugzeugwerke G. m. b. H.

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An AGO 1914 airplane in the Johannisthal aerodrome
AGO hydroplane

AGO Flugzeugwerke G. m. b. H. was a German aircraft manufacturing company from 1911 until 1945. The initials AGO had a variety of meanings (such as Aktiengesellschaft Otto) during the company's lifetime, but in its final version stood for Apparatebau GmbH Oschersleben. At its peak, the company employed around 4,500 people.[1]

(We have this firm listed in databases as "Ágó Flugzeugwerke G. m. b. H." and as "Ago Flugzeugwerke G. m. b. H.", but in fact the firm name has to do the above-described phenomenon of abbreviation, rather than with any place or person name. (This applies to other corporations as well, in which "Ago" begins the corporate name.))

AGO was founded in 1911 in Munich as Flugmaschinenwerke Gustav Otto by Gustav Otto and a Dr Alberti. Gustav, the son of Nicolaus Otto – inventor of the four-stroke engine, was a pioneer aviator (pilot's licence No. 34) and engine-builder. As was usual in those days, a flying school was attached to the business – one of its later students was Ernst Udet.[2]

The company's first successful aircraft under head designer, Gabriel Letsch, was an observation biplane with a pusher propeller that soon became the standard equipment of the Bayerischen Fliegertruppe. The machine was powered by a 75 kW (100 hp) engine of the firm's own design, branded Aviatiker Gustav Otto.[3]

In 1912, a separate division was set up in Johannisthal under the name Ago Flugzeugwerke, with Elisabeth Woerner and Hermann Fremery as directors. After the outbreak of World War I, AGO built a series of military reconnaissance aircraft, beginning with the AGO C.I – a pusher-powered biplane designed by August Haefeli. The most successful of AGO's wartime aircraft was the C.IV of 1916, of which 70 examples were built, but which proved unpopular with its pilots.[4]

In 1916, Gustav Otto opened a new plant in Munich under the name Bayerische Flugzeugwerke, and another in Oschersleben (with Josef Schnittisser) again named AGO, this time for Aktiengesellschaft Gustav Otto. The Oschersleben plant was used to manufacture components for other manufacturers' aircraft until the end of the war.[5]


Names AGO Flugzeugwerke G. m. b. H., Ago Flugzeugwerke G. m. b. H., Ágó Flugzeugwerke G. m. b. H.
Country Germany
City Berlin-Johannisthal
Affiliations Flugmaschinen-Werke Gustav Otto, Flugmaschinen-Werke Gustav Otto
Keywords airplane, biplane, hydroplane
Started aero 1912
Ended aero
Key people Gustav Otto, Nicolaus Otto, Dr. Alberti, Elisabeth Woerner, Hermann Fremery, Gabriel Letsch
Wikidata id