Born June 26, 1898, in Frankfurt am Main. German aircraft designer and industrialist.
Messerschmitt designed many airplanes, helicopters, and gliders to meet a wide range of requirements. His best-known planes are the Me-109, the basic fighter plane of the German Air Force from 1935 to 1945; the multipurpose Me-110; and the Me-262, one of the first jet fighter planes. After World War II (1939–45), Messerschmitt emigrated to Spain, where he was a consultant on the designing of several airplanes. Upon returning to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1959, he again set up his firm and resumed the licensed production of airplanes. Messerschmitt is the honorary president of the Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blom concern and holds a significant amount of its stock (21 percent in 1973).