Heinkel Aircraft Factory at Oranienburg Airfield, Oranienburg Germany


Heinkel Aircraft Factory at Oranienburg Airfield – Oranienburg Germany

Background

Flugplatz Oranienburg was an airfield north of Berlin. It was built between 1936 and 1939 and was one of the major airfields for the defense of Berlin together with Berlin Gatow and Tempelhof.

Heinkel factory – dancing image production

It was used by different flying units and training units. But most of all it was an airfield for testing and production. A Heinkel factory, Heinkel Werke, was constructed at the airfield. At flugplatz Oranienburg tests were performed for high altitude flights. Experimental units and special units were stationed at the airfield, jet aircraft and composite aircraft like the Mistel configurations. Arado Ar 234, the first ever two and four engine jet bomber and reconnaissance airplanes were tested here. As was the Horten Ho IX – Gotha Go 229 jet powered flying wing, and the Heinkel He 162 Salamander Volksjäger.

Heinkel Aircraft Factory seen from above – Oranienburg Germany
Heinkel Aircraft Factory at Oranienburg Airfield
Hangar doors in a bad state at the Heinkel Aircraft Factory – Oranienburg Germany
Smaller workshops nearby – Oranienburg Airfield, Oranienburg Germany
Test pilot Erwin Ziller starts the Ho IX V2’s engines at Oranienburg in February 1945. Ziller was killed when the V2 lost an engine and crashed during its third test flight. German Reichs designation Ho 229.( National Air and Space Museum)

But mostly Heinkel He 111 bombers were built at this location, or the Heinkel He 117 Greiff (Eng. Griffon) a four engine bomber. The Junker Ju 88 Heavy Fighter and the Focke Wulf, Fw 190 Wurger (Eng. Shrike) were assembled here as well.

As the war progressed and Berlin became a bigger target for allied bomber formations, Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 109 battle squadrons were stationed at the Oranienburg airfield for the defense of the capital.

Inside the huge the Heinkel Aircraft Factory – Flugplatz Oranienburg
The roof is slowly comming down – Heinkel Aircraft Hangar – Oranienburg Airfield
Inside the large Heinkel Aircraft Hangar – Flugplatz Oranienburg
Inside the large Heinkel Aircraft Hangar – Oranienburg Airfield
Control post in the Heinkel Aircraft Factory at Oranienburg Airfield
Control post and offices in the Heinkel Aircraft Factory at Oranienburg Airfield
Halway towards the offices in the Heinkel Aircraft Factory at Oranienburg Airfield
One of the offices in the Heinkel Aircraft Factory

Oranienburg Airfield

Next to the five interconnected paved runways and airfield facilities were the Heinkel aircraft plants and multiple open aircraft shelters. There were underground fuel storages and 12 heavy flak positions and 12 light flak positions. The Heinkel factories had one a few large hangars and workshops, a repair hangar, officers and personnel quarters. Forced laborers from the nearby Sachsenhausen concentration camp were used to complete the workforce. They were housed in the basements of the personnel quarters until wooden barracks were set up.

The massive hangar at the Heinkel Aircraft Factory at Oranienburg Airfield
A beautiful sight on the roof trusses – Heinkel Aircraft Hangar
The front side of the Heinkel Aircraft Factory
The front side of the Heinkel Aircraft Factory – lots of debris on the floor
Heinkel Aircraft Factory at Oranienburg Airfield, Oranienburg Germany
A traveling crane construction inside the Heinkel Aircraft Hangar
Overhead cranes with their operator’s box – Heinkel Aircraft Factory at Oranienburg Airfield
Heinkel Aircraft Factory at Oranienburg Airfield, Oranienburg Germany
The hangar doors are tilted and crooked – Heinkel Aircraft Factory
Heinkel Aircraft Factory Hangar seen from above at the Oranienburg Airfield

When the Soviet army took over the airfield the factories were dismantled and most buildings demolished. Just one large hangar was left behind with a few surrounding buildings.

Visit

Large parts of the former Flugplatz Oranienburg are taken over by civilian use, A highway runs through it and multiple firms have large storage facilities on the airfield. More than 30.000 solar panels are placed but there are still paths for pedestrians and bicycles. Loads of folk stroll over the concrete taxiways with their dogs.

Heinkel Aircraft Factory Hangar seen from above at the Oranienburg Airfield
Heinkel Aircraft Factory at Oranienburg Airfield, Oranienburg Germany
Another workplace from the Heinkel Aircraft Factory to the front side of the hangar

The single Heinkel in Hangar is in a really bad shape, trees grow on top of it, there are holes in the roof, doors come out if their hinges and the work areas are full of debris and floors lose their strength. It won’t be long before it will be too hazardous and removed for our safety.

It is still a huge building and awesome to see.

 


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