(1888-1958) German aircraft designer who pioneered jet aircraft. He founded his firm 1922 and built the first jet aircraft 1939. During World War II his company was Germany's biggest producer of warplanes, mostly propeller-driven.
Notable Heinkel aircraft of World War II include the He 111, originally designed as a civilian airliner but adapted almost immediately as a medium bomber. It was used extensively in air raids over England 1940, but was found to be vulnerable to attack and so was redeployed as a night bomber and mine-layer.