Tognum commemorates company founder Karl Maybach
Posted on February 04, 2010
The 6th of February 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Karl Maybach, founder, director, partner and for many years technical mastermind behind what is today MTU Friedrichshafen, the core company of the Tognum Group. He died on 6th February 1960 in Friedrichshafen.
Friedrichshafen, 4 February 2010. The 6th of February 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Karl Maybach, founder, director, partner and for many years technical mastermind behind what is today MTU Friedrichshafen, the core company of the Tognum Group. He died on 6th February 1960 in Friedrichshafen.
Karl Maybach was born on 6 July 1879 in Cologne-Deutz. On 23 March 1909, he founded, along with his father Wilhelm and Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, Luftfahrzeug-Motorenbau GmbH, from which the company MTU Friedrichshafen originates. Maybach remained a partner throughout his life and was managing director until 1952.
Karl Maybach designed a 6-cylinder airship engine and completed its construction in December 1909. In June 1911, LZ 10 "Schwaben“, the first Zeppelin airship to be equipped solely with Maybach engines, took to the air. In developing this engine, which was precisely tailored to the needs of airships, Karl Maybach achieved a major breakthrough in airship technology.
At the end of the First World War, Maybach started on development of the world’s first large high-speed diesel engine. Engine type G 4a was presented to the public at the railway exhibition in Seddin, Berlin, in 1924, where it was installed in a railcar especially built for the purpose. This Maybach engine was the first high-speed diesel engine capable of higher power outputs and ushered in the age of diesel-driven rail transport.
Maybach began to think in terms of complete systems at an early stage. His contribution to Germany’s first streamlined train, the legendary “Fliegender Hamburger”, which started running between Hamburg and Berlin in 1933, was not just its 12-cylinder diesel engines, each with an output of 410 PS (302 kW). He had also been closely involved in research on the optimal aerodynamic design of the railcar nose. His luxury Maybach automobiles, which were famed in the 1920s and ‘30s for the reliability of its powerful engines and preselector gearboxes, achieved legendary status. 1,800 models were built, of which around 150 survive today.
Karl Maybach was not only a brilliant engineer: as director and partner he assumed general responsibility for the company and workforce. Time and again he successfully adapted the product portfolio and continually asserted the company’s technological leadership. Bearing testimony to his sense of social commitment is the Karl Maybach-Hilfe GmbH, which was founded in 1958 in Friedrichshafen to assist mtu employees and their families and continues to do so today.
Decades later, Tognum, the parent company of mtu today, continues to uphold Karl Maybach’s principles and as a market leader sets the standard as the preferred partner for the best solutions in power and propulsion. The company’s passionate pioneering spirit, systems expertise and ongoing development of key technologies in the diesel and gas engine sector such as fuel injection, turbocharging, electronic systems and exhaust aftertreatment consolidate its technological leadership. Tognum supplies products for 22 applications on the global market. With its two business units - Engines and Onsite Energy & Components - the Tognum Group is a world leader in the supply of engines, propulsion systems and decentralized power generation.
The Karl Maybach Memorial is situated in the Municipal Cemetery of Friedrichshafen.