IN THE AIR: Importance of Being Willy

In the nomenclature of World War II, few names are more widely known now than Messerschmitt. It stands for lethal speed in the air by Nazi pursuit ships. Willy Messerschmitt,* 41, is a sharp-nosed, sandy-haired citizen of the placid, medieval town of Augsburg, Germany. He started flying when he was 15, designed his first plane in 1916, became chief engineer of Bayerische Flugzengwerke at Augsburg in 1927, specializing in speed. On April 26 this year, one of his ships with a 1,660-h.p. Daimler-Benz motor set up an absolute record of 469,225 m.p.h....

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