Arado Flugzeugwerke was a German aircraft manufacturer, originally established as the Warnemünde factory of the Flugzeugbau Friedrichshafen firm, that produced land-based military aircraft and seaplanes during the First World War.
With its parent company, it ceased operations following the First World War, when restrictions on German aviation were created by the Treaty of Versailles. In 1921, the factory was purchased by Heinrich Lübbe, who is said to have assisted Anthony Fokker in the creation of the pioneering Stangensteuerung synchronization gear system during 1914-15, and re-commenced aircraft construction for export, opening a subsidiary, Ikarus, in Yugoslavia. Walter Rethel, previously of Kondor and Fokker, was appointed head designer.
In 1925, the company joined the Arado Handelsgesellschaft ("Arado trading firm") that was founded by the industrialist Hugo Stinnes Junior for covering up illegal trade with military equipment. When in 1933 the new Nazi government came to power in Germany, Stinnes emigrated and Lübbe took control of the company. Just prior to this, Walter Blume, formerly of Albatros replaced Rethel.
Arado achieved early prominence as a supplier to the Luftwaffe with the Arado Ar 66, which became one of the standard Luftwaffe trainers right into World War II. The firm also produced some of the Luftwaffe's first fighter aircraft, the Ar 65 and Ar 68. In 1936, the RLM (Reichsluftfahrtministerium – "Reich Aviation Ministry") insisted that, as a show of loyalty, Lübbe should join the Nazi party. When he refused, he was arrested and forced to sell the company to the state. It was renamed to the more specific (and accurate) Arado Flugzeugwerke GmbH, and was placed under the direction of Erich Serno, and Felix Wagenführ, himself a former IdFlieg officer in World War I. In 1945, the company was liquidated and broken up.
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