This authentic German Luftwaffe hangar was relocated from the Cottbus Army Airfield in Cottbus, Germany, a small town southeast of Berlin.
In 1933, the Cottbus Air Field was built along with a pilot flight school.
This particular hangar, Hangar 6, was built in 1934 by a company called Osdeutsche Landwerkstatten GmbH (OLA). OLA was founded by WWI flying ace Gotthard Sachsenberg and his navy friend, Eberhard Cranz. They formed the company to help former military personnel make the transition to civilian life. However, Sachsenberg lost control of the company in 1934 when he spoke out against the Nazi uprising in Germany and it was discovered that he was of partial Jewish decent.
Hangar 6, as with other hangars at Cottbus, was designed to be raised quickly and easily transported. The curved arches were designed with no interior columns to provide for maximum usable space. An OLA sales letter introducing this hangar style touted its advantages as:
- Shortest delivery time, fastest assembly, largest strength by lowest weight, best fit, fire safety, unsupported space and architectural beauty.
- Simple transportability, meaning: the possibility to disassemble any hall with little effort and no material loss and rebuild it at any required site in the shortest possible time.
- New construction showing the simple and clear force system that makes all stress points easily identifiable. It has all the advantages of the known diamond-network structures, but it avoids the disadvantages, particularly the static indeterminacy and the results of the stresses that occur in networked systems.
The hangar was originally used to house aircraft for the flight school. From 1941-1944, it was used by the Focke-Wulf Company for storage and a base for test flights while manufacturing the Fw200 Condor and Fw190 fighter plane. Near the end of World War Two, the Ta152 aircraft was assembled there.
On May 29, 1944, the hangar was severely damaged during an Eighth Air Force attack. Makeshift repairs were made. We believe that it was during those repairs that an individual performing the work as a forced laborer scratched an inscription into one of the beams. During the re-assembly process, the museum found these Polish words: “Anusia Waclaw Worked Here, 10.14.1944.”