Luise Hoffmann

Luise Hoffmann was Germany’s (and probably Europe’s) first female test pilot. Born July 8th 1910 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Luise Hoffmann started to learn to fly at the age of 17 and at the age of 19 already demonstrated aerobatics in her own biplane at air shows.

Working for the Bücker Flugzeugbau GmbH, she performed pass-off flying of newly built Bücker 131 Jungmann aircraft and also demonstrated Bücker aircraft abroad. When the prototype of the single-seat aerobatic and training aircraft Bücker 133 Jungmeister was built in 1935, Luise Hoffmann took off in it on its first flight. The press wrote at the time: “As works pilot, she had to test fly new aircraft in both normal and aerobatic flight. This was considered to be a difficult task usually left to male pilots. Here her unique flying skills were clearly seen.” Luise Hoffmann was described by Arthur Benitz, the later Bücker Chief Pilot as an “outstanding pilot and aerobatic pilot”.

On November 2nd 1935 she was returning from demonstration flights in Turkey and Greece with Bücker 131 Jungmann D-EGSY. She encountered bad weather near Vienna, crashed after tree contact in fog and was burned badly, as a result of which she passed away at the age of 25.