Encyclopedia Astronautica

Pilz, Wolfgang (1911-1994) German professor. Member of German Rocket Team in France after WW2; later worked in Egypt 1963-1963.

Engineer and German rocket specialist; later worked in France as head of the propulsion department of LRBA from 1947-1958. Thereafter went to Germany, and worked with Saenger. In 1960 Pilz and Goercke founded INTRA (International Rakete) for the purpose of providing German expertise to Nasser in the production of indigenous Egyptian ballistic missiles. The effort eventually grew to 250 European engineers and 4,000 local employees. After a successful test in July 1962, the Israelis began both covert and overt campaigns to end the project. In November 1962 two airmail parcels addressed to Pilz blew up when opened in his office in Egypt, killing five Egyptians and disfiguring Pilz's German secretary. Pilz and the other foreign workers were driven away by Israeli death threats and diplomatic pressure by the end of 1963. The rockets produced had not been tested enough to be reliable, and the Egyptians abandoned them and turned to the Soviet Union.

Born: 1911.
Died: 1994.01.01.

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Associated Countries
See also
  • Michels, Juergen and Przybilski, Olaf, Peenemuende und seine Erben in Ost und West, Bernard & Graefe, Bonn, 1997.

Pilz Chronology

1962 July 21 - .
  • Egyptians parade rockets - . Nation: Egypt. Related Persons: Saenger; Kleinwaechter; Pilz. The Egyptian government exhibits mock-ups of missiles they are developing with assistance from German engineers. The El Qahir (conqueror) is 11 m long and was said to have a range of 600 km. The El Zafir (Victor) is 5.5 km long and had a range of 300 km. Later it is announced that a two-stage Al Ared (Pioneer) rocket is being developed that will have a range of 1000 km. A modification of this will be capable of launching satellites. Engineers involved in development of the rockets are said to be Wolfgang Pilz, Hans Goercke, and Hans Kleinwaechter. Eugen Saenger at the Stuttgart Propulsion Institute is also implicated. Saenger, who is working with his wife on steam-rocket boosted ramjet aircraft, denies this.

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