Wunibald comb

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Wunibald Irmin Erich Kamm (born April 26, 1893 in Basel , † October 11, 1966 in Stuttgart ) was a German scientist in the field of motor vehicle and engine technology and one of the leading motor vehicle aerodynamics .


modern comb rear on the Audi A2

Wunibald Kamm began studying mechanical engineering at the TH Stuttgart in the winter semester 1913/14 and joined the Ghibellinia fraternity in Stuttgart . He completed his studies after the World War in 1920 and did his doctorate there in 1922 with a topic on stability issues of the K tethered balloon he developed . From 1922 to 1925 he worked for the racing engine department of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft under Paul Daimler and Ferdinand Porsche . As head of vehicle construction at Schwäbische Hüttenwerke , Kamm was responsible for developing the SHW car in 1925 , but only three prototypes were built. From 1926 to 1930 he was head of the engine department of the German Aviation Research Institute (DVL) in Berlin-Adlershof . There he was also responsible for the test field for aircraft engines.

On April 1, 1930, Kamm was appointed full professor to the chair for automotive engineering and vehicle engines at the Technical University of Stuttgart . In the same year (on July 15), he founded the non-profit foundation Research Institute for Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines Stuttgart (FKFS), which allowed him to work with industry without the strict rules of the university. Until 1945 he was a professor and chairman of the FKFS. During this time he succeeded in developing the FKFS into one of the most important large-scale research institutes with up to 650 employees and numerous test facilities, and during the Second World War also with armaments contracts. Kamm, a pioneer in motor vehicle research, set standards both in motor vehicle aerodynamics and in research on combustion engines, including the development of the K-car and the construction of a full- scale motor vehicle test field with a 1: 1 wind tunnel . The test cars he designed, the BMW K1 and K4 (each based on the pre-series chassis of the BMW 335 ), the BMW 328 racing sedan and the Kamm K2 and K3 cars (each based on the Mercedes-Benz 170 V ) became particularly well known . His findings in the field of tire-road contact were also important (see Kamm circle ). In 1943 and 1944 Kamm was a board member of the Association of German Engineers (VDI).

As early as 1945, after French internment in Ravensburg and later takeover by the US armed forces, Kamm was able to continue his scientific career. First he worked on behalf of the American state as a consulting engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Field in Dayton ( Ohio ). He was also a research professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken (NJ, USA), where he was able to resume his previous research topics.

After returning to Germany, Kamm headed the mechanical engineering department at the Batelle Institute in Frankfurt am Main for three years before retiring to Stuttgart in 1958 for health reasons .

In memory of Kamm (and Alfred Jante ), the Scientific Society for Motor Vehicle and Engine Technology e. V. (WKM) every two years the Kamm-Jante-Medal for outstanding achievements of students, young scientists and engineers in the field of automotive and engine technology. Kamm was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2009 . In 2018 an asteroid was named after him: (22499) Wunibaldkamm .


  • Results of experiments with geometrically similar cylinders of different sizes and conclusions for the development of aircraft engines . Communication from the German Academy of Aviation Research, submitted on March 3, 1939; Oldenbourg, Munich / Berlin 1942 (publications of the German Academy of Aviation Research, Issue 12).
  • Wunibald Comb; C. Schmid: Experiments and measurements in the field of motor vehicles. J. Springer, Berlin 1938.
  • The status of the development of air jet engines in Germany . German Academy of Aviation Research, Berlin 1941 (publications of the German Academy of Aviation Research, No. 1038).
  • Operating conditions and construction principles of the tethered balloons . Technical University, Stuttgart. Dissertation 1921.
  • Wunibald Comb; O. Hoffmeister: The motor vehicle. Operating principles, calculation, design and testing. Springer, Berlin 1936.


  • Hans Christoph Graf von Seherr-Thoss:  Kamm, Wunibald. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 11, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1977, ISBN 3-428-00192-3 , p. 82 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • U. Fliegauf: The Volkswagen would no longer have been necessary. The car project of the Schwäbische Hüttenwerke in Böblingen. In: Moments. Issue 2/2003, pp. 4–10.
  • J. Potthoff, U. Essers, H. Maier, U. Grau, B. Guttmann: 75 Years of FKFS - A Review. Institute for Internal Combustion Engines and Automotive Engineering , Stuttgart 2005, ISBN 3-924860-30-0 .
  • Jürgen Potthoff, Ingobert C. Schmid: Wunibald IE Kamm - pioneer of modern automotive technology. Springer Verlag, 2012, ISBN 978-3-642-20302-2 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Well-known Ghibellines - Stuttgarter Burschenschaft Ghibellinia . In: Stuttgarter Burschenschaft Ghibellinia . ( ghibellinen.de [accessed November 1, 2017]).
  2. ^ Marie-Luise Heuser , Wolfgang König : Tabular compilations on the history of the VDI . In: Karl-Heinz Ludwig (Ed.): Technology, Engineers and Society - History of the Association of German Engineers 1856–1981 . VDI-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1981, ISBN 3-18-400510-0 , p. 590 .