Born in Germany and educated in England, Koenig-Warthausen developed a passion for aviation. He obtained his license in May 1928, flying a newly purchased Klemm with a Daimler 20 hp motorcycle engine. That same year, German President von Hindenburg created the "Hindenburg Cup" to be awarded to an amateur pilot completing the best sporting flight of the year. Koenig-Warthausen decided to compete for this honor by flying from Berlin to Moscow. With a minimal amount of equipment, he departed Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport at midnight, August 9, 1928. The next day he landed at Chodinka, Moscow’s aerodrome. So pleased with his success, Koenig-Warthausen decided to continue flying east. After several forced landings, the Klemm touched down in Singapore in the spring of 1930. It was here that the young Baron committed to completing his world flight.
Boarding a steamer bound for Hong Kong and Shanghai where Koenig-Warthausen off-loaded his Klemm, he made for a short flight to Nanking where he visited with General Chang Kai Check. From there, he took steamers north to Japan and then across the Pacific to San Francisco, arriving June 2, 1930. He arrived back in Bremerhaven, Germany on November 22nd after a successful fight across the United States. He had soloed round-the-world in his single-engine, open-cockpit, low-wing Klemm in 15 months covering 20,000 miles in 450 flying hours using less than 1,000 gallons of gas. Although inexperienced Koenig-Warthausen was resourceful and possessed an unwavering determination.
For further information: