Marc Birkigt

Marc Birkigt (8 March 1878, Geneva – 15 March 1953, Versoix) was a Swiss engineer who moved to Barcelona, Spain when he was hired as an engineer by Emilio de la Cuadra, founder of Hispano-Suiza automobiles. He created the Dewoitine company along with Émile Dewoitine. Birkigt was nominated for the Car Engineer of the Century prize for the luxurious Hispano-Suiza H6 car in the 1920s. He also won fame for the aircraft engines and guns he designed at Hispano-Suiza as chief engineer, the former including the liquid-cooled V8 engine that powered the famous French SPAD VII and SPAD XIII World War I fighters, and the British Sopwith Dolphin and S.E. 5a, whilst in the field of ordnance he created the Hispano-Suiza HS.404 20mm autocannon, which was of great importance in WW II as the main fighter gun of the RAF from 1941 onwards.

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