Otto C. Winzen

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Otto C. Winzen (1917–1979) was a GermanAmerican aeronautics engineer who made significant advances in the materials and construction of high-altitude balloons after World War II.

Winzen emigrated to the United States in 1937 and spent time during the war in internment camps.

He studied aeronautical engineering at the University of Detroit. After World War II, Winzen became involved in high-altitude balloon research, working with Jean Piccard. In 1949 he started his own company with his wife called Winzen Research, Inc.

He created a number of plastic balloons, in particular of polyethylene, which he sold to the United States Army and Navy including the Skyhook balloon. In 1972 he developed the Winzen Research Balloon, which achieved the record for the highest unmanned balloon flight, setting a record altitude of 51,816 m over Chico, California.

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