German Motorrad

Today in Motorcycle History

Orion and Orionette Motorcycles

A Brief History of the Marque


Orionette AG für Motorfahrzeuge / Orion AG für Motorfahrzeuge

Industriehof Oranienstraße 6, Berlin, Germany
1921 - 1925

One of the most important companies in the automotive industry in Berlin, it built a range of 129cc, 137cc, 148cc and 346cc two-stroke machines with mainly unit-construction engines and two or three-speed gearboxes. The design department, headed by Chief Engineer Engelbert Zaschka, also produced some interesting unorthodox designs including one referred to as system Zaschka.

There appears to be some mystery surrounding this design, described by some as both twostroke and OHV or even desmodromic.

The company folded in 1925, as did many others that year due to hyperinflation.

Zaschka later built a 3-wheel Kleinwagen in 1929, and a folding city car. His designs are understood to have been influential on Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion of 1933.

Engelbert Zaschka also designed and built a helicopter, and held a number of patents related to such aircraft. The Zaschka helicopter was a fairly primitive affair with a large rotor which appeared more like a a pair of revolving wings. It went through numerous design changes. There was also a pedal-powered flying machine.

Sources: Wikipedia, JF

Other marques with the Orion name: Disambiguation

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