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Martin Hollmann

    December 6, 1940  -  October 12, 2012





Life Legacy


Martin Hollmann

Dec. 6, 1940 - Oct. 12, 2012

Martin was born in Berlin, Germany, to Dr. Hans Erich Hollmann, a physicist, and Gisela Hollmann. In 1947, he moved with his family under Operation Paperclip, from Germany to Camarillo, CA. He was raised in Studio City, CA, and attended Van Nuys High School.

Martin was a born engineer. At age 15, he converted his 1915 Model T Ford into a hot rod. His T-Bucket was a sensation everywhere and always won first place in car shows. It ended up on the cover of many car magazines and also appeared in television shows and films, such as 77 Sunset Strip, Bikini Beach, and others.

After getting an education at San Jose State, San Diego State, and the University of Central Florida — earning a BA in aeronautical operations and a MA in mechanical engineering — he embarked on a career designing high-tech parts for airplanes, helicopters, and cruise missiles, for various companies including Lockheed, Martin Marietta, and Convair Aerospace.

Martin ranks among the best-known designers of private aircraft in the world. In 1976, he started his own business, Aircraft Designs, Inc., in Monterey, CA. He wrote three dozen books on the subject of aircraft design and self-published them. He also held classes to teach people how to design airplanes or do flutter analysis.

He designed and built his two-seater gyroplane, which is now on permanent exhibit at the Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos, CA. In 1994, he designed and built the Stallion, a graphite and fiberglass six-seater, with a cruising speed of 235 mph, and a fuel capacity that enables it to fly cross-country non-stop.

Martin was a past FAA Consultant and Designated Engineering Representative. He gave many talks in Europe, Israel, and the USA. He contributed so much to so many, and he will be remembered and honored for a long time to come.

In 1994, Martin met Rita, his second wife, and the love of his life. They were soul mates for 18 years, and both had an abiding love for the ocean. Rita shared his enthusiasm for adventure and the outdoors, for flying, sailing, creating movies, and writing. They were a great inspiration to each other.

Martin was an avid surfer until he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, almost three years ago. He had always been the protector in his relationship with Rita, but Rita took over when he became ill. By initiating and maintaining an extremely healthy lifestyle, they greatly extended Martin's life beyond the couple of weeks the doctor first gave him to live. During this time, he was quite active and made many new friends in his neighborhood of Del Rey Oaks, while walking the steep hills daily.

Martin was a warm-hearted and generous person, who always thought of those who were disadvantaged and tried to help them. He will be missed by so many. On Columbus Day, he started his last journey to sail away. He died five days later, at home, in the arms of his wife, Rita.

Martin was predeceased by his parents. He is survived by his wife Rita Costa-Hollmann; his beloved sons, Eric Hollmann, Ph.D., San Diego, and Christian Hollmann, New York, NY; and his two sisters, Christa Brazier, Danville, CA, and Gaby Hollmann, Munich, Germany.

Memorial services will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, gifts in his memory may go to the American Cancer Society.

Arrangements by Alta Vista Mortuary, 41 East Alisal Street; (831)424-9700




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Born: December 6, 1940

Place of Birth: Berlin, Germany

Death: October 12, 2012

Place of Death: Del Rey Oaks, CA


This memorial provided by:
Alta Vista Mortuary
Salinas, CA