He studied four years at the Technical Institute in Stuttgart. After being excited was touched by the Zeppelins and had attended an air show in 1909 , in 1910 he built his firstaircraft, based on the plans by Henri Farman.
After his studies he was able to work for the Albatros Flugzeugwerke in Berlin, where he designed the Albatros b.II , a reconnaissance aircraft that in the beginning of the first world war was used by the Germans. During the war Heinkel stepped over to the Hansa-Brandenburg Flugzeugwerken, for which he designed a few seaplanes .
In 1922 , he founded the Heinkel Flugzeugwerke in Warnemünde-Rostock on. He made sure that Rostock in the first half of the 20th century was the engine behind the industrialisation in Saxony and of Rostock made a large city and technology centre itself. The Heinkel-aviation factories would collect no less than 1352 patents.
Originally there were seaplanes and civil aircraft built, but later also fighter planes and bombers. By the Treaty of Versailles limited Germany was allowed to build aircraft. For that reason went Heinkel seeking foreign sponsors and partners.
For those foreign parties designed Heinkel aircraft, which then again under license abroad had to be built. One of them was the Imperial Japanese Navywhich Heinkel seaplanes built in Sweden. Those aircraft were used only In Germany in the civil shipping to a post to provide connection with sea-going vessels.
When Adolf Hitler came to power, formed the Heinkel design an essential part of the growing strength of the Luftwaffe in the run-up to the Second World War. The air force used both the Heinkel He 59, the Heinkel He 115 and the Heinkel He 111.
Above all, however, was owned by speed and Heinkel He found in a certain Wernher von Braun a suitable partner. Von Braun, later to become the father of American aerospace, got from Heinkel aircraft to borrow some for its rocket engines to test. In 1938, the very first aircraft (Heinkel He 176) with a rocket engine tested. Heinkel built a year later his first jet aircraft (Heinkel He 178).
Especially the Heinkel He 111 was widely used in the battle of Britain in 1940. But the plane turned out to be very vulnerable to air defenses and was mainly used as draught plane for gliders and as a Minelayer. Eventually the Heinkel He 111, Heinkel He 177replaced by the by the nazi Government of which more than a thousand were ordered.
Ernst Heinkel was, however, since the beginning of 1930s he his Jewish employees would have had to lay off, a known opponent of Hitler. In 1942 he was forced to do his majority stake in his company over to Hermann Göring. Heinkel moved to Vienna and started a new Design Studio, where he worked until the end of the war to the design of theHeinkel He 274.
At the end of the war, Heinkel was taken into custody by the allies, but when his enmity with Hitler clearly showed, he was released.
Heinkel was allowed to again as industrial to get started. In 1950 he began in Stuttgart with the production of motorcycles and scooters. In 1958 he came in Speyer on his old love and began under the name Ernst Heinkel-Fahrzeugbau again with aircraft design. He died soon after, on January 30, 1958 at the age of 70 in Stuttgart. In 1964 the company was taken over by the Vereinigte Flugtechnische works-Breeder, that afterwards by name would turn into Pfalz-Flugzeugwerke.
The heavily bombed factory of Heinkel in Rostock , however, was dismantled by the Russian occupying forces, with all the useful material was transferred to the Soviet Union. Of the whole factory is only a brick wall still standing. That is even a protected monument since 1993.