The company "Sportflugzeugbau Martin Schempp, Göppingen" started building gliders at January 4, 1935 in the municipal construction facilities of Göppingen with four initial staff members. By the end of the same year, the team had already grown to 25 employees including 2 apprentices.

In the years following, a growing number of employees started to produce constructions by Wolf Hirth such as Gö-1 "Wolf, the two-seater Gö-2 and the ever-famous Gö-3 "Minimoa", which would become the base of Schempp-Hirth's logo thanks to the characteristic wing shape. The production was steadily increased so that by 1936 a new "Wolf" could be delivered every 14 days.

Martin Schempp already then realized the necessity to produce gliders more cost-effienctly in larger series. The portfolio was extended by new types such as Gö5 (H17) and Gö-4 and the facilities became to small. Already in 1937, the decision was made to move to Kirchheim/Teck and in 1938, the company gradually moved to its current location.

At January 15th, 1938, the already world-famous gliding pioneer Wolf Hirth upgraded his engagement from a consulting and design function to a 50 percent shareholder. From this day, the Swabian company is named Schempp-Hirth Flugzeugbau and the long-standing connection between Martin Schempp and Wolf Hirth led to a business connection that was carried by their lifetime intensive friendship.

In 1965 Klaus Holighaus started his work at Schempp-Hirth as a design engineer. In 1969 he took over the production and in 1972 the general management. Since 1977, the company is owned completely by the Holighaus family. After his tragic crash at August 9, 1994, his the company was lead by Brigitte Holighaus and his younger son Tilo Holighaus; since January 2013 the elder son Ralf Holighaus has also rejoined the management team.

Since 2015, Ralf and Tilo Holighaus are jointly managing the company.