The German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Braunschweig does research in the fields of aeronautics, transport, space and energy. Located at the Research Airport, DLR continues the tradition of the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DFL), founded in 1936, and employs there about 1100 highly-qualified scientists and engineers.
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German aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal flew thousands of times, travelling up to 250 metres at speeds reaching 50 kilometres per hour, made him (quite rightly) the first confirmed pilot in human history. His fatal accident was not caused by a flawed design, but was most likely a pilot error.
Components made of Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymers (CFRP) are increasingly being used to make aircraft lighter, more comfortable and more economical. In order to make these aircraft even safer and facilitate their maintenance, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has built a large aircraft component out of CFRP, as part of the EU Smart Intelligent Airframe Structures (SARISTU) project. The component can provide information about the size and location of any damage.