125 years of human flight – Otto Lilienthal was the pioneer of aviation. He was the first person to recognise and document that a curved wing can generate more lift than a flat one – even more than twice as much. Researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have reconstructed the 'Normalsegelapparat' (Normal glider) according to the original design drawings. The DLR Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology has examined the aerodynamic properties of the world's first series aircraft inside the wind tunnel, and has confirmed that Lilienthal is indeed the father of modern aviation.
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.
125 years of aviation comes together in one image. Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport was the scene of a historic encounter between a pair of unique aircraft. A replica of the world's first series-built flying machine by Otto Lilienthal, built by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), met the largest passenger aircraft in history, the Airbus A380.
A replica of the world’s first series aircraft passed its test in the wind tunnel, where scientists from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) have now demonstrated the aerodynamic quality of the design by the aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal.
The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) plans to build a realistic replica of the world's first series-produced aircraft and study it scientifically. The project intends to honour the work of aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal who, 125 years ago, became the first person to pilot an aircraft.