Aeronautical Research in Germany

From Lilienthal until Today

  • Ernst Heinrich Hirschel
  • Horst Prem
  • Gero Madelung

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XXII
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Ernst Heinrich Hirschel
      Pages 3-16
  3. The Political, Institutional and Industrial Environment of German Aeronautical Research

  4. Results of German Aeronautical Research

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 133-133
    2. Dieter Schmitt, Horst Prem, Peter Pletschacher, Bernd Junkers, Hans Zacher
      Pages 135-172
    3. Ernst Heinrich Hirschel, Hans Ulrich Meier
      Pages 172-202
    4. Kyrill Von Gersdorff, Horst Prem, Heinz Hoheisel, Dieter Rist, Helmut Schubert, Eilhard Jantzen
      Pages 202-259
    5. Andreas Hafer, Gottfried Sachs, Horst Prem
      Pages 259-266
    6. Heiner Dörner, Horst Prem, Hans Försching
      Pages 267-278
    7. Kurt Knobling
      Pages 293-309
    8. Gerhard Sedlmayr, Holger Hansen
      Pages 309-324
    9. Kyrill Von Gersdorff
      Pages 325-344
    10. Horst Prem, Dieter Schmitt, Hans Zacher, Xaver Hafer
      Pages 345-386
    11. Ernst Heinrich Hirschel, Hans Ulrich Meier
      Pages 387-407
    12. Heinz Hoheisel, Dieter Rist, Helmut Schubert, Kyrill von Gersdorff, Eilhard Jantzen, Wolfgang Braig
      Pages 407-474
    13. Andreas Hafer, Gottfried Sachs, Holger Friehmelt, Heinz-Jürgen Pausder, Carl Ockier, Helmut John et al.
      Pages 475-539
    14. Heiner Dörner, Horst Prem, Hans Galleithner, Hans Försching
      Pages 539-556
    15. Hans Försching
      Pages 556-572
    16. Valentin Klöppel
      Pages 573-582
    17. Jürgen W. Bergmann, Hans Ulrich Meier, Ulrich Fligge, Peter Hamel, Dietrich Hanke, Gerd Bouwer et al.
      Pages 583-623
  5. International and Economical Relevance and Perspectives

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 625-625
    2. Horst Prem
      Pages 636-654
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 655-694

About this book


From the pioneering glider flights of Otto Lilienthal (1891) to the advanced avionics of today’s Airbus, aeronautical research in Germany has been at the forefront of the birth and advancement of aeronautics. On the occasion of the centennial commemoration of the Wright Brother’s first powered flight (December 1903), this English–language edition of ‘Aeronautical Research in Germany’ recounts and celebrates the considerable contributions made in Germany to the invention and ongoing development of aircraft.

Featuring hundreds of historic photos and non-technical language, this comprehensive and scholarly account will interest historians, engineers, and, also, all serious airplane devotees. Through individual contributions by 35 aeronautical experts, it covers in fascinating detail the milestones of the first 100 years of aeronautical research in Germany, within the broader context of the scientific, political, and industrial milieus.

Important contributions of German aeronautical research to the flight sciences are, for example, the boundary-layer theory (1904), the lifting-wing theory (1918), the Wagner Web (1924), the boundary-layer stability theory (1929), the swept wing (1935) and its experimental verification (1939), the axial compressor (minimum frontal area) for jet engines (2nd half of the thirties), the transonic airfoil (1940), the area rule (1943), and the first application of a supercritical wing (Airbus A310, 1982).

The technological developments led in Germany to breakthroughs in aircraft design, including the modern high-speed aircraft (He 70, 1932), the first operational helicopter (Fw 61, 1936), rocket plane (He 176, 1939), jet plane (He 178, 1939), the Me 163 (1941), the Me 262 (1941/1942), the ejector seat (1942), the first quantity production jet engines Jumo 004 (1943) and BMW 003 (1944), the variable swept wing jet (Me P 1101, 1945), V/STOL aircraft (VJ 101 C, 1963), and controlled post-stall flight (X-31, 1990).

This richly illustrated and authoritative volume constitutes a most timely and substantial overview of the crucial contributions to the foundations and advancement of aeronautics made by German scientists and engineers.


Aeronautics Aeronautics in Germany Airflight History of Aeronautics Sensor Simulation Transport aeronautical research development environment safety

Authors and affiliations

  • Ernst Heinrich Hirschel
    • 1
  • Horst Prem
    • 2
  • Gero Madelung
    • 3
  1. 1.ZornedingGermany
  2. 2.OttobrunnGermany
  3. 3.MünchenGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-62129-1
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-18484-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site