Polish Aviation Museum

31-864 Kraków,
al. Jana Pawła II 39
phone: (12) 640 99 60,
(12) 642 40 70
e-mail: info@muzeumlotnictwa.pl

a cultural institution of the Malopolska Region

Małopolska – Kraków Region

Mecenas Muzeum

Kraków Airport

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Glider: Otto Lilienthal's hang glider (replica)

Otto Lilienthal's hang glider (replica)
Niemcy / Poland
pioneer era hang glider

  • Technical data

Span 6,6 m
Length 2.7 m
Wing area
Empty weight
Take-off weight
Glide ratio
Sink rate
Minimum speed
Max. diving speed


To fly like birds was a perennial dream of the mankind that had finally became reality by the end of the 19th century.
Earlier flight attempts with the lighter-than-air flying machines did not fulfil these expectations. It became essential to design a heavier-than-air flying object. However, it was a difficult engineering challenge at that time.

Two Germans - brothers Otto and Gustav Lilienthal at the beginning of the 1890s of the 19th century carried out tests on the manned flight possibilities. First hang gliders built by the brothers (without vertical stabilizer) did not fulfill their hopes. It was only in 1891 after having added a vertical stabilizer into the construction that Otto Lilienthal was able to perform a 300 metres "jump flight" from the hill near the town of Drewitz in Germany. The work on the improvement of hang glider were carried out until Otto Lilienthal's crash on 9 August 1896. On the next day he died of the sustained injuries. Until then he had built several versions of wings, significantly different from one another. Seven examples of his flying machines are preserved at the museums around the world today.

The example on display is a replica built in 1969 and based on the original Lilienthal's hang glider displayed at the Technical Museum in Warsaw. The copy was built by Bronisław Zawidzki, Franciszek Stańko and Edward Micuda. The second copy (also of their authorship) was presented to the Communication Museum in Dresden.


Dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego
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