Lilienthal Glider

Lilienthal Glider, 1896 model (reproduction)

In addition to his own experiments Otto Lilienthal also sold gliders to others. The Museum's example (not on display) of his 'standard gliding machine' (Normal-Segelapparat) was made by Lilienthal in 1895 for T.J. Bennett, an Oxford dentist with an interest in aeronautics. Bennett never flew it, but passed it to Percy Pilcher, the British pioneer who was killed in a glider of his own design in 1899. Lilienthal flew his gliders hanging by his arms, swinging his body to shift his weight for control in roll, pitch and yaw. With this type of glider he could achieve flights about 350 metres (1150 feet). In 1976 it was decided that the glider, the oldest full-size aircraft in the Museum collection, was too fragile for further display and this reproduction was built for exhibition.

Span 6.55 m (21 ft 6m)

Construction bamboo fuselage members with yellow wing ribs

wing ribs hinged to allow wings to fold for transport


Object Number:
model - representation
Shawcroft (Models) Ltd.