The early days of aviation
Grade Libelle (Replica)
The monplane of Hans Grade is considered the first plane developed and built independently in Germany.
The simple, lightweight Libelle (Dragonfly) is made of bamboo, steel tubing, canvas and piano wire, even the engine and propeller were made in Grade's workshop. On October 30, 1909, Hans Grade flew his Libelle to victory in the "Lanz Award of the Skies", and collected a 40,000 mark prize. (By comparison, the average worker in those days earned gross annual wages of 1,078 marks.) With his winnings, Grade had the necessary funds to establish an aircraft factory near Potsdam. Production continued almost until the start of the First World War. Grade produced several versions of the Libelle in substantial numbers and used the aircraft for pilot training. As a result, he became the first manufacturer to go into series production with a sport plane.
As a model for this flyable replica, the professional aircraft builder Roman Weller used the original Libelle, which is exhibited in the main Deutsches Museum building on the Museumsinsel in Munich.
- Replica: Roman Weller Flugzeugbau, Schwäbisch Hall, 2009
- Wingspan: 10.2 m
- Length: 8.5 m
- Wing area: 25 m²
- Empty weight: 155 kg
- Take-off weight: 250 kg
- Lift-off speed: approx. 35 km/h
- Flying speed: approx. 75 km/h
- Power plant: Briggs & Stratton four-stroke two-cylinder engine
- Power: 22 kW (30 HP)