Quotes by Otto Lilienthal

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But we must admit the possibility that continued investigation and experience will bring us ever nearer to that solemn moment, when the first man will rise from earth by means of wings, if only for a few seconds, and mark that historical moment which heralds the inauguration of a new era in our civilization. more...

To invent an airplane is nothing. To build one is something. But to fly is everything. more...

All flight is based upon producing air pressure, all flight energy consists in overcoming air pressure. more...

Artificial flight may be defined as that form of aviation in which a man flies at will in any direction by means of an apparatus attached to his body, the use of which requires personal skill. Artificial flight by a single individual is the proper beginning for all species of artificial flight, as the necessary conditions can most easily be fulfilled when man flies individually. more...

Particular honour belongs to those who believed in the possibility of mechanical flight when all the world was against them; not the visionaries because they hoped for it merely, but those who by sheer force of intellect perceived the means by which it could be accomplished and directed their experiments along the right path. ... The name of Lilienthal is now among the most honoured, but curiously his own countrymen were the last to recognize the value of his work. more...

Of all the men who attacked the flying problem in the 19th century, Otto Lilienthal was easily the most important. ... It is true that attempts at gliding had been made hundreds of years before him, and that in the nineteenth century, Cayley, Spencer, Wenham, Mouillard, and many others were reported to have made feeble attempts to glide, but their failures were so complete that nothing of value resulted. more...

No one can realize how substantial the air is, until he feels its supporting power beneath him. It inspires confidence at once. more...

We returned home, after these experiments, with the conviction that sailing flight was not the exclusive prerogative of birds. more...

One can get a proper insight into the practice of flying only by actual flying experiments. . . . The manner in which we have to meet the irregularities of the wind, when soaring in the air, can only be learnt by being in the air itself. . . . The only way which leads us to a quick development in human flight is a systematic and energetic practice in actual flying experiments. more...

Small sacrifices must be made. more...

The increasing size of the apparatus makes the construction more difficult in securing lightness in the machine; therefore the building of small apparatus is to be recommended. more...

The difficulty of rising into the air increases rapidly with the size of the apparatus. The uplifting of a single person, therefore, is more easily attained than that of a large flying machine loaded with several persons. more...

Gradual development of flight should begin with the simplest apparatus and movements, and without time complication of dynamic means. more...

The sailing flight of birds is the only form of flight which is carried on for some length of time without the expenditure of power. more...

The contrivances which are necessary to counteract the wind effects can only be understood by actual practice in the wind. more...

The supporting powers of time air and of the wind depend on the shape of the surfaces used, and the best forms can only be evolved by free flight through the air. more...

The maintenance of equilibrium in forward flight is a matter of practice, and can only be learned by repeated personal experiment. more...

Experience alone can teach us the best forms of construction for sailing apparatus in order that they may be of sufficient strength, very light, and most easily managed. more...

By practice and experience a man can (if the wind be of the right strength) imitate the complete sailing flight of birds by availing himself of the slight upward trend of some winds, by performing circling sweeps, and by allowing the air to carry him. more...

Actual practice in individual flight presents the best prospects for developing our capacity until it leads to perfected free flight. more...


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