Photographer's Note

This photo was taken in the late afternoon on top of Wasserkuppe (950 m), the highest mountain in the German low mountain range Rhön and the federal state Hessen.

Between the first and second World War, great advances in sailplane development were made there. Students from the Darmstadt University of Technology began flying gliders from the Wasserkuppe as early as 1911, but interest in gliding in Germany increased greatly after 1918 when the Treaty of Versailles restricted the production or use of powered aircraft in the nation. From 1920 onwards, annual gliding competitions were held, leading to records being set and broken for height, distance, and duration of unpowered flight. By 1930, the competition had become an international event, drawing pilots from all over Europe and even the United States.
Virtually every German aeronautical engineer and test pilot of note during the 1920s and 30s spent time building, testing, and flying aircraft at the Wasserkuppe. In 1970, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first competition, the German sailplane museum was opened on the plateau, with Neil Armstrong a guest of honour at the ceremony. The museum gained a new building in 1987.

Still today this spacious particularly suitable woodless hilltop is "dedicated" to all sorts of flying - from children's kites, to model aircrafts, sailplanes, paragliders, airplanes .... and the view from up there is gorgeous.

Even in the map view left hand you can see some paragliders on "their" slope of the Wasserkuppe.

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Additional Photos by Frank Kaiser (Buin) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4253 W: 48 N: 10771] (42580)
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