Hermann Ganswindt

Scientist, Deceased Person

1856 – 1934


Who was Hermann Ganswindt?

Hermann Ganswindt was a German inventor and spaceflight scientist, whose inventions are thought to have been ahead of his time.

He was born in Voigtshof near Seeburg, East Prussia. During his youth, he showed an interest in technology. As a student he developed a freewheel for bicycles, which he later produced in Berlin-Schöneberg. Following a suggestion by his parents he attended law school at the universities of Zurich and Leipzig. After completion of his military service he enrolled at the University of Berlin. However, he was exmatriculated for not undertaking his studies.

After 1880 he developed concepts for a space vehicle based on the principle of repulsion. His two-stage vehicle was designed to be driven by a series of dynamite explosions. Since it was to be taken aloft by way of a carrier vehicle, he designed a helicopter as early as 1884.

On 27 May 1891, he gave a public speech at the Berlin Philharmony in which he introduced his concept of a galactic vehicle. In July 1901 the maiden flight of his helicopter took place in Berlin-Schöneberg, which probably was the first motor-driven flight carrying humans. A movie covering the event was taken by Max Skladanowsky, but it remains lost.

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Jun 12, 1856
Oct 25, 1934

on July 23, 2013


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