The first engine-driven flight with a Daimler single-cylinder engine 125 years ago
- Wölfert’s airship used a single-cylinder Daimler engine for its first flight in 1888
- Gottlieb Daimler’s vision of motorising vehicles on land, on water and in the air became reality
- Combustion engines established themselves as a drive system for aircraft during the ensuing period
One of mankind’s oldest dreams came true on 10 August 1888: Wölfert’s motorised airship successfully completed the world’s first engine-driven flight with a combustion engine. The flying machine belonging to the Leipzig-based bookseller Dr Friedrich Hermann Wölfert, powered by a single-cylinder Daimler engine, flew four kilometres from the factory yard of the Daimler Motor Company (Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft) at the Seelberg in Cannstatt to Kornwestheim. Thus Gottlieb Daimler’s vision of motorising vehicles on land, on water and in the air became reality.
At 9.00 a.m. on 10 August 1888, a new era of aeronautics began in the factory yard of the Daimler Motor Company (DMC) in Cannstatt: an airship slowly lifted up above the company premises and flew off with an audibly clattering four-stroke Daimler engine in a north-westerly direction. It was the first successful engine-driven flight in history with a combustion engine as a drive for the propeller.