Flying: once a perilous feat of daring, now an everyday occurrence. Our exhibition on the history of aviation pays tribute to those courageous pioneers and their high-flying adventures, with a special focus on aircraft construction in the German Democratic Republic (GDR).
Dreams of flight –
permanent exhibition on aviation
Humankind has yearned to conquer the skies since time immemorial. Brave men and women risked their lives attempting to fly in balloons, flying machines, airships and planes. In this exhibition you will be given a fascinating insight into some of these pioneers of modern aviation and their trendsetting inventions, and you will learn how aviation became an everyday means of transport.
You can also see an example of regional history. The legendary 152, built in Dresden in the 1950s, was the first jet airliner to be built in Germany.
The pioneers of aviation
Just 150 years ago, flying was still very much a miracle to be achieved. Yet this never deterred men and women such as Wilhelmine Reichard, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, Otto Lilienthal, Hans Grade, Hugo Junkers and Uwe Strohdeicher. They made their dream of flying come true. A large exhibit is dedicated to each one in our exhibition.
The legendary “152”
Germany’s first jet-powered passenger plane: the 152. Here in its own exhibition area, you’ll find a wealth of fascinating objects associated with this Dresden-made plane, like a Pirna 014 turbojet and an ejector seat from a 152 prototype. With its short but eventful history, the plane became a symbol of the GDR’s aviation industry.
Head to our audio and video stations to learn more about a variety of fascinating events and different aspects of aviation history. Listen to stories about the disastrous flight of the "Plauen” balloon, travel with Hugo Eckener on his Zeppelin flight to America, experience flight preparations at Lufthansa and learn how an Airbus A380 is built.
Aviation and flight physics for inquisitive minds
The principles of the natural world have served as a master blueprint for modern flight physics. When building the first flying machines, designers looked to the animal kingdom for inspiration. First, they had to understand how and why something flies. In the Aviation Experiments Room you can uncover the secrets of flying with the aid of exciting experiments on lift or aerodynamics.
On 4 December 1958, the prototype of the 152, Germany’s first passenger jet, took to the skies on its maiden flight from Dresden. Three months later, it crashed. The GDR’s commercial aircraft project was scrubbed and the fuselages were scrapped. Only the fuselage with construction number 011 ‘survived’, having been put to use as a storeroom at the GDR military airfield in Rothenburg near Görlitz. The 152 II has been part of the Transport Museum’s collection since 1993, and has been painstakingly restored with generous support from the Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH Dresden and through the tireless efforts of former aircraft manufacturers. The fuselage is located at Dresden Airport, and can be visited as part of an airport tour or during one of the airport’s open-door days.
Find the exhibition here:
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