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Hans Grade

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Hans Grade

Hans Grade (Born in Köslin, May 17, 1879[1] - ; died October 22, 1946 in Borkheide) was a German aviation pioneer.[2]

Hans Grade was an engineer and a German aviation-pioneer. On 28 October 1908 he successfully conducted the first motor-flight over German soil in a motorised triplane aircraft of his own construction at Magdeburg.

A year later, on 30 October 1909 he won the 40.000 Reichsmark "Lanz-Preis der Lufte", as he was the first German to fly a flat "8" in a German aircraft with German engine around two pylons, standing at a distance of 1000 meters (no match for pilots from other nations at that time).

In 1910 he established the first aviation school in Germany.

A Grade monoplane carried Germany's first air mail, when pilot Pentz made a flight from Bork to Bruck in February 1912 with a small sack of mail in his lap. Although successful, Grade monoplanes did not become as famous as many contemporary European designs, and for this reason comparatively few were built.

In 1921 he established an automobile company called "Grade Automobilwerke AG", which produced small, 2 seater personal cars.

The small aircraft company, founded with this money, did not survived the Versaille-agreement of 1918. His extraordinary construction of driving a car with no use of a gear-box did not stand against the established constructions.

The Grade Automobilwerke AG was closed in 1927 owing to financial difficulties. After the Nazi takeover in the 1930s Grade tried, without success, to develop a new Volksflugzeug and in 1934 he undertook research projects for the German aircraft manufacturers.[3]

In 1939 May 14 he re-flew his original monoplane from 1909, then 30 years old, at Berlin Tempelhof Airport for about 550 metres to celebrate his sixtieth birthday.[1]

Hans Grade died in 1946 at the age of 67.


External links

  • Biography of Hans Grade (German)
  • Hans Grade Museum
  • Hans Grade - 1909 flight course and timeline from Hans-Grade-Oberschule, Berlin (German)

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