History of Aviation

Bernd Luz - History of Aviation - PopArt

with Do 24 ATT and 737-200 “Landshut”

With the intention of imitating bird flight, Leonardo studied the movements of birds. For many, he is considered the father of bionics, in which natural models inspire technical constructions.

With the first of his flying machines, the inventor tried to imitate bird flight. These machines were so-called ornithopters. They were based on the fact that the “pilot” used muscle strength to lift or fly his own body weight in addition to that of the machine. Leonardo therefore decided to glide: there are various concepts and designs for glider pilots in his notes. At least some of the tinker apparently also underwent tests: An employee is said to have broken several bones during a flight attempt.

The Aviation series is dedicated to milestones in aviation history. Engineers and pilots who lived the great childhood dream of flying and planes made history.

In my works I combine lively collages with acrylic colors in the style of the multimedia mix that I developed myself. Background information is staged strikingly and illustrated using emotional pop art technology. This is how story on canvas comes to life with a lot of passion.

My art wants to empathize, inspire and sweep away the viewer.
A tribute to aviation legends.

seit August 2020 Ausstellung Flugwelt Altenburg Nobitz
seit August 2020 Ausstellung Flugwelt Altenburg Nobitz
Flugfeld Böblingen/Sindelfingen
Flugfeld Böblingen/Sindelfingen

Daedalus and Icarus

Greek Mythology

Icarus and Daedalus were imprisoned by King Minos in the labyrinth of the Minotaur in Crete. Since Minos controlled the seafaring and the land, Daedalus invented wings for himself and his son. To do this, he attached feathers with wax to a linkage. Before taking off, he instructed Icarus not to fly too high or too low, otherwise the heat of the sun or the humidity of the sea would cause him to crash.

At first everything went well, but Icarus became overconfident and soared so high that the sun melted the wax on his wings, whereupon the feathers came loose and he fell into the sea.

Leonardo da Vinci

The vision of flying

With the intention of imitating bird flight, Leonardo studied the movements of birds. For many, he is considered the father of bionics, in which natural models inspire technical constructions.

With the first of his flying machines, the inventor tried to imitate bird flight. These machines were so-called ornithopters. They were based on the fact that the “pilot” used muscle strength to lift or fly his own body weight in addition to that of the machine. Leonardo then moved on to gliding: there were various concepts and designs for glider pilots in his notes. The inventor apparently also subjected at least some of them to tests: An employee is said to have broken several bones during a flight attempt.

Montgolfier Brothers

First hot air balloon and manned flight

The brothers Joseph de Montgolfier (1740-1810) and Étienne de Montgolfier (1745-1799) ran a paper mill that had been in the family since 1557. Since the mid-1770s, Joseph Michel had been involved in aviation, initially with parachutes. In 1777 he made a self-attempt from the roof of his house, which turned out well. At the request of his family, he refrained from further attempts of this kind.

Inspired by a paper by Joseph Priestley, he then studied the properties of various gases. He wanted to make an airtight shell filled with “light air” rise. Experiments with hydrogen failed. In December 1782, the two brothers made a first – successful – attempt in their hometown of Annonay with a balloon that rose by means of heated air – the first hot air balloon.

On October 15, 1783, the physicist Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier made the first human flight in a Montgolfière with royal permission, reaching a height of about 26 meters.

Jacques Charles

First gasballoon

As the Montgolfier brothers were making their experiments with aviation, the physicist Jaques Charles (1746-1823) soon entered this new field. Being a scientist interested in the physics of balloon ascent, he approached the project entrusted to him by the king in a very different way. His knowledge of gases enabled him to take advantage of their properties, and so, together with brothers Anne-Jean Robert and Marie-Noël Robert, he constructed a dense silk balloon. He filled it with hydrogen gas.

The first successful flight was on August 27, 1783. The balloon, later named Charlière after him, had a diameter of about four meters and could carry up to nine kilograms. The flight lasted 45 minutes and went from the Mars Field in Paris to the neighboring village of Gonesse. Spectator at the launch was the American ambassador to France at the time, Benjamin Franklin. When someone asked him what purpose this new invention had, he replied with the counter-question: “What purpose has a newborn child?”


Otto Lilienthal

The concept of the wing

Karl Wilhelm Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896) is considered the first person to successfully and repeatedly perform gliding flights. His experimental preparatory work and first flight tests from 1891 led to the concept of the wing. The representation of aerodynamic properties of wings in the polar diagram was developed by him and is still used today. The production of the normal sail apparatus in his machine factory in Berlin was the first series production of an aircraft. His flight principle was the conversion of situation energy into lift and propulsion (gliding flight).

Wright Brothers

First motorised flight

Wilbur (1867-1912) and Orville Wright (1871-1948) designed gliders and then the controlled, motorized airplane, the “Flyer”. They used the experience and techniques from their bicycle workshop in aircraft construction, such as balance, lightweight construction, chain drive and aerodynamics.

Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin

Airship Graf Zeppelin

The Zeppelins, developed by Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin (1838-1917), were used in civil aviation from 1909 to 1914, during the First World War they were used more militarily. They experienced a second upswing after Graf Zeppelin’s death in the 1920s and 1930s.

Thanks to Airbus Corporate Heritage for the image material

Dornier Do X

Flying Giant

The airship Do X was constructed after the First World War by the German Dornier works and built in 1929. The German flying boat Do X blew up all dimensions at that time. In six tandem gondolas, twelve piston engines with 610 HP each were installed above the wing. Each gondola had a train and a pressure propeller. At that time it was by far the largest airplane in the world. The Do X was designed for 159 passengers and 10 crew members. The operation was discontinued in 1933 due to security-related problems, poor economy and poor military suitability. Two more Do Xs were built for export to Italy.

From November 1930 to November 1933, the Do X was on a worldwide representative flight. From 1934 she was in the aviation museum in Berlin where she was destroyed in a bomb attack towards the end of the war.

Hans Grade

First long-range flight

Johannes Gustav Paul “Hans” Grade (1879-1946) founded Grade-Motoren-Werke GmbH in 1905. In 1907 he started building his first three-decker airplane with a six-cylinder two-stroke engine and took his first flight in 1908. In 1909 the first flight took place with his monoplane “Libelle” and in 1910 he succeeded in the first long flight with a monoplane, in which he was in the air for 4 hours and 30 minutes.

Only Ju

Junkers Ju 52

The three-engine “Grande Dame” Junkers Ju 52 / 3m with its nickname: “Tante Ju” had its first flight in 1932. Because of its high reliability, Lufthansa therefore chose the Junkers Ju 52 / 3m as its standard aircraft type. In 1938, about 75% of all air traffic was carried out with Ju 52 / 3m. In the United States she was known as “Iron Annie”.

It got its nickname “Aunt Ju” when it was used in World War II to injure soldiers fleeing the war zone.


Pilot and writer

Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger Vicomte de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944) was a recognized and successful author during his lifetime and became a cult author of the post-war decades. He saw himself more as a co-authoring professional pilot. His fairytale story “The Little Prince” is one of the world’s most successful books with over 140 million copies sold.

In 1944 he took off from Bastia to Grenoble for his last scheduled reconnaissance flight in a Lockheed F-5, but never arrived in Grenoble and remained missing.

Charles A. Lindbergh

Spirit of St. Louis

Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. (1902-1974) managed the non-stop flight from New York to Paris from May 20 to 21, 1927 and thus the first solo crossing of the Atlantic.

For the first non-stop flight between New York to Paris, a price above $ 25,000 was suspended. Some pilots had already failed on this task. Lindbergh contacted the rather unknown aircraft manufacturer Ryan Aeronautical and asked if they could build a single-engine machine for this route. On April 28, 1927, the aircraft was ready after only two months of development and construction. The machine was named Spirit of St. Louis.

The first non-stop Atlantic crossing from America to Europe by plane had already been achieved in June 1919 by John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown.

Claude Honoré Désiré Dornier

Claude Honoré Désiré Dornier (1884 in Kempten – 1969 in Zug, CH) was employed by Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin from 1910 and was given its own department in the Zeppelin Group, the DO department. In 1917 he became a partner and managing director of a branch plant, Zeppelin-Werk Lindau GmbH, which he took over in 1932 and from which the Dornier works developed.
Due to the requirements of the Versailles Treaty, many boats were built abroad. The successful airplane was the flying boat “Wal” with over 250 pieces.


Böblinger Flughafen


Stuttgart-Böblingen Airport, used for military purposes from 1915 to 1918, was the commercial airport of Stuttgart from April 1925 until the Stuttgart-Echterdingen airport was opened in 1939. The 1925 reception building is still preserved today (CheckInn restaurant), as is the 1928 Bauhaus-style reception building that now houses Motorworld.

On November 3, 1929, the airship LZ 127 “Graf Zeppelin” landed in Böblingen for the first time and attracted around 100,000 onlookers. The Zeppelin landed again in June 1931. In addition to normal flight operations, many aviation events were held and there were two pilot schools. In 1934, Luft Hansa launched the first scheduled airmail connection to South America. In 1934, Nelly Diener became the first flight attendant in Europe for the Swiss airline Swissair, including on the Zurich – Böblingen – Berlin route.

In 1935 the capacity limit was reached with 184,280 passengers, so in 1936 it was decided to add a new airport at the current location
To build real things. In 1938 the airport was converted into an air base, and flight operations were discontinued at the end of the World War. The U.S. Armed Forces then took over the site and built a repair facility. Starting in 2002, the cities of Böblingen and Sindelfingen jointly opened up the “airfield”.

Alberto Santos Dumont – 1904

Father of aviation

The son of a wealthy Brazilian coffee magnate lived in France and is considered the father of aviation. First he built hot air balloons, then airships, and finally both motorized airplanes and a helicopter.

With a height of only 1.65 m, he was one of the most famous people of his time. A giant in its field – a living legend. Since the engines were too heavy at the time, he converted them himself. In 1898 he built the first usable gasoline engine in aviation.

In 1904 a prize was announced for flying 100 meters in a motorized airplane. What the Wright brothers failed to achieve despite their first powered flight in 1903, Santos Dumont succeeded in 1906. He carried out the first public and certified powered flight with his “14 bis” and won the prize money.

In 1908 the Wright brothers presented their “Flyer” in France. To the chagrin of the French aircraft manufacturers with much better control than the French aircraft. But Dupont quickly overtook the Wright brothers’ lead and in 1909 presented an aircraft that was much more developed. He flew 90 km / h with his “Demoiselle”.

Dumont viewed his inventions as a gift to mankind and did not patent anything. He made his plans available to others. He wanted to share his dream of flying with everyone.


Captain Vaughn Cordle

PopArt for my friend Vaughn Cordle –
holder of 31 World and National speed records

Senior B787 Captain, United Airlines

CFA of Ionosphere Capital, LLC
(Certified by the National Aeronautic Association and Federation Aeronautique Internationale)
40 years of experience in the airline industry as a pilot and instructor.
ATP: LRJET, CE500, A320, B727, B737, B747, B757, B767, B777, B787
CFII/MEI/Gold Seal Instructor, Flight Engineer


Vaughn Cordle:

Bernd Luz’s work is beautiful and inspiring. It distracts us, if only momentarily, from life’s tedium. It soothes and revives the soul. Without art, our path through life would be dark and turbulent. To me, a former pilot, it is analogous to flight, lifting the soul to new heights, reaching out to new horizons.

Great art brings to mind a quote by Wilbur Wright: “It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill.” Wilbur and Orville, his younger brother, made the first heavier-than-air, self-propelled flight on Dec. 17, 1903. Orville piloted the craft and Wilbur ran alongside. The flight lasted 12 seconds but inspired the world. Every modern aircraft that crisscrosses the world’s skies was fathered that day, obeying the same principle of lift and three-axis control that the Wright brothers harnessed over a century ago.

Like any great discovery or invention, art requires knowledge and skill—and more, a creative and passionate spirit to inspire the soul.

Elly Beinhorn

Circumnavigation of the world 1931/32

Elly Maria Frida Rosemeyer-Beinhorn was born in Hanover in 1907. She was a popular German aviatrix and worked as an aerobatic pilot. In 1931 she made a name for herself with a solo flight to Africa. The following year, she achieved German-wide fame by flying around the world. In the mid-1930s, she set several records, such as flying over three continents in one day. In 1936 she married the well-known racing driver Bernd Rosemeyer, who died in an accident two years later. Elly Beinhorn died at the age of 100 in Ottobrunn near Munich.