Image: Max Standfuß, Rhön, 1923, Credits: Hans-Michael Tappen

First Gliding Competition was held 1920 at Rhön (Wasserkuppe)

Only 24 years after the glider pioneer Otto Lilienthal was fatally injured with his glider on August 9, 1896, the first Gliding Competition was organized at the Wasserkuppe, a mountain within the Rhön in beautiful Hessen, Germany.

In August 1920 pioneers from all over the country met to fly distances of about 400 meters.

Attendees were (based on the Flugsport no. 14):

At that time, it was possible for pilots to be registered for more than one glider.

Shortly after the first competition, the following ones 1922 and 1925 were already setting new records fast like with a flight duration of an hour (1922) or distances of 22 km (1925).

Over the years, competition became more advanced – not only technically – but also mentally. Now competitions reach speed records within different glider classes that reach thousand astonishing average speeds.

With this in mind, the most important focus – beyond reaching top performances – should stay on reaching the highest safety to keep this sophisticated sport as fascinating as it is.

For more infos and some videos feel free to visit our 100-Years-of-Gliding-Page!