Aviation Pioneer Otto Lilienthal
German aerodynamic engineer Otto Lilienthal made more than 2,000 test flights in gliders. His last glide was on August 9, 1896, when his glider No. 11 was upset by a sudden gust of wind and he was unable to regain control. Lilienthal broke his back in the crash and died the next day in a Berlin clinic. He had, however, convinced many people that flight was possible and set the stage for early aviation. He once wrote that ‘we must fly and fall, fly and fall until we can fly without falling.’ He also influenced flight theory by using bird flight as a model for the basis of aviation.