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Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug

Logo of the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug

The Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug (German for "German Research Institute for Sailplane Flight" or "German Institute for Glider Research"), or DFS , was formed in 1933 to centralise all gliding activity in Germany, under the directorship of Professor Georgii. It was formed by the nationalisation of the Rhön-Rossitten Gesellschaft (RRG) at Darmstadt.[1]:76

A DFS 230

The DFS was involved in producing training sailplanes for the Hitler Youth and Luftwaffe, as well as conducting research into advanced technologies such as flying wings and rocket propulsion. Notable DFS-produced aircraft include the DFS 230 transport glider (1600+ produced), the German counterpart to the British Airspeed Horsa glider, and the DFS 194 similar to the famous Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket fighter.

In 1938, following a fatal accident at the Wasserkuppe, DFS held a competition to design a more effective speed brake for gliders. The final design, produced by Wolfgang and Ulrich Hütter of Schempp-Hirth, is used to this day and generally referred to as the "Schempp-Hirth brake".

(note the two lists have not been synchronized (i.e. not all planes on both lists))


List of some major DFS aircraft projectsEdit

DFS Mo 6
Target glider (prototypes only), 1936
DFS Mo 12 
see Argus As 292 1937
DFS 39 
Lippisch-designed tail-less research aircraft
DFS 40 
Lippisch-designed tail-less research aircraft
DFS 193 
experimental aircraft
DFS 194 
rocket-powered research aircraft, forerunner of Me 163
DFS 228 
HIGH-ALTITUDE rocket-powered reconnaissance aircraft (prototype only)
DFS 230 
transport glider (1600 produced)
DFS 331 
transport glider (prototype)
DFS 332
DFS 346 
supersonic research aircraft
Stamer-Lippisch Zögling 1 
basic trainer
DFS Hangwind 
(Ridge Lift), basic trainer (twin boom)
DFS Professor  
high-performance sailplane
DFS E 32 
(Standard Flight Trainer), glider, basic flight trainer (foldable tail)
DFS Fliege IIa 
(Fly), sailplane
DFS Jacht 71 
Amphibious sailplane
DFS Condor 
high-performance sailplane
DFS Rhönadler 
(Eagle of the Rhön), high-performance sailplane
DFS Stanavo 
high-performance sailplane
DFS Weihe 
high-performance sailplane
DFS Zögling 33 
basic training glider
DFS Hol's der Teufel 
(To Hell With It!), training glider
DFS Moazag'otl 
high-performance sailplane
DFS Rhönbussard 
DFS São Paulo 
high-performance sailplane
DFS Präsident 
(President), high-performance sailplane
DFS Rhönsperber 
high-performance sailplane
DFS Zögling 35 
updated version of the Zögling basic trainer
DFS Habicht 
aerobatic sail-plane
DFS Kranich 
(Crane), two-seat sailplane
Schulgleiter 38 
basic training glider
high-performance sailplane
high-performance sailplane
DFS Reiher 
high-performance sailplane
DFS Olympia Meise 
high-performance sailplane
DFS Seeadler 
(sea eagle), flying boat sailplane
DFS Rammer 
aerial ramming plane project powered by a solid rocket engine
DFS Eber 
parasite fighter project

Legacy of the DFSEdit

The modern DLR still does research into gliding flight, as the DFS once did - evidence of this is their enlarged 17-meter wingspan Glaser-Dirks DG-300 Elan high-performance glider, used to precisely set and measure comparative glider performance parameters. [2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Reitsch, H., 1955, The Sky My Kingdom, London: Biddles Limited, Guildford and King's Lynn, ISBN 1853672629
  2. ^ "DLR Home — Aeronautics — Research Aircraft: DG 300 Elan-17". Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR). April 21, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2013.