10. 2005

















In July 2001 four friends ponder the fact that any innovation stemming from Hanover is either hushed-up or excessively exploited by others and not by the Hanoverians.

Taking part in this conversation were:


Norbert Senftleben,
Wulf Romboy,
Horst-Dieter Görg,
Joachim Feldmann.

In August 2001 they met for the first time
in a larger circle: the working group concerned with the history of in- dustry and technology in Hanover was formed. Their aim: to overcome the ignorance surrounding Hanover’s innovations and to make them public.

Their logo was to be a cog wheel and a sketch of Jatho’s flying ma- chine. The Hanovarian Karl Jatho performed the first powered flight 4 months before the Wright brothers on the Vahrenwalder Heide.



From the beginning of 2002 Harald Lohmann, the world champion model airplane builder and constructor of historic aeroplanes, like, for example, the legendary Etrich-Taube, had been looking for a suitable site for his museum and for his future activities. Finding no one in Lower Saxony willing to offer him the use of a hanger at reasonable cost, the resolute pensioner accepted an offer in Fürstenwalde, to the East of Berlin. The man- agement of the Fürstenwalde airfield, once used as a military base by East German and Soviet Forces at the time of the East German Demo- cratic Republic, are delighted with the great public interest generated nowadays by Harald Lohmann and his prize-winning constructions. There is a constant flow of visitors from all over the world.

It is here that the reconstruction of the world’s first powered aircraft, the Jatho flying machine, will be completed before starting its journey to Hanover in the Autumn of 2006.

Hanover Airport will be the venue for the flight trials, which will attract a huge audience and finally provide the fitting ceremonial setting that was denied the ”nut-case”, Karl Jatho, by his contemporaries.
                                                                                                   Gunter Hartung


Model of the Jatho-Double-decker

At the same time as Harald Lohmann was being turned down all over Lower Saxony, the members of the working group concerned with the history of industry and technology in the Hanover area also ran up against a wall of disinterest and ignorance. Again and again they tried to drum up support for the reconstruction of Karl Jatho’s Hanoverian powered aircraft.

Their attempt, 101 years after the maiden flight of the first powered aircraft in Hanover, to persuade the City Council to at least rename their airport as the ”Karl Jatho Airport” failed dismally. The City administration felt they were not in a position to support a ”pro Jatho action” and failed to recognise its implications for the city’s image and the commercial benefits for the Hanover Region, whether on financial grounds, which was understandable, or even idealistically, which was harder to comprehend.The ideal time to make a national and international impact with Jatho and his maiden flight had passed by December 2003, when the world, including Germany, remembered the centenary of powered flight, exclusively honouring the achievements of the Wright Brothers.

“100 years of powered flight – an American Event”!?


On the 18th August 2003 a celebration was held in Hanger 3 at Hanover Airport to mark the 100th Anniversary of the world’s first powered flight by the Hanoverian Karl Jatho.

The German television star Heinz Hoenig por- trayed the flight pioneer Karl Jatho in an im- pressive live multimedia show.

German Popstar Klaus Meine (of the band “The Scorpions”) and a handful of politicians were also present.

Herr Hennighausen, the managing director of the Airport Hanover-Langenhagen Ltd., was the first to give a donation of 7,000 € to the working group ”History of Industry and Technology”.



The working group “History of In- dustry and Technology” were given their first opportunity to present themselves and their ideas at the international trade fair Hanover Messe and later at the INFA ex- hibition in Hanover.

An enlarged photograph of Jatho’s workshop was used for presen- tation purposes.


Innovation through Tradition, photo enlarged

The working group AK TIG is again present at the annual international Trade Fair (Hanover Messe).



Just as frustration and disappointment were making themselves felt among the members of the committee AK TIG, some feeling it was time to turn their efforts in another direction, along came Rainer Beckmann, MP and  Chief Executive at Haus und Grund- eigentümer, to ask them

”How far have you progressed in building Jatho’s Flying Machine?
Do you need more money?”

In a matter of weeks and with the force of the AK TIG-Com- mittee’s arguments, the Trust had convinced sponsors to guarantee the necessary funding. In the meantime a contract between the Trust and Harald Lohmann had been signed. At last the reconstruction of the powered aircraft ”JATHO 2”, the building of this work of art, this cathedral to the history of aviation, could begin.



The ceremonial signing of the contract for the
reconstruction of Jatho’s flying machine

Klaus Woyna, Harald Lohmann

Harald Lohmann, Rita Pawelski

From the left: main sponsor Klaus Woyna,
Chief Executive Sparda Bank Hanover,
Constructor Harald Lohmann, Rita Pawelski
for the co-sponsor Lower Saxony Lottery


Work on the reconstruction of the Jatho 2 finally gets under way.

Harald Lohmann consults the drawings for the Jatho 2

Wooden frame for the lower wing of the Jatho aircraft

Harald Lohmann consults the
drawings for the Jatho 2

Wooden frame for the lower wing
of the Jatho aircraft

Harald Lohmann in front of the lower wing of the Jatho 2

Frame with seat, steering and transmission wheel.

Harald Lohmann in front of the
lower wing of the Jatho 2

Frame with seat, steering and
transmission wheel.

The German TV-Chanel NDR films a documentary on the reconstruction of the Jatho flying machine.

Title: The second maiden flight

The film documents work in progress as the Jatho Flying machine is being rebuilt.

In contrast, scenes are also shot of Jatho’s successors: the production of the european Airbus A 380 in Hamburg and Toulouse.

The 60 minute long documentary will be shown after the second maiden flight in September / October 2006.

Script / Director: Gunter Hartung
Camera: Walter F. Gelinski
Sound / Ass.: Philipp Dorow

Elsa Lohmann describes the technical drawings to Wolfgang Leonhardt

Propellerframe for the Jatho-2

Elsa Lohmann describes the techni-
cal drawings to Wolfgang Leonhardt

Propellerframe for the Jatho-2

Elsa Lohmann tests the fabric for the wings

NDR-Fernsehteam bei Dreharbeiten

Elsa Lohmann tests the fabric
for the wings

German NDR-TV crew at work filming

The working group AK TIG at the INFA Exhibition 2005

The working group “History of Industry and Technology” shares a stand with the Hanomag Interest Group again at this year’s Trade Exhibition.

Photographs of the reconstruction of Jatho’s Flying Machine and blow-ups of the various activities of the main sponsors are mounted on an original Hanomag drawing board.

Photos of the reconstructed Jatho-Flying-Machine

Original Hanomag drawing-board

Blow up: We were the first

Blow up: The second maiden flight

Blow up: History of Karl Jatho's maiden flight

Blow up: History of Karl Jatho's maiden flight

The reconstruction work is coming along rapidly and competently.

At the time of filming on the 13th and 14th De- cember 2005 both wings of the Jatho flying machine were nearing completion. The work on the frame and the engine suspension are progressing after initial problems, so that dead-lines, including a safety margin, are sure to be met. The transfer to Hanover Airport could take place as early as June 2006.

Sensationally positive developments with regard to the engine have occurred. The Engine Company Kuhnath in Fürstenwalde is enamoured with the idea of building a reconstruction of the Buchet engine. This will be a real challenge for the crew.

A trial run of the engine is expected by the end of February 2006 at the latest.

Harald Lohmann inspects the wing fabric covering

Final adjustments to the wing fabric covering

Harald Lohmann inspects the wing fabric covering

Final adjustments to the wing fabric covering

The wings are sealed and preserved

The reconstruction of the Buchet Engine for the Jatho 2

The wings are sealed and preserved

The reconstruction of the Buchet Engine for the Jatho 2

A Hanover school is given a new name: The Karl-Jatho-School

A secondary school in Büssingweg in the Vahren- wald district of Hanover was renamed on the 27th January 2006. Present at the unveiling ceremony at the entrance to the school to reveal the new plaque ”Karl-Jatho-School”  were Reinhard Beckmann, MP and Chief Executive of the Trust that helped finance the reconstruction of Jatho’s flying machine and many other public figures. For Hans-Joachim Dix, the Headmaster of the school and a member of the city council, the renaming of his school goes hand in hand with the obligation to teach pupils what the courage, determination and patience shown by pioneers can mean in their own lives.



The opening speech was held by Hanover’s deputy Lord Mayor and City Treasurer, Stephan Weil. His speech was primarily con- cerned with the life of Karl Jatho and his balancing act between his Prussian devotion to duty as a civil servant on the one hand and his restless tinkering around with the first powered aircraft in history on the other. This speech was complemented by a talk on the back- ground and development of the Karl-Jatho- Project by Gunter Hartung from the working group ”History of Industry and Technology”.

The event was televised in the evening’s local news programme ”Hallo Niedersachsen”.

Stephan Weil, Rainer Beckmann, Hans-Joachim Dix

Schild der Karl-Jatho-Schule

Ein Hochrad

Schild der Karl-Jatho-Schule

Stephan Weil, Rainer Beckmann,
Hans-Joachim Dix (

Plaque of The Karl Jatho School
and a jubilant Gunter Hartung

“Aircraft wedding” in Fürstenwalde – Jatho’s Flying Machine is presented to the public for the first time (you can download the full article and press releases here in german language)

The arrival of the driving forces . Beckmann and MdL Hirche

It was an impressive celebration fitting to the occasion in the bitterly cold hanger at Fürstenwalde airfield near Berlin. It was a kind of matrimonial celebration: that awesome moment when an aircraft construction is joined to its own special engine.

27th March 2006, barely 8 months after the con- struction work began: Harald and Elsa Lohmann, the couple that had built it, presented a virtually exact replica of the world’s first powered flying aircraft under the auspices of the Lower Saxony Minister of Transport and Economic Affairs, Walter Hirche. Also among the honorary guests were Rita Pawelski, MP, and the Chief executive of Haus & Grundeigentümer, Rainer Beck- mann, whose Trust had received sponsorship from the Sparda Bank Trustand the Lower Saxony Lottery in order to finance the project. Last but not least, members of the

AK TIG- working group for the History of local Industry and Technology were among the guests, the initiators and advisory committee that had accompanied the project from its beginnings.

The delicate aircraft will be transported on a low-loading vehicle to Hanover Airport in the summer of 2006. Harald Lohmann will be there to adjust the final assembly of the double decker. The 3rd September is the day on which the Buchet-one-cylinder engine, also an exact replica of the original, will start to roar and rotate the rear propeller to a speed of 500 revs/min to lift the construction off the ground in a short ”hop”.  
                                                         Gunter Hartung

For the complete article and photo gallery

B. Felski, R, Beckmann, R. Pawelski, G. Hartung and MdL Hirche

A proud Harald Lohmann at the wheel of his creation

The arrival of the driving forces 

Awaiting the “Wedding”

A proud Harald Lohmann at the
wheel of his creation

Fast fertiger Jatho-Flugdrachen

The matrimonial ceremony is carried out

Walter Hirche, MP, holding fast to the rudder

Almost complete Jatho’s
flying machine

The “matrimonial ceremony” is
carried out

Walter Hirche, MP, holding fast
to the rudder

The english version of the website about the Karl-Jatho-Project is finally ready.

Thanks a lot to Mrs. Gillian Noble for her translation by all members of the AK TIG working group, all sponsors and the webmaster.



The reconstruction of the Jatho aircraft entered its final phase in June 2006. (You can download further pictures as press releases)

In the process Harald Lohmann has used about 250 metres of rope. Meanwhile the replica of the original Buchet-engine, constructed by the firm Kunath, is running to everyone’s satisfaction and Lohmann has tested it out with the propeller and frame in a few trial runs in Fürstenwalde.

A registered ”Grade 1 Examiner for miscellaneous motorised craft” has assessed the construction and the federal aviation office, responsible for testing and certifying aircraft, has been called in.

On the 1st August, the powered hang-glider, dismantled for the journey, will be transported by the SCHEFFLER-company on a low-loading vehicle to Hanover Airport. Here in hangar 11 it will be reassembled and made ready for the Jatho-Day-Celebrations on the 3rd September.

From the 15th to the 30th August trials will be carried out at the airport.

LBA Experte Düsing bei einer

Sitz- und Lenk-Inspektion

As with all aircraft, it is necessary for the federal aviation office (LBA) in Brunswick to give its approval before taxiing and flight trials can begin


In the photo: LBA experts Michael Düsing (seated) and Martin Belz during their first inspection of the replica of Jatho’s flying machine in Fürstenwalde

Just in Time: The Jatho project on its finishing straight (You can download further pictures as press releases)

Tuesday, 1st  August 2006.  A day to delight the sponsors and idealists involved with the Jatho Project.


14 months after starting to reconstruct the exact replica of the historical flying machine, the aircraft builder Harald Lohmann has dismantled the completed aircraft ready for transport to Hannover Airport. On the 31st July one of the huge trailers belonging to the Langenhagen trans- portation firm Heinrich Scheffler rolled up to the hangar in Fürstenwalde Airfield, in which Lohmann had recreated the pioneer aircraft according to the original plans and drawings. Neighbouring his workshop there is his impressive aviation museum with many historical models and 1:1 replicas, capable of flight, all of which document the know-how of this multiple prize-winning genius.

The transport firm Scheffler had decorated the sides of their 13.5 metre long vehicle with the eye-catching slogan ”Sorry, Mr. Wright – we were the firsttogether

Jatho Transporter der Sped. Scheffler

with visuals of Karl Jatho’s pioneer aircraft. So Scheffler had joined ranks with the other promoters – Haus & Grund- eigentümer, the main sponsor SPARDA-Bank, the Lower Saxony Lottery, Hanover Airport, the Reemtsma concern and the working group for the History of Industry and Technology  (AK TIG), who initiated and supervised the project – and contributed to the recognition and acknowledgement of the pioneer, long overdue, by sponsoring the transportation from Fürstenwalde to Hanover.


Many honoured guests and press reporters had lined up to greet the truck’s punctual arrival at 4 p.m. on 1st August at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT1) Hanover Airport. Among them MP Rainer Beckmann, Head of the Haus & Grund- eigentümer Trust, Klaus Woyna, Director of SPARDA-Bank, Joachim Werren, Permanent Secretary and member of the Hanover Airport supervisory board also representing the project’s patron Walter Hirche, Minister of Finance, who was unable to attend, MP Rita Pawelski for the Lower Saxony    ...

Erste Tragfläche wird entladen

... Lottery and, almost in full force, the members of the working group for the History of Industry and Technology. All those present acknowledged, in their speeches and press statements, the achievements of the aviation pioneer Karl Jatho as well as Harald Lohmann’s exact replica, as the delicate, filigree pieces of the aircraft were carried, almost on velvet gloves, into hangar 12, to await reassembly by the middle of August.


This construction, the drive, the transmission and the complete functionality of the replica represents the original in every detail. This is not usually the case in the general practice of reconstructing aviation-old-timers the world over. In most cases a mere historical shell covers up a standard modern engine construction.

The aircraft was recreated by the couple Elsa and Harald Lohmann with all its peculiarities, including the errors and quirks of the historic original, ...

Das Fahrgestell rollt in den Hangar

... conscientiously fulfilling the brief they were given by Haus & Grundeigentümer and the working group for the History of Industry and Technology, whereby there was to be neither cheating nor improvements. All those involved with the project are keen to establish in all seriousness and without a doubt that Karl Jatho was in the air before Orville Wright; that the Hanoverian pioneer was at least on a par with the American brothers in the year 1903.

Sorry, Mr. Wright – We were the first! As of the 20th August the first taxying trials will take place, approved and supervised by the Federal Aviation Office Brunswick and enabled with the help of Hannover Airport. All things being well, sometime in the next three to four weeks the bird will rise from the ground – just like Jatho himself, who through this spectacular experiment will finally step out of the shadow of the Wrights.


Gunter Hartung for AKTIG,  01. 08. 06

Alle außer Conti

Alle außer Conti

Everyone but not Conti – only foreign companies could provide the tyres
for Jatho’s flying Machine

The firm Scheffler sponsored
the Jatho Transport

Unloading the first wing very

The carriage is pushed into the

Zerlegter Jatho Drachen im Lwk

Hauptragfläche auf dem Weg in den Hangar

Jatho-T-Shirt der Sped. Scheffler

The dismantled Jatho aircraft
on Scheffler’s trailer

The main wingspan on its way
to Hanover

The Heinrich Scheffler firm
presents the new Jatho-T-Shirt

3rd September 2006

In line with the  „Fly In – Airshow at Hanover Airport”

the second maiden flight of the
original reconstruction of
Karl Jatho’ powered flying machine
will be happen.

To whom it may concern – Sorry, Mr. Wright. (You can download further pictures as press releases)


After 16 months of reconstruction work the world’s first successful motorised aircraft is ready for take-off. Even the most persistent critics have finally been convinced by the watertight arguments verifying the fact that the Hanoverian, Karl Jatho, flew his aircraft before the Wright brothers using engine power alone without further aids, such as catapults or hill starts. These arguments were delivered above all by the working group for the History of Industry and Technology (AK TIG). For all those interested in further details of the project, we recommend the September 2006 issue of the magazine ”Flugzeug Classic (p.28 ff)”.

On our website ”Press-Releases”  you can view the latest pictures of the test trials, which began last week. You will also find a short report from the working group for the History of Industry and Technology in the Hannover region (AK TIG).



Harald Lohmann prüft die Tragflächenbespannung

Letzte Ausbesserungen an der Tragflächenbespannung

Rustikaler Motorstarat

Dr. Kuscher, advisory expert from SLV with the construction plans

Preparing for test-trials – shortly before the start

The rustic roar of the engine just
as it was 103 years ago

Lackierung und Versiegelung der Tragfläche

Nachbau des Buchet-Motors

Rollversuch von Volker Lohmeyer

The constructer and the project leader

Trial tow at 40 kph

Volker Lohmeyer taxying down
the short runway ”Charly”

Where do we go from here? A review of the “GAT Fly-In” on 3rd September (You can download further pictures as press releases)


As was to be expected, the replica of the world’s first motorised aircraft was the eye catcher at Hannover Airport’s GAT-Fly-In on the 3rd September. There were hardly any among the 25,000 visitors who didn’t honour the delicate, filigree flying machine of the pioneer Karl Jatho. Harald and Elsa Lohmann, who had spent the previous 16 months reconstructing an exact replica of the original aircraft according to historic plans and drawings, were busy answering technical questions the whole day long. They were aided by members of the working group for the History of Industry and Technology (AK TIG), who had initiated the project and supervised the building of the replica throughout. The technical committee of the Haus & Grundeigentümer Trust were, however, unfortunately obliged to cancel the scheduled public demonstration of the flying machine.


Wind speeds of 15 to 20 knotts from all directions and heavy rain showers put an end to the plans. Two days previously the aircraft had taxied down runway 27 ”Charly” at Hanover Airport for the first time.

GAT 1 mit neuen Namen

At the wheel sat Volker Lohmeyer, who brought the aircraft up to just under VR speed. VR is the speed at which an aircraft, depending on individual type, can take off. More was neither possible nor permitted by the Federal Aviation Office on the 1st September due to gusty winds. All the same, the front wheel did manage to leave the ground at around 35 kph. Test pilot Volker Lohmeyer, aircraft constructor Harald Lohmann and project leader Gunter Hartung agreed later that the aircraft would in all probability manage to take off, given optimal weather conditions.


On the evening of the 3rd September it was decided to wait for more clement and stable autumn weather to carry out further trials. It will then be again necessary for the engine constructor Kunath from Fürstenwalde to be present. He had constructed the complete replica Buchet-Engine, true to the original according to historic plans. For it is a tricky business to get the motor started, using a rustic wooden crankcase just as they did 103 years ago in Vahrenwalder Heide.

VIP's zur Jatho Präsentation

But the visitors to the Fly-In were in no way disappointed. They understood that neither the Haus & Grund Trust nor the constructor, nor the working group for the History of Industry and Technology had any interest in risking the precious construction. They also knew that neither a Herr Jatho in Hanover nor the Mr Wrights in Kitty Hawk/USA could predict the day of their first flight with their fragile constructions months in advance. However, those involved with the Jatho project today are certain of one thing: the day will come, before the year is out and before the aircraft of the Hanoverian pioneer takes its place of honour in one of Hanover Airport’s terminals.




GAT 1 renamed “Karl Jatho Terminal”

Guests of honour at the presen-
tation of Jatho’s flying machine


Ansprachen von Dr. Raoul Hille zur Jatho Präsentation

Minister Walter Hirche


Dr. Raoul Hille speaking at the
Jatho presentation

MP Walter Hirche puts the Wrights
in their place!


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... to be continued !