The project: the second maiden flight


Karl Jatho flew before

the Wright brothers!


Four months prior to the flight of Orville and Wilbur Wright, who took off on December 17th, 1903, in the sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, the magistrate official Karl Jatho succeeded to lift off in the Vahrenwalder Heide,  Hanover. In the weeks after this first ”hop” further trials followed. In November 1903, still one month before the so-called first powered flight in history, Jatho covered the distance of 60 meters with his clearly improved ”Motordrachen Nr. 2”. Contemporary pictures and drawings have remained preserved.

On the initiative of the Hanoverian Arbeitskreis Technik- und Industrie-Geschichte (AK-TIG) – a working group concerned with the history of industry and technology –   various trusts and foundations,
the Haus & Grundeigentümer Bürgerstiftung with the support of the ”Sparda Bank Stiftung, Niedersächsischer Lottostiftung and Hanover Airport, the aircraft constructor, Harald Lohmann began the reconstruction of Jatho’s Motordrachen Nr. 2. true to the original.


Karl Jatho in his Jatho-


At Hanover Airport on September 3rd, 2006, an attempt shall be made toraise the delicate construction, powered by a mere 12 hp engine, into the air. For the initiators and the sponsors of this project it is nothing less than a question of honour – the honour and the late acknowledgement of the Hanoverian flight pioneer Karl Jatho.

Quod erat demonstrandum!

The sponsors are financing the sum of 150,000 Euro for the reproduction of the powered double-decker, true to the original in every detail. The aircraft constructor Harald Lohman, who has been entrusted with the reproduction,

”This time I’m not building an aeroplane – I’m building a work of art, a cathedral!”

Without a doubt, Karl Jatho belongs to the small group of pioneers in the field of aviation; on the other hand, he did not take the experiences of others into account, e.g  Otto Lilienthal, who had made countless trials. In spite of some strange quirks in the design of his flight apparatus Jatho managed to lift off the ground at various times as early as August 18th 1903. To ignore him internationally in connection with the topic ”first powered flight” and to only mention the Wright brothers, has spurred more than just local patriots from Hanover into action.

The first reconstruction is placed in the Hanover Airport terminal. Further updates come soon.


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