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The Otto Lilienthal Museum

for the "father of human flight" is, contrary to expectations, not an aircraft museum. It recounts one of mankind’s ancient dreams, that of Icarus and numerous other legends. And it recounts how it became reality in quite a different way than two boys from Anklam had imagined when observing Pomeranian storks.

The Otto Lilienthal Museum in Anklam sees itself as a personal technological museum dedicated to the aviation pioneer, mechanical engineer, and humanist Otto Lilienthal (1848–1896). It shows Lilienthal as a person in the context of his time and his companions, above all his younger brother Gustav (1849–1933), his "second self". The exhibition embeds the biographies of the Lilienthal brothers in the ancient cultural history of human flight. Various models bring the dream of flying to life for visitors. The heart of the museum is the large glider hall, with true-to-life replicas of Lilienthal's original flying machines. With the help of experiments on the physical properties of air, visitors can follow in the footsteps of the Lilenthals and "invent flying". In-house flight simulators like the Lilienthal Cockpit convey the feeling of flying, and for younger guests, the museum’s Aeronauticon next to Anklam airfield has a technology and nature trail with "flying" play equipment.

Highlights from the collection

The flight of birds as the basis of the art of flying

Otto Lilienthal's 1889 book, entitled in full The Flight of Birds as the Basis of the Art of Flying. A Contribution to the Systematics of Flight Technology, was based on numerous experiments carried out by Otto and his brother Gustav. As a foundational work on airfoil aerodynamics, it was so far ahead of its time that it barely caused a stir at first. Lilienthal even had to pay the printing costs for the first edition himself. Today, it’s a bibliophile’s prized possession and one of the few books that foresaw and led to the major technical developments in the field.

Historical model of Lilienthal's Normal Sailing Apparatus

Paul Beylich (1874–1965) worked in Otto Lilienthal's machine factory in Berlin from May 1893, thus making him likely the world's first aircraft mechanic. Beylich wasn’t only the builder of the original apparatus, but was also Lilienthal's constant companion and assistant during his attempts at flight. In the 1920s and 1930s he made models and replicas of Lilienthal's glider designs. This is how the 1:5 scale model of the so-called Normal Sailing Apparatus shown here came to be, now displayed in the museum in Anklam. The model bears the signature: "Lilienthal Model. Built by his assembler Beylich".

Steam engine No. 137

The economic basis of the later aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal was his machine factory, founded in 1883 with his own patents for "hazard-free steam boilers" and steam engines. Light wall-mounted steam engines combined with so-called serpentine tube boilers formed the "Lilienthal small engine". The small steam engine in the Otto Lilienthal Museum in Anklam is the world's only surviving example and was acquired for the museum in Australia in 2004. It is still functional (without water pump and boiler) and is activated during museum tours using compressed air.

Opening hours

June to September
daily: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

October and May
Tue–Fri: 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sat, Sun & holidays 1 p.m.–5 p.m.

November to April
Wed–Fri: 11 a.m.–3.30 p.m.
Sun & holidays 1 p.m.–5 p.m.


Ellbogenstraße 1
D-17389 Anklam



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