Tag Archives: WW I

Vroom-vroom!!! Berlin’s Luftwaffe Museum – Part 3

In an oft-told story about my childhood, I heard from my parents that I began flying as a passenger in our small single-engine airplane when I was a mere 6 weeks old. And yes, I threw up whilst in flight. Ah well — a lifetime of motion sickness began just then!

My fascination with aircraft has lingered throughout the years and I prefer the old-fashioned propeller planes over the jets any day. So our visit to the Luftwaffe Museum in Berlin filled my heart and my eyes with joy.

There were aircraft that I had only seen in history books — and frankly, it was thrilling to be close enough to touch them. I had seen a biplane with a metal propeller when I was a little girl, but not a plane with a wooden propeller such as the one below.

Biplane with wooden propeller

And can you even imagine returning to earth in a glider and landing on the snow or the grass in a fragile vehicle equipped with rather primitive-looking wooden ski?

Lightweight glider with wooden skis

This is a huge museum and it takes hours to go through — but it is well worth the time if you have an interest in contemporary history. We barely made a dent in viewing the rows and rows of planes which were on display outside and concentrated instead on the historic examples within the vast hangers. But a friend told us that a thorough visit might be best accomplished on a bicycle so that we could weave in and out amongst the decades of planes that lined the old runways. You can see a few of them if you look to the left of the yellow-tipped propeller below.

Yellow-tipped propellers on old German warplane

I certainly hope you have enjoyed this 3-part series and that it might inspire you to visit this fascinating museum.

©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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Vroom-vroom!!! Berlin’s Luftwaffe Museum – Part 2

Rumbling, roaring, noisy beasts. The age of the airplane saw a surprisingly rapid transformation from flimsy airborne creations into larger and heavier vehicles requiring more power to lift them into the air. And when World War II arrived, the German Luftwaffe was ready.

Wilhelm ‘Willy’ Messerschmitt was responsible for the jewels in the crown of German aircraft designed in the 1930s and 1940s — the fighter planes named after him — the Messerschmitt Bf108, the Messerschmitt Bf109, and the ones that followed. The links that are highlighted in this paragraph will take you to more detailed information.

Messerschmitt -- side view

Examples of this plane can be seen at the Luftwaffe Museum in the Berlin suburb of Gatow.

Messerschmitt -- front right view

If you are a history or aviation buff (and as I have mentioned previously, I happen to fall into both categories!), this is an excellent day out that is away from the main hustle and bustle of beautiful Berlin.

Messerschmitt -- close-up

One rather different example of a Messerschmitt was on display and it is a quite recent acquisition. In November of 2009, a fighter plane was discovered at the bottom of a lake in Germany. Please note — the website is in German, but the photographs alone are fascinating. What an eerie find that must have been for those divers in the lake.

If you wish to open this page-link to the daedalus-Berlin.de website in a translation-friendly site like GOOGLE CHROME, you can click on a button and translate the page from German to English. It’s a fascinating story!

The picture below is the actual plane that was recovered from the lake and reconstructed. When I saw this plane at the Luftwaffe Museum, I had no idea how complicated a process it must have been to remove it from the mud, bring it out of the water, and then transport it safely before it could be reconstructed. The article also answers the question about any remains found inside the plane. No, there was no sign of the missing pilots of the fighter plane and no remains at all were found inside or nearby.

Wreck of a downed WW II Messerschmitt recovered from a lake in Germany

Come back again soon for another World War II tale that I stumbled upon whilst in Germany!

©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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Vroom-vroom! Berlin’s Luftwaffe Museum

In times long gone — a cough, a sputter, and then a an astonishing lift would see the bird-like creation of varnished canvas and wood and tensioned wires rise from its rubber wheels into the air. How brave those aviators must have been to venture aloft in vehicles such as these. They may not have been sleek and metallic, but they had a delicate beauty. Even the propellers from that era are works of art fashioned of beautifully polished wood.

Fragile early wings at Luftwaffe Museum in Berlin

Close-up of early airplane propeller at Luftwaffe Museum in Berlin, Germany

Alongside the later aircraft made of sturdy steel, a few such fragile creations are on display in Berlin in the large Hanger 3 of the Luftwaffe Museum/Luftwaffenmuseum.

Walking towards Hanger 3 at the Luftwaffe Museum in Berlin

Located in the southwestern Berlin suburb of Gatow — the museum covers the history of aviation in Germany from the earliest airplanes, gliders, and zeppelins to the World War II era and the Cold War and beyond.

The museum covers a variety of decades, includes period clothing from each era, has no entry charge and is certainly a thrilling day out for aeronautical and/or history fans. I happen to be both, so I happily spent quite a few hours here and still didn’t get out to look at all of the airplanes that are parked along the once-bustling runways.

Below is a selection of images from that splendid day out. Enjoy!

And make sure you come back for Part 2 tomorrow when we move into the World War II era.

Cluster of planes at the Luftwaffe Museum in Berlin, Germany

3 Wing Fokker -- the type that the Red Baron flew in WW I

World War I plane with machine gunner

©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the text and images on this page.
All rights reserved.