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All Tests

Altitude Flights

In the lives of people there are such fateful days but for companies, too. One of such days may be the 9th respectively 17th of June 1919 and the 9th of December 1959. Big difference between the two dates is not only the 30 years, but also that the first one begins fantastic and ends in a certain hopelessness and the second starts with the beginning of the end und develops to a glimmer of hope.

Let us stay at the occurrences 1919. For several weeks everything is being rehearsed und details perfected. Now it might succeed to improve the altitude flight world record significantly with the new by BMW designed engine. The pilot is Franz Zeno Diemer in an usual biplane but equipped with the BMW-IV-engine.

He started from the Oberwiesenfeld airfield north of Munich without any permission. He carried oxygen with him, but there was no cockpit protecting him against the coldness. Good 1,5 hours later he reached an altitude of 9.760 m. Theoretically the temperature can decrease by up to 1K per 100 m height, but even 'only' -50°C in 10.000 m height at this trial deserve all the respect.

Two different days are mentioned above because the trial had to be revised one week later and then confirmed. May be a reason for cheers or not? The positive news was immediately implanted into advertising. For a little moment the circumstances of the time had been forgotten. Only half a year before the First World War had ended. In Versailles (Paris) the negotiations about Germany ran out.

May be a reason for jubilation, or not? The positive news was immediately put into advertising (picture). For a little moment the time circumstances were forgotten. Only since half a year the First World War had ended. In Versailles (Paris), the negotiations about Germanys future slowly came to an end.

Kurt Eisner, leader of the November Revolution and first prime minister had proclaimed the Free State of Bavaria in the Munich Mathäser-Bräu. Thereupon different coup attempts happened, veritable rebellions with gunfights, dead of people and taking away to prisons. Eisner fell an attempted assassination to the victim. The Free State of Bavaria remained.

Germany had lost the World War, which went down to history as the 'First' since there was a 'Second' one. Not unimportant for the history of BMW. Austria-Hungary a giant overtopping the present Austria by far had lost, too. By the way was Germany being member of the Fédéracion Aéronautique Internationale since the beginning of the war no longer there and so Diemers altitude world record never accepted.

You will gather from this introduction the circumstances of this record flight were anything but fortunate. But it was even getting worse. On 28th of June the results of Versailles were to be seen and should be perceived as a 'diction' by the at the negotiations uninvolved Germans. The most important passage: production of any kind of flying machine and its components was prohibited.

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