History of Aviation in Mannheim and the Neuostheim Airfield
The first wood-fire powered paper balloon, from Jesuit Father Johann Jakob Hemmer, rose into the sky above Mannheim Castle on 12 February.
The engineer, Hans Grade, won the “Lanz Prize of the Skies” for flying, established and funded by Karl Lanz
Establishment of the company “Airship Construction Schütte-Lanz OHG” (Luftschiffbau Schütte-Lanz OHG) on 22 April in Rheinau by Professor Dr. Johann Schütte, with the support of the industrialist Karl Lanz. The use of wallboard instead of aluminium for ship frames set a trend for all airship construction.
The Airship LZ 3 landed with its inventor, Grafen Zeppelin, 15 September, on the Friesenheimer Island in Mannheim, with Graf visiting the Airship works, Schütte-Lanz.
With the “First Mannheim Air Display“ (Ersten Mannheimer Schaufliegen) taking place in June on the old parade ground, the design of the Wright Brothers’ plane was on show.
Maiden flight of the airship SL 1 of the company Schütte-Lanz on 17 October.
The first postal flight from Mannheim to Heidelberg took place on 19 May.
The four-cylinder aircraft engine, developed by the company Benz & Cie, won the “Kaiser Prize” (Kaiser Preis) with a performance of 100 PS.
On 28 February, the Schütte-Lanz-Airship SL 2 ascended for the first time and crossed over Mannheim.
On 10 March, the Mannheim aircraft constructor, Richard Dietrich, launched the first night-time flight over residential areas in his home city.
On 4 July, the internationally known aviators Garros and Andemars arranged for a spontaneous air display over the parade ground, on the following day showing off their skills in front of 10 000 spectators at Rennwiese.
Foundation of the Mannheim Air Transportation Association (Mannheimer Luftverkehrs GmbH)
Opening of the postal flight route: Frankfurt-Mannheim-Karlsruge-Lörrach, on 11 November
Formation of the Baden-Palatine Aviation Association (Badisch-Pfälzischen Luftfahrtvereins) in Mannheim
Formation of the Baden-Palatine Aviation Corporation (Badisch-Pfälzischen Luftverkehr AG) in Mannheim on 25 April.
Inauguration of the Mannheim-Sandhofen airfield on 3 May. From here there were daily flights from and to Baden-Baden, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Constanz, Copenhagen, Munich, Stuttgart, Villingen and Zurich.
The Baden-Palatine Aviation Corporation took over the direct air traffic from Mannheim to Berlin over Frankfurt-Halle
On 8 April, the first aircraft landed from the amalgamation of German Aero Lloyd Corporation (Aero Lloyd AG) and the Junkers Aviation Corporation (Junkers Luftverkehr AG), German Luft Hansa Corporation (Luft Hansa AG), in Mannheim
Fusion of the Baden-Palatinate Aviation Corporation Mannheim (Badisch-Pfälzischen Luftverkehr AG Mannheim) and the Baden Aviation Corporation Karlsruhe (Badischen Luftverkehr AG Karlsruhe) to the Baden-Palatinate Lufthansa Corporation (Badisch-Pfälzischen Lufthansa AG) and shifting of air traffic from Mannheim-Sandhofen airfield, to the airfield Mannheim-Heidelberg-Ludwigshafen in Mannheim-Neuostheim, was agreed to on 6 June.1
The “Great Flying Day“ (Großflugtag) of the Baden-Palatinate Lufthansa attracted 50,000 spectators on 29 May
The first international “Great Flying Day” attracted 80,000 people on 9 October.
The first aviators to cross the Atlantic from east to west, Hermann Köhl and Ehrenfried Günther Freiherr von Hünefeld, arrived at the Neuostheim airfield. After a reception through the Baden-Palatinate Lufthansa, both pilots took part in a dinner at Rosengarten arranged in their honor.
Foundation of Glider Department of Baden-Palatinate Aviation Association
The new free balloon “Mannheim“, of the Baden-Palatinate Aviation Association completed its first flight on 22 September
The Mannheim engineer, Julius Hatry, designed the first rocket-powered aircraft in the world. Official maiden flight took place on 30 September in Mönchbruch at Kelsterbach near Frankfurt/Main
The citizens’ committee of Mannheim City approved 60 000 Reichsmark for the expansion of business and administration buildings on 13 December
Else Roos from Mannheim, holder of the German sporting flyers silver badge (Sportfliegerabzeichens in Silber), became the first German “champion of expert flying” (Meisterin im Geschicklichkeitsflug)
The boat seaplane Do-X stationed in Mannheim on 26 October
The western side of the maneuvering area was widened to 150 meters
The largest German aircraft, the Junkers G 38, landed in Mannheim on 20 April.
In view of the abolition of the de-militarized zone in the west and occupation of the Rhineland, Mannheim was, after 17 years, once again a garrison city, the airbase headquarters of which were at the Neuostheim airfield. The new flight dispatch and administration buildings were put into operation on 1 November.
The summer flight plan, which came into effect on 4 April, was identified as a new flight route by the German Lufthansa, with the routes Mannheim-Berlin, Mannheim-Saarbrücken and Mannheim-Stuttgart.
Mannheim City took over as owner of the airfield land.
On 19 June, the Baden-Palatinate Aviation Association “Flight day“ took place.
The airship designer Johann Schütte died on 2 April.
On 27 June, Mayor Jakob Trumpfheller christened the newly-built glider of the Baden-Palatinate Aviation Association with the name “Mannheim”
On 14 June, the first “Flight day” was organized of the new reformed Baden-Palatinate Aviation Association
The airline Westflug GmbH relocated their main office and two airplanes from Frankfurt/Main to Mannheim in December
With the arrival of two out of three training planes on 24-25 August, the first step towards a Flight School for the Baden-Palatinate Aviation Association is taken. The application is lodged for airfield space for the flight training and a motorized vehicle for carrying gliding craft into the air.
On 27 May, the second grand “Flight Day” of the Baden-Palatinate Aviation Association took place, on 26 June the winner of the “Deutschlandflug”, Klaus Kühl and Emil Schmelzer, are welcomed.
The Interior Ministry of Baden-Württemberg declared Neuostheim airfield, landing area 1, to be in order. As a result, the Baden-Palatinate Aviation Association re-opened its flight school.
Participants in the “Deutschlandflug“ land on 21 June.
In March, the German Taxi-Flug Corporation (Taxi-Flug GmbH) voted Mannheim as its main office.
On May 23, a new hangar was opened.
After the amalgamation of the Taxi-Flug Corporation Mannheim and the German Air Transport Corporation Gummersbach (Nahluftverkehrs-AG Gummersbach) to Air-Lloyd German Air Transport Corporation (Nah-Luftverkehrs-AG) in December, the new company chose Gummersbach as its main office, Mannheim remaining as a station until the end of 1963
On 5 July, the Baden-Palatinate Air Traffic Corporation (Badisch-Pfälzische Flugbetrieb AG) became the Rhein-Neckar Airfield Corporation (Rhein-Neckar Flugplatz GmbH).
The German Aviation Advisory service Wiesbaden (Luftfahrt-Beratungsdienst Wiesbaden) built a local office in Mannheim.
On 2 August, a severe storm caused several hundred thousand Deutschmarks worth of damage to the airfield, aircraft and buildings.
On 16 September, the air show takes place again after a nine year break.
On 11 May, the Baden-Palatinate Aviation Association celebrated its 50 year anniversary with a large air show in front of 20 000 spectators
On 17 June, the Baden-Palatinate Aviation Association hosted the “Deutschlandflug“
On 14 July, the new take-off and landing runway was opened.
From 24 May, the company Air-Supply commenced regular connecting flights from Mannheim to Rhein-Main-Flughafen Frankfurt. Due to lack of passengers, the shuttle service recommenced on 19 July
The 20th South-West German scenic flight commenced on 10 June with 25 two-seater aircraft
To mark the 70th year of aviation in Mannheim, on 22 March, three two-seater machines were unveiled. The flight teacher Emil Bihlmaier christened one machines after himself, Mayor Knut Weber from Ludwigshafen undertook the adoption of the aircraft “Ludwigshafen”, and Mayor Hans Syren named the third aircraft after “Mannheim”
Prior to the official opening of the International Airship day, marking the 375th anniversary of the city, on 11 September a US Army Helicopter crashed with 46 occupants, mostly parachutists, at the Neuostheim airfield on the freeway. The catastrophe killed six Germans, eight Americans, 23 French and 9 Welsh from sister cities of Toulon and Swansea. As a result of the tragic accident, the celebrations were cancelled.
At a commemoration for the helicopter accident on 11 September, speeches were given by Mayor Gerhard Widder, the Mayor of Toulon and Swansea, Maurice Arreckx and Chris Thomas, and the American Headquarters Commander, General Eugene R. Cromartie. Afterwards, a monument from British artist Michael Sandle was unveiled, with celtic ornaments and stylized rotor blades. A name board honors those who died.
With the stationing of a rescue helicopter, the Association for International Hospital Transport (Verein für Internationale Krankentransporte) founded the Air Rescue Central in Mannheim
The newly offered connection from Air Service Pegasus GmbH & Co. KG between Mannheim and Munich was opened on 25 April
In May, the flight logistics company ABC Air Marketing Corporation is established at the airfield
Founded in 1973, the company Arcus Air Logistics Corporation (Arcus Air Logistic GmbH), took over the aircraft and maintenance hangars of Air Pegasus, and on 6 June re-commenced regular flight services from Mannheim to Munich, from 10 November commencing a direct flight connection to Hamburg
The technical committee of the town council agreed on 2 October to construction plan alterations for the extension of the take-off and landing runways
The Arcus Air Logistic Corporation offers direct flights to Dresden and Leipzig from November
The extended take-off and landing runways – 180 meters added to total 1180 meters – were opened on 4 September
The altered airport restaurant “Lindbergh” was opened on 24 January
On 10 April, the Aviation Corporation Mannheim (Luftfahrt-Gesellschaft Mannheim - LGM) procured new business premises and a renovated used helicopter hangar
From 11 April, Arcus Air commenced five-times weekly flights from Bern, the connection reinstated at the end of the year. Also, the direct connection to Prague, which opened on 9 May, remained in operation only until the start of 1995
On 27 March, the town council decides to extend the lease and building contract of the airfield land until the year 2046
On one single open day, 22 June, celebrations were held for the 75th anniversary of the Baden-Palatinate Aviation Association and 70th anniversary of the Neuostheim airfield
The German Air rescue brought a new helicopter into service, which can be deployed throughout the whole of central Europe from Mannheim
At a company meeting on 3 March, the Arcus Air Corporation decided to rename their company to Cosmos Air Aviation Corporation (Cosmos Air Luftfahrtunternehmen GmbH).
In May, with the two-engine airliner Dornier (DO) 328, the Cosmos Air Corporation commenced a three-times daily route from Mannheim to Berlin
The German Air Rescue operated since.... a rescue helicopter from Mannheim City Airport
The Arcus Air Corporation reported bankruptcy on 4 March
Designed by Prof. Peter Serini, the new terminal and administration buildings were put into operation of 3 July
From 19 April, Cosmos Air commences three-times weekly flights to Kiel
On 1 May, the Saarbrück company Cirrus took over the Mannheim airline Cosmos Air Corporation. The employees of Cosmos Air were transferred to the new company
On 12 August, the long requested instrument approach system was put into operation
Neuostheim airfield records around 60 000 take-offs and landings with 150 000 passagers for the year 1999
Since 26 March, Cirrus Airline is part of Team Lufthansa and flights commence four-times daily to the Berlin-Tempelhof airport
Neuostheim airfield acquired its own police station
The newly built airport multi-storey car park was not embraced by customers due to high parking fees
On every Saturday between 15 May and 25 September, Cirrus Airlines offered direct flights to Sardinia
The German Air rescue (Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht - DRF) station their intensive care transport helicopter “Christoph 53” in Mannheim
On 22 September, the City Airport Neuostheim celebrates its 80 year anniversary with an airfield celebration
Since June 2007, the Mannheim City Airport became a self-licensing airport service provider
Source: City Archiv Mannheim