Otto LilienthalOtto Lilienthal (23 May 1848 – 10 August 1896) was a pioneer of human aviation. He built the first successful human-carrying glider, the Derwitzer Glider, and made over 2000 flights in gliders of his design between 1891 and his death five years later. Lilienthal helped to prove that heavier-than-air flight was practical without flapping wings, laying the groundwork for the Wright brothers a few years later to build the first successful powered airplane.
Lilienthal suffered a number of crashes in his experiments, but his aircraft could only reach low speeds and altitudes. On 9 August 1896, a gust of wind fractured his wing and he fell from a height of 17 m, breaking his spine. He died the next day, saying, "Opfer müssen gebracht werden!" — "Sacrifices must be made."