Alexander M. Lippisch

(November 2, 1894 – February 11, 1976)

Alexander Martin Lippisch (1894 – 1976) was a German aeronautical engineer. The Aerodyne is just one

of the many inventions of master German aircraft designer Alexander Lippisch. At first look, the design will leave most people wondering how on earth the engineers managed to get such a bizarrely shaped aircraft off the ground. The Aerodyne, however, has good science behind it. In fact, it was designed in such a way that it goes beyond what conventional airplanes could do back in its time.

Before delving into the science that allowed the Aerodyne to actually take flight, it is proper to give recognition first to its maker. Alexander Martin Lippisch (November 2, 1894- February 11, 1976) was a German pioneer of aerodynamics who made groundbreaking contributions to his field. He helped give light to the science behind flying wings, delta wings, and the concept of ground effect. He is most renowned for his design of the Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket-powered interceptor.

Lippisch - Wingless Plane (1956)

Lippisch’s invention of the Aerodyne was shaped by his views on the future of aviation and aircraft. As people argued about the definition of the term “aircraft,” Dr. Lippisch gave his thoughts on the matter and stated that a modern aircraft is a machine that is powered by a glider, plain and simple. He then said that the drag penalty  common to the majority of modern winged aircraft was a needless disadvantage. According to Lippisch, the main purpose of a wing is to deflect a large mass of air downwards, which in turn produces the upward component of reaction. However, if this same propulsive mass of air is directed towards a duct, then it can also produce the same reaction that can keep a craft afloat. This idea has the potential to make the ordinary wing obsolete.

Lippisch figured that with the disadvantage of wing drag out of the picture, modern aircraft could achieve higher speeds including craft capable of more efficient supersonic flight.


Declassified UFO recovery Nov 3, 1945 Germany Operation Paperclip - Lippisch

Above: Replica of a Lippisch RESCUE AERODYNE.