Since the days of Jules Verne, space has inspired mankind. Today it provides us with fascinating images, high-precision data and fundamental knowledge about our planet and the universe. Aeronautics inspires the spirit of discovery of entire generations. It promises international mobility and participation and reliably connects people, cultures and economic areas. Geodesy measures our planet with the highest accuracy. It identifies and visualizes global mass transports. It quantifies climate change and creates the basis for real-time navigation and global communcation. The Department of Aerospace and Geodesy combines traditional aerospace research with satellite navigation, earth observation and basic geodetic disciplines.
In 1868, King Ludwig II founded the newly structured "Polytechnische Schule München" in Munich, forerunner of today's TUM. It was allowed to use the designation "Technische Hochschule" from the academic year 1877/78. The first director was the geodesist Karl Max von Bauernfeind.
The world-famous aircraft designer Claude Dornier studied at the Technical University of Munich from 1903 to 1907. He earned his diploma in a rush and worked for engineering, bridge and steel construction companies. In 1910, Claude Dornier got a job at the Zeppelin airship construction company in Friedrichshafen. He initially worked on airships, but then set his sights on aircraft. In 1931, the TH Munich awarded him the title of honorary senator.1
Wilhelm Messerschmitt graduated in mechanical engineering in 1923 with a thesis on the S14 glider at the "Technische Hochschule München" (THM). In the same year, he founded "Flugzeugbau-Messerschmitt GmbH" in Bamberg, which was incorporated into the Bayrische Flugzeugwerke (BFW) in 1933 and renamed Messerschmitt AG in 1938. His company built fighter aircraft during the Second World War.
In 1929, a full professorship for aviation was established at the THM. However, this could not be filled for reasons of cost. Instead, W. Messerschmitt received a teaching assignment in 1930 and was appointed honorary professor in 1937. In 1938, the THM awarded him an honorary doctorate. His company built fighter planes during the Second World War. During the Second World War, Messerschmitt's companies also built fighter aircraft.
After the Second World War (from 1955), he again built aircraft under licence for the German Air Force and NATO with Messeschmitt AG. In 1968, Messerschmitt AG merged with the Bölkow Group and the aviation division of the Hamburg-based Blohm Group to form the Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Group (MBB), of which Prof. Messerschmitt was a partner and honorary chairman of the supervisory board until his old age.1
The maiden flight of the "BO105" helicopter took place on the 16th February 1967 in Ottobrunn. The "BO105" was developed by the later Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB), one of the German founding companies of the Airbus Group. The machine was known for the first time that the rotor was equipped with a rigid, hingeless rotor head made of titanium and glass-fibre reinforced rotor blades.2
In 1971, the first "Transrapid Maglev Train prototype" was presented on the test track in Ottobrunn.
On the 28th of October 1972, the A300 completes its maiden flight. The development of the European aircraft "Airbus A300" took place in Ottobrunn. It is the first wide-body aircraft with only two engines.3
ESA's first "Ariane launcher" with thrust chambers successfully took off from Ottobrunn on Christmas Eve 1979. From the mid-1970s onwards, the engineers at the engine forge (ESA) in Ottobrunn were involved in the development of combustion chambers and main valves.4
The launch of the "Space Shuttle Mission D-2" took place on the 26th April 1993. Space engineer an astronaut Ulrich Walter was on board the US space shuttle Columbia for the second German Spacelab mission.5
The maiden flight of the "Eurofighter" developed in Ottobrunn also took place in 1993.
Following the technical conception of a modular engine family at the Chair of Aero Engines at TUM, BMW AG and Rolls-Royce plc. founded a research center in Dahlewitz in 1990 as a joint venture to develop the engines. After reunification, the Federal Republic of Germany supported industrial projects in the new states. Based on the consistent modular design of a common core engine, after a five-year development and certification phase, the BR 710 engines were first introduced into the business jet market in 1995, and just two years later the BR 715 engines were marketed to power the Boeing 717 regional jets. What makes these BR 700 engines so special is that they were the first jet engines ever developed, produced and certified in Germany. Today, more than 8,000 engines are in service worldwide. Many TUM students and graduates played a major role in their development. Many have been appointed as full professors at universities or hold leading positions in the European LuR.
"Munich Aerospace e.V." was founded on the 9th July 2010 by the Technical University of Munich in cooperation with the University of the Federal Armed Forces Munich, the German Aerospace Center with its Oberpfaffenhofen institutes and Bauhaus Luftfahrt.
The objectives of the association are essentially in the areas of research, teaching, graduate training and scholarship programme. Munich Aerospace currently organises a network of 150 aerospace scientists from the Munich research region.6
The Ludwig Bölkow Campus, site of the Faculty of Aeronautics, Astronautics and Geodesy at TUM, was founded in March 2012. It is named after the German engineer and entrepreneur Ludwig Bölkow.
Located in the south of the Munich metropolitan region, the campus serves as a research and technology location for industry and science in the field of aerospace and security technology.7
In May 2018, the "Faculty of Aeronautics, Astronautics and Geodesy" was founded in Ottobrunn on the initiative of the Bavarian State Government. Motivated by epochal technological breakthroughs in aeronautics and space, the faculty brings together TUM's tardition-rich research with new disciplines such as satellite navigation, earth observation and the basic geodetic disciplines.
In this short period of time, 22 professorships have already been established at the faculty with over 800 students.
The TUM School of Engineering and Design (ED) was founded in October 2021. This combines the competences of various faculties in eight departments. With the start of the ED on the 1st of October 2021, the Department of Aerospace and Geodesy became part of the school.
1Katrin Roth, Unsere Gründungspioniere, tum.de, https://www.tum.de/innovation/entrepreneurship/fuer-alumni-unternehmen/gruendungspioniere (Accessed: 09.02.22)
2KS, BO105 feiert 50. Geburtstag, flugrevue.de, https://www.flugrevue.de/zivil/noch-mehr-als-400-maschinen-im-einsatz-bo105-feiert-50-geburtstag/, (Accessed: 09.02.22)
3 sueddeutsche, 50 Jahre Airbus - eine Chronik, gfx.sueddeutsche, https://gfx.sueddeutsche.de/apps/e161408/www/#/0, (Accessed: 09.02.22)
4 The european space agency, Der Schub kommt aus Deutschland, esa.int, https://www.esa.int/Space_in_Member_States/Germany/Der_Schub_kommt_aus_Deutschland, (Accessed: 09.02.22)
5 Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, 25 Jahre D-2: Vorreiter-Mission für die deutsche und europäische Forschung auf der ISS, dlr.de, https://www.dlr.de/content/de/artikel/news/2018/2/20180426_25-jahre-d-2-vorreiter-mission-fuer-die-deutsche-und-europaeische-forschung-auf-der-iss_27051.html, (Accessed: 09.02.22)
6Ludwig Bölkow Campus, Munich Aerospace, lb-campus.com, https://lb-campus.com/de/ansiedlungen/munich-aerospace , (Accessed: 09.02.22)
7Ludwig Bölkow Campus, Der Ludwig Bölkow Campus, lb-campus.com, https://lb-campus.com/de/, (Accessed: 09.02.22)