OSTIV Prize awarded to Dr.-Ing. Karl-Heinz Horstmann

for lifelong contributions to the science and technology of sailplanes and soaring flight

The OSTIV PRIZEis awarded to:

Dr.-Ing. Karl-Heinz Horstmann

for lifelong contributions to the science and technology
of sailplanes and soaring flight


Awarded to one of the most outstanding aerodynamicists in the world today, noteworthy for his insights not only into what was happening aerodynamically, but more importantly, for the overall impact aerodynamic developments have on all aspects the flight vehicle. In this regard, his airfoil/aircraft/aerodynamic design work has always been tempered with the understanding, practicality, and realisms of a pilot - which is not the case with so many designers.

His contributions to the sport began during his Akaflieg Braunschweig days in the early 1970’s with his efforts on the SB-10, the first aircraft making use of carbon fiber for a primary structure. His multiple-lifting-line code, the product of his dissertation research, has been and is still widely used for the design and analysis of wings for aircraft ranging from sailplanes to commercial transport aircraft. This research was also among the first to explore the use of winglets on sailplanes.

Among his many accomplishments, one must also recognize the collaborations with fellow DLR researcher, Armin Quast. These led to the development of many well-known HQ airfoils, which were tested in wind tunnels and using the flight-test mount on the DLR-sailplane, Janus, as developed by the two researchers. Karl-Heinz Horstmann and Armin Quast also developed the blow-hole turbulators for drag reduction by mitigating the effects of laminar separation bubbles, as well as the thermal mix model that has been in use since the mid 1970’s not only in sailplane design, but also for establishing the sailplane handicaps used in Club- and Sports-Class competitions. The collaboration between these two researchers also resulted in development of transition detection using infrared techniques, now used by research organizations worldwide.

Finally, one must recognize not only Dr. Horstmann’s design contributions to Akaflieg Braunschweig projects from the SB-10 to the SB-14, but also his role in the mentorship of the many students he advised during these times. Finally, Dr. Horstmann’s involvement and close collaborations in the design of Schempp-Hirth sailplanes, from the Discus in 1984 through to the Arcus in 2008, have personally benefited scores of glider pilots the world over.

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