95 years FVA - then and now

The FVA is history and present. How is it possible to really capture a period of 95 years? By math only about 12,5 generations of FVA'ler have been shaping this history. The time untill 1980 is wonderfully documented in Karl Heidlers chronicle on the occasion of 60 year anniversary, which is on demand open to everybody interested.
The early days of FVA were spectacular and highly influenced by names like Klemperer and Kármán. With the workshop of his institute and financial funds from several sponsors Kármán provided all what was neccessary for the FVA. Thereby Klemperer and the other group could create constructions, inspired by Junkers, whith whom he surpassed the gliding record set by the Wright Brothers in Kitty Hawk. And the documentation of his flight path in the issue of "Flight" in 1921 suggest that he startet a new era of gliding without slope soaring.
This way the FVA contributet significantly to the history of Röhntournaments, as it is described in Peter Riedels book "Start in den Wind" in great detail. And since other academic flight groups from cities like Darmstadt, Stuttgart and Hannover were present this later led to the founding of Idaflieg. Just a short while later the other groups catched up with FVA's technical advantage und this is probably the reason thy these groups could exist this long. At Röhn young people with revolutionary ideas met to invent and test new techniques. They had supporters and a surrounding enabling their realisation and most of all they wanted to fly. This is the central theme, which characterises the FVA up till now. If one compares the pictures then and now the aircrafts we fly with, the workshop and our equipment has changed to modern ones, but our spirit is still the same. During the 20's and 30's the Akafliegs developed into real technology experts, who drove the development of gliding and implemented many technical basics still valid today.
As for the FVA the Alpes crossing by Felix Kracht in the FVA 10b just 16 years after the record of Klemperer was a significant sign for this development. Gliding now definitely left the areas near to the take-off place and opened up to new dimension.

Supported with substantial funds during the third Reich the future of FVA, like for the other groups, looked promising at first. The desaster with which it ended after the war is well known. So the restoration afterwards was even more remarkable
Shortly after the war the FVA assembled again, at first as "not flying" meaning "pedestrians". The party accompaning this reunion and organised together with other flight groups in Aachen was part of the funds, which helped to rebuild the FVA as a flying association.

As important as this were the old contacts into industry and university. This way the FVA became the opportunity to establish a new workshop and recieved a few rooms. Kármán strenghened his membership in the FVA and was the figurehead for us. After flying and research were allowed the FVA returned to Röhn, the founding place of Idaflieg and so the old contacts to the other Akafliegs were also reestablished. With these prerequisites we could realise projects up till now, which repeatedly represented technical innovations or improvements in safety or flight operations.
Beside aircraft prototype projects the FVA worked on a number of research contracts from universities. Shortly after the war France was the destination for regular flight camps, which established a close friendship over the years. Untill now the annual training camp in southern france is a very important part of the year.
A crucial point in FVA's history was the building of our own workshop. Untill 2005 the FVA changed it's workshop due to various reasons. This finally came to an end when we bought a property in Würselen started building. This workshop has become an important anchor point in the difficult to assess university politics.
In it's own property the FVA can focus completely on the neccessary maintenance and the realisation of our projects without restrictions from outside. This was only possible with a good financial plan and long term support by our many members. Also many companies helped to reduce the costs of the otherwise very expensive interior construction of the workshop with material donations.