Last Update: 16 December 2000
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Johannisthal in 1909
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Located 10 miles to the southeast of Berlin, Johannisthal was Germany's first airfield. It opened on 26 September 1909, a few weeks after the world's first airfield at Reims, France.

Known as the birthplace of heavier-than-air flight in Germany, Johannistal was Berlin's primary airport until the Tempelhofer Feld was developed in the 1920s.

Johannistal was the field from which Germany's first commercial flights took off; and numerous aviation pioneers operated workshops there, including Anthony Fokker.

Later the area became known as Aldershof, and before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, it was closed to the public. The former airport was used by the Nationale Volksarmee as a military training ground; while the Academy of Sciences of the GDR (with 14 natural science-technical institutions and six service centres) employed approximately 5.500 scientists and technicians.

Following the unification of Germany, some of these research institutions were taken over by West German institutions, along with about 1.400 of the employees.

The Johannisthal field is today a major urban development, the Berlin-Adlershof City of Science and Technology. By 2003 a new district will be built on the 420 hectare property. The area will accommodate high-tech industries, science and research institutes and a congress centre, as well as a sport and recreation centre. The former home of the East German TV (DFF) will be transformed into a media centre. In total, there will be 30,000 jobs and housing for 15,000 people.


Flight Simmers


Berlin Media

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