The plane as a collector’s item

Clemens Aulich is the host, owner, and head of the exhibition. In 1992, he was commissioned with the renovation and privatization of the former Elmo factory site. In the site’s dispatch hall, he found space to gradually present public exhibits of his rather unique passion.

This interest of his was awakened by his grandfather, who was once a flight instructor. Anything and everything having to do with flight was important to him – from the model to the original. Over the past number of years, Aulich has been able to store 50 aircraft and helicopters at various locations throughout Germany. In 1998, 16 temporary staff members began renovating the old hall to make it suitable for visitor traffic. This required extensive conversion work. The first units arrived and, under the expert eye of the boss, were thoroughly restored by the eight men and eight women.

In June 1999, the first visitors were welcomed through the door. In addition to the initially modest three large units, several aircraft have been added to date. Over 50 airplanes and helicopters share the two halls along with many models, motors, engines, and other aircraft parts. Various devices and equipment that are necessary for safe flight operations are also on hand. Wings, rotor blades, ejection seats, cockpits, navigation instruments, pilot uniforms, and equipment from various countries round off the diverse array of exhibition items. In addition to the large exhibits, sectional models and functional explanations are intended to appeal to both the layperson and the connoisseur. Sitting alongside Munich, Speyer, and Hannover-Laatzen, the museum is already one of the five largest of its kind in Germany. Lovers and enthusiasts appreciate the exhibit’s proximity. With an invitation for visitors to watch (but not touch) from close up, restoration work will occasionally take place as part of the exhibition. In real time, visitors can witness flying objects being brought back from a sometimes terrible state to their original condition.

After over two million euros in investments, the extension building with new a entrance area, the CafetAIRia, Hangars 1 and 2 as well as conference rooms and offices was opened in June 2016.

The largest exhibition display was welcomed in October 2018: the Transall C-160 (nicknamed “Silberne Gams”) sits very visibly atop the roof of the Aviation Museum and has been open to visitors since February 24, 2019.