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Hans Jacobs - Pionierleben im Flugzeugbau (Pioneer Life in Aircraft Construction) - Volumes 1 and 2
Author: Peter Ocker
Hard Cover, 648 pages (264 pages in volume 1 and 384 pages in volume 2), hundreds of black & white photos and scale line art drawings, Copyright 2012
Dimensions: Volume 1: 9.06 x 11.33 x 0.75 inches (230 x 288 x 19 mm), Volume 2: 9.06 x 11.33 x 1.02 inches (230 x 288 x 26 mm)
Note: The price at right is the total for both books. The books are sold as a set and are not available individually.

Note: I stocked and sold these books in the past. They are very nice books, but being only in the German language, they were slow selling. They are still available from the author's web site here: https://www.peterocker.de/english/

Sample Pages from Books 1 and 2 (small PDF file) - includes table of contents
Sample Pages from Books 1 and 2 (large PDF file) - includes table of contents
Index of people and aircraft - Page references for each time the person of aircraft is mentioned in the books

Hans Jacobs was a famous German sailplane designer from the early days of glider development. He designed many of the classic sailplanes which stand-out in history - such as:

  • Rhönadler
  • Rhönbussard
  • Rhönsperber
  • Sperber
  • Sperber Junior
  • Sperber Senior
  • Seeadler
  • Kranich
  • Kranich II
  • Habicht
  • DFS 230
  • Reiher III
  • Weihe
  • Meise (Olympia)

This fantastic 2 book set covers his life and design work. On the books' 648 pages you will find 557 great black and white photos. Although the book is written in the German language, Photo captions for every photo are provided in English in the included printed documents. The photos and captions give a good overview of Han's life and design achievements. These books will be enjoyed by anyone interested in vintage sailplanes.

English Photo Captions
Note: These books are entirely in the German language. However, PDF file translations of the photo captions for every photo in the books are available below as free PDF downloads. Printed versions of the English photo captions are also included with the books.
English Photo Captions - Volume 1
English Photo Captions - Volume 2

Review by Simine Short - from the Vintage Sailplane Association's "Bungee Cord", Volume 39, No.2, Summer 2013

Why should a book in the German language only attract me?
This book on German glider designer Hans Jacobs opens a new era of aviation history documentation. While part one is focused on the person Hans Jacobs, the other parts are focused on the aircraft and their histories - a unique separation, which fits together in a fantastic way.

The first part is in chronological order and reports on his life on the Wasserkuppe and Darmstadt, with all gliding pioneers around him and what happened when. The pictures are focused on people, gliding and snapshots of history.

The second part describes the gliders and motor aircraft designed his early time as assistant to Alexander Lippisch. Lippisch did the first draft, and Jacobs did the detail work. Find the normal-type gliders and the famous flying wings her - as well as Dagling and Falcon !

The third part is the biggest one, describing his designs from sport gliders to military assault gliders DFS 230 and DFS 331. You also find Slingsby and EoN there! Also his basic research work on airbrakes, balloon cutters and safety of gliders is described.

Part four has the focus on this work for Messerschmitt. Not only he built wooden tailplanes for Bf 109, he was in charge of the detail layout and prototype building of Me 328B. Even the production planning is here as reprints from original factory planning - in color. By the end of the war, he designed and built wooden tailplanes for the world's first operational jet fighter, the Me 262. Even more, there are pictures of wooden Me 262 wings on the testbench and Me 262 wooden fuselage!

Please click on "Sample Pages" links above to download the free pdf-file, which shows more on the content. There is at least one double-page of each part.

This book consists of 2 separate books and is in the German language only. On the 648 pages you will find 557 pictures in very good quality, mainly unpublished material from hidden archives and finds in private collections.

In addition, 106 original documents - like pages from the flight logs of Hans Jacobs, Heinz Scheidhauer and even Hanna Reitsch, different brochures on "Weihe" glider or postcards and title page of the "Habicht" manual. Of these pictures and documents, 60 are in color.

44 3-view drawings of gliders, of which 17 are brand new and in color, made by famous Vincent Cockett and very detailed. The new ones are: Rhönadler (incl. additional nose and 2 additional rudders), Rhönbussard, Rhönsperber (including 2 additional rudders), Sperber, Sperber Junior, Sperber Senior, Seeadler, Kranich, Kranich II, Wolkenkranich (high-altitude Kranich), Habicht (2 fuselage lengths, 4 different wings), DFS 230 (early version with one-piece canopy), Reiher III (including different canopy drawings of Reiher I and II), Weihe (incl. one additional nose), Meise, DFS 331, Kranich III and Messerschmitt Me 328 B V1! In addition, side views of the prototype Kranich and Liegekranich (prone-pilot Kranich) are included.

Review by Paul Remde
I have always been a fan of the old "Wings" TV programs that document the development and refinement of unique aircraft.  It is interesting to learn about the many failures and lessons learned during the development process - and to see interesting film footage of the flights of the aircraft.  Like the wonderful "Sailplanes" series of books by Martin Simons, these books are created for anyone that is interested in sailplanes and sailplane design. Hans Jacobs was an amazing aircraft designer. Many of my favorite vintage sailplanes were designed by him. I don't read German very well at all, so I had to rely on the photos and English language photo captions. I thoroughly enjoyed going through both books, looking at every photo and reading the interesting and detailed captions. I learned much about Hans Jacobs and the sailplanes of his era. The photos "took me back in time" - which I loved!. The detailed line-art drawings of the sailplanes are both lovely and fascinating. In addition to sailplane pilots like myself, model sailplane builders will also find the books valuable. The books are not inexpensive, but they are worth every penny.

About the Author

The photo above-right shows Peter in his Rhonsperber

Peter ocher, Dipl.-Ing. (BA) and MSc
Since 1985, glider pilots of passion
1989 vintage glider conviction

Peter currently lives near Ingolstadt and flies actively in Aalen-Elchingen. He enjoys the uniqueness of silent flying.

In his log book are over 70 different types of aircraft - but with only 11 being in plastic design. That says it all.

(total for both books)

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