Without the boundary layer research presented by Ludwig Prandtl in 1904, the sky would still be reserved exclusively for birds today. It is impossible to imagine modern aeronautical research without Prandtl’s equation simplifications. He recognized that only one region existing in the immediate vicinity of the object, namely the boundary layer, decisively influences the flow around it.
This insight not only acquired enormous practical significance for flight technology, it also plays a central role in developments in automotive engineering and process technology to this day. In 1910, he developed what is now known as the Prandtl number, which corresponds to the ratio between the heat generated by internal friction and the heat dissipated in a flow.
In 1907, Prandtl founded the Göttingen Model Testing Institute to carry out aerodynamic experiments, which was later renamed the Aerodynamic Testing Institute (AVA) and was one of the three predecessor organizations of the German Aerospace Center.