His was an experimental approach first established earlier in the century by Sir George Cayley. Newspapers and magazines in many countries published photographs of Lilienthal gliding, favorably influencing public and scientific opinion about the possibility of flying machines becoming practical reality after ages of idle fantasy and unscientific tinkering.
On 9 August, 1896, Lilienthal fell from a height of 17 m (56 ft), breaking his spine. He died 10 August, 1896 in Berlin, saying, "Kleine Opfer müssen gebracht werden!" ("Small sacrifices must be made!") and was buried in a distinct grave at Lankwitz public cemetery in Berlin.
Not only was Lilienthal a pioneer of flight, he was also a pioneer of sporting clothes. Lilienthal was one of the first people to have specially designed clothes for his activities. It is hard to make out on this picture, but apart from some natty shorts, Otto appears to be wearing some type of headgear too.
Lilienthal in action!
He left the people amazed
The German government honored his memory with a postage stamp. Lilienthal made history.