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  • Gustav Victor Lachmann was a German aeronautical engineer who spent most of his professional life working for the British company of Handley Page. Lachmann was born in Dresden, Germany, in 1896, the younger son of Gustav Anton Lachmann, an Austrian industrialist, and his wife, Leopoldine Wilvonseder. He served as a lieutenant in the German Army cavalry during World War I before transferring to the flying corps in 1917 and training as a pilot. During flight training he stalled and crashed, breaking his jaw. While hospitalised he turned his mind to the cause of his crash. He concluded that a series of small aerofoils contained within a normal wing section would possess improved low-speed characteristics. He rigged up a primitive flow-visualiation rig using a fan and cigarette smoke to confirm his ideas. He attempted to patent the principle, but the application was initially rejected by the German Patent Office on the basis that there was no proof that it would work. Lachman gave up the idea and enrolled at Darmstadt Technical University for a course in mechanical engineering and aerodynamics. He graduated in June 1921 and took a job with the Opel factory.

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