DLR Day: Planes, choppers and the Empire

Every year in September, the DLR opens its doors for the DLR Day: Experience planes, fighter aircraft, choppers and research facilities!

DLR is short for “Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt” (German Aerospace Center). Cologne is just one of the German cities with a DLR research complex. For obvious reasons, you can’t just walk in to check out their awesome devices.

But for one weekend, you can. This was their Open House and plenty of people came. You can see lots of big devices that are used for experiments or research. But the attractions (and long waiting lines) were on the airfield.

DLR Day machine


DLR Day Emirates

One of the longest lines were surprisingly in front of an Emirates plane. I can only assume it’s because you can take a look into the cockpit. Another plane was labeled “Zero-G” – this is one of those planes that are used for astronaut training. In Germany, these are also known as “Kotzbomber” (vomit bombers), named because steep up and downs of the plane are a test of your stomach.

Fighter plane
DLR Day Zero-G plane

The German Army contributed various aviation vehicles including a chopper, fighter plane and transportation aircraft. Of course it’s also promotion – Germany has a volunteer army after all.

While this was not the festival that attracts many cosplayers, a group of three were there to represent the Empire. Darth Vader, a Tie Fighter pilot and some imperial officer posed with anyone for photos. I don’t remember such scenes from the first trilogy…

DLR Day Star Wars Cosplay

Worth it?

Beides seeing machines and cockpits, there is not much to do. But if you are interested in aviation or just want to see what the DLR is doing in your neighbourhood, I can recommend this event. The DLR has also an extensive programme for students and pupils.

Location + more info

DLR Day police chopper

Mia Jaap

Journalist, developer and passionate about Japanese and Korean language. Loves to travel in Japan, but is open to explore the major and lesser known sights of Germany.

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