OSTIV Prize awarded to Dipl.-Ing. Helmut Treiber
The OSTIV PRIZE is awarded to:
Dipl.-Ing. Helmut Treiber
for the introduction of carbon fibres in sailplane construction
Awarded to one of the leading sailplane designers, noteworthy for his entrepreneurship in designing light-weight sailplane primary structures. Helmut Treiber introduced carbon fibers into primary structures of sailplanes, saving a significant amount of weight while showing a higher torsional stiffness and less wing twist in high-speed flight. With the new carbon fibre technology he paved the way for manufacturing thinner and more efficient airfoils, leading to a big performance gain in the sailplane industry.
The contributions of Helmut Treiber to sailplane construction began at Akaflieg Braunschweig, in the 1960’s with his work on the SB-8V1, SP-8V2, and SB-9 sailplanes. He took responsibility for flight testing of these sailplanes and produced the famous flutter movie of SB-9. After graduation from University, Helmut Treiber made major contributions to the design of the SB 10 as part of a federal research project. With this research the first introduction of carbon fibre in a primary wing structure of a sailplane could be realised. Helmut Treiber developed the basic principles for the introduction of carbon fibre load carrying sailplane structures, together with Dieter Mühlhahn.
Later at Schempp-Hirth, he designed and built the inner wing of a Nimbus-2 using carbon fibre, together with Eberhard Schott. This wing was later life-time load tested at DFVLR in Stuttgart. The test resulted in an extended service life of carbon fibre structures of 6000 hours. Starting in 1978, carbon fibre was subsequently used for the first time in serial production of the Nimbus-2C and the Mini-Nimbus C. With the new carbon fibre technology the way was now open for manufacturing thinner and more efficient airfoils, which initiated a big performance gain in the sailplane industry.
In February 1978, in order to better coordinate the efforts to approve new fibre technologies, Helmut Treiber was one of the fathers of the working group “Arbeitskreis Neuartige Faserverbundwerkstoffe” (Acronym ANF). Over the years the working group performed a number of research programs, which resulted in significant enhancements of fibre-reinforced composites. Eventually, the service life of carbon fibre spars could be extended to 12,000 hours in 1990. Helmut Treiber stayed involved in all of the ANF projects until he finally retired.