Aviation pioneer Ludwig Bölkow

Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH (LBST) is named after the aerospace engineer, space pioneer and entrepreneur Dr. Ludwig Bölkow.

Ludwig Bölkow was born in Schwerin in 1912. He studied mechanical engineering specializing in aircraft construction at the Technische Hochschule Charlottenburg (now Technische Universität Berlin). After the Second World War he opened his own engineering office in Stuttgart-Degerloch and initially dealt with constructions for prefabricated buildings as well as the development of construction machines, conveyor systems for building materials and modern fiber composites. Later he devoted himself mainly to aviation and founded the working group “Entwicklungsring Süd” (Arge EWR) together with Ernst Heinkel Flugzeugbau GmbH and Messerschmitt AG.

In 1958 the company’s headquarters was relocated from Stuttgart to Ottobrunn. Ten years later, Bölkow GmbH merged with Messerschmitt AG to form Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) GmbH, which then rose to become the largest aerospace company in Germany with almost 40,000 employees. The company became an essential and integral part of Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace (DASA) and eventually merged into EADS (European Aeronautic Defence and Space) or today’s Airbus Group.

Dr. Ludwig Bölkow in front of a model of the famous Bölkow Bo 105 helicopter he developed and which became the ADAC’s first rescue helicopter. Copyright: Ludwig-Bölkow-Stiftung




Foundation of Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH

After leaving Messerschmidt-Bölkow-Blohm in 1977, Ludwig Bölkow gradually turned to questions that had increasingly concerned him in the last years in his management role at MBB and on his many global trips: energy, agriculture and transport. In 1982 he founded EAT-Systemtechnik, today’s Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH (LBST).

Ludwig Bölkow was mainly concerned with environmental problems, some of which can be traced back to technical systems as well as to the long periods of time required for the reconstruction of infrastructures. He was deeply convinced that problems that were caused by engineers can only be solved by engineers. Furthermore, after careful deliberation, he was certain that the replacement of the fossil-fuel-based energy and transport system would only be possible in the long term by means of renewable energies, especially solar energy, due to foreseeable resource scarcity and climate problems. Since solar energy mainly provides intermittent electricity, it quickly became clear to him that a clean storage medium would be needed for large amounts of electricity. Only hydrogen seemed to provide this universal property.

This knowledge, which mainly became clear at the beginning of the 1980s, formed the basis for the strategic and technical orientation of LBST in its search for sustainable development of today’s and future energy, transport and economic systems.

In 1999, an in-depth discussion between the former German Federal President Roman Herzog and the visionary Ludwig Bölkow took place on the premises of LBST in Ottobrunn, Copyright: Ludwig-Bölkow-Stiftung


Aerospace pioneer, visionary and founder of LBST Dr. Ludwig Bölkow


Storage and transport of solar energy using hydrogen

The vision developed by Bölkow for the storage and transport of solar energy using hydrogen. The three squares symbolize the space required to cover the entire energy demand of 1980 in Germany, Europe and the world through solar power generation. In this context, hydrogen as a storage medium and universal energy carrier is the ideal element in a climate-neutral energy system of the future. Bölkow took a first concrete step in this direction with the initiation of the first power-to-hydrogen plant in Europe, the so-called Solar-Wasserstoff Bayern, in Neunburg vorm Wald in Bavaria in 1985. The earth was recorded with Bölkow’s own satellite (Meteosat) created at the end of the 1970s. Copyright: Ludwig-Bölkow-Stiftung