Johannistal was the field from which Germany's first commercial flights took off; and numerous aviation pioneers operated workshops there, including Anthony Fokker.
Later the area became known as Adlershof, and before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, it was closed to the public. The former airport was used by the National People's Army as a military training ground; while the Academy of Sciences of the GDR (with 14 natural science-technical institutions and six service centres) employed approximately 5,500 scientists and technicians.
Following the reunification of Germany, some of these research institutions were taken over by West German institutions, along with about 1,400 of the employees.
The Johannisthal field is today a major urban development, the Berlin-Adlershof City of Science and Technology. By 2003 a new district will be built on the 4.20 square kilometre property. The area will accommodate high-tech industries, science and research institutes and a congress centre, as well as a sport and recreation centre. The former home of the East German TV (DFF) will be transformed into a media centre. In total, there will be 30,000 jobs and housing for 15,000 people.
Laboratories, motor test beds, wind tunnels and hangars, erected in the 20s and 30s by the German Experimental Institute for Aviation (Deutsche Versuchsanstalt für Luftfahrt – DVL), are historical landmarks of the Aerodynamic Park today. The runaways are part of a new green biotop.