Thanks to support from his father, Wolf Hirth was able to pursue his passion for both flying and riding motorcycles in his youth. He was born in 1900, passed his „Abitur“ exams in 1918 and taught himself to fly in 1922. Three years later he lost his leg in a motorcycle accident but this didn’t stop him either flying or racing motor- cycles.
In 1928 he completed his studies at university and graduated as an engineer. In 1930/31 he left for the USA to promote gliding. His most spectacular achievement there was his famous flight in the upcurrents of the New York skyscrapers following a bungee launch. In 1931 he was (together with Robert Kronfeld) awarded the first ever „Silver C“ badge.
Hanns Deutschmann and Wolf Hirth discovered the potential of lee-wave flying in the German Riesengebirge mountains. Further expeditions with Walter Georgii and others led him to South America and, in 1935, to Japan, where he was received by the Emperor Hirohito.
In 1935, he supported his friend Martin Schempp in founding the company "Sportflugzeugbau Göppingen Martin Schempp".
The first gliders produced by Schempp-Hirth were the aerobatics-capable training single-seater Gö-1 "Wolf" and the high-performance glider Gö-3 "Minimoa", both designed by Wolf Hirth.
Also in 1935, he patented the design for the first ever drive for a glider which had a fully retractable propeller pylon and in 1940/41 this project was completed.
In 1938 Wolf Hirth officially joined the company as a shareholder, mainly responsible for the design, and the company changed its name to Sportflugzeugbau Schempp-Hirth. During the same year, the company moved to Kirchheim unter Teck, where it still resides today.
In 1950, Wolf Hirth was one of the founding members of the German Aeroclub (DAeC) and became its first ever president. He was permanently engaged in many areas of sports aviation and in 1958 the Féderation Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) awarded him with the Lilienthal Medal for his life-long dedication to flying activities.
On 25th July, 1959 he was killed in an accident with a Lo 150 glider.