The DM-series was a joint project of the Darmstadt and Munich Akafliegs. During planning all limits were set aside and, what may seem impossible today was seriously studied, such as the DM4 with a planned wing area of 70m2 (753.5 sq.ft.)expected to reach speeds of 16000 km/h (10,000 mph ).
During World War II Dr. Alexander Lippisch proposed a ramjet propelled point defence fighter;Projekt P.13a. To investigate the low speed handling and aerodynamics of this delta-winged fighter Lippisch arranged for Akaflieg Darmstadt to build a full-scale flying glider model, which emerged as the Darmstadt D-33. After the Akaflieg Darmstadt workshop was bombed in September 1944 the D-33 project was moved to the Akaflieg München workshops at Prien am Chiemsee. At Prien Wolfgang Heinemann and Hans Zacher from Darmstadt, with Klaus Metzner and Hermann Nenninger from Munich completed the D-33 as the Akaflieg Darmstadt/Akaflieg München DM1.
After May 1945, work continued at the DM1 on behalf of the U.S. military government, with General Patton and Charles Lindbergh visiting Prien to see the project. Completed in early November 1945, the DM1 was shipped in a wooden box to Langley Field in Virginia where the flow behavior of the DM1 was examined in the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, forerunner of today's NASA) full-size wind tunnel.
The Delta-glider ultimately served as inspiration for the Convair delta fighters such as XP-92, XF-92A, XFY, F2Y, F-102 and F-106.
After completion of testing the DM1 was retired to the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. for storage at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility.