Ferdinand Ferber was born in Lyon in 1862. After completing his education at the Ecole Polytechnique he joined the French Army. He made steady progress and eventually became commander of the Alpine Artillery Battery at Nice.
Ferber became interested in aviation after reading Otto Lilienthal's Bird Flight as a Basis for Aviation. In 1899, like his mentor, Otto Lilienthal, Ferber began producing gliders.
In 1902 Octave Chanute sent descriptions and illustrations of the Wright brothers' gliders and their wing warping technique. Ferber now replaced the Lilienthal wing with a biplane type. However, the new glider was poorly made and achieved little success.
Ferber continued to experiment and in 1904 Ferber built a biplane glider with a fixed tail. This was an important innovation and solved most of the problems associated with glider flight.
Ferdinand Ferber was killed when he crashed his plane at Boulogne, 19th September 1909.