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Zeppelin

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Zeppelin

Post by JackRabbit on Sun Feb 28, 2010 1:35 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

What is a Zeppelin? (No, not the "Led Zeppelin" ...)
A very interesting way to fly! ... [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] ... risky, too! [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

A zeppelin is a gas-filled, [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] airship named after pioneer Ferdinand von Zeppelin (8 July 1838 – 8 March 1917). Zeppelin founded the first airship company, Luftschiffbau (Airship) Zeppelin, in 1908 after several zeppelin prototypes had already successfully flown, starting with the LZ1 in 1900. The design of rigid-sided Zeppelin airships was so successful that zeppelin became an informal term for any rigid-sided [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

A zeppelin differs from a blimp in that the latter is essentially a large gas-filled bag with a non-rigid skin. The bodily structure of the zeppelin is not only rigid, but it also contains cells for individual compartments of gas. The rigid structure allowed the zeppelin to be much larger than any blimp and to carry heavier payloads.

From 1900 to 1914, the Zeppelin company constructed as many as 21 airships, but many were lost to accidents due to weather or mishaps. The zeppelin showed great promise, however, and the world's first commercial [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG (DELAG), began using zeppelins for commercial air travel. With the advent of World War I in 1914, the German army seized control of existing zeppelins for military use. The payload and range of the zeppelin made it attractive for bomb-dropping and surveillance, but fixed wing [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] eventually made the zeppelin impractical for bomb-dropping, as Zeppelins proved too easy to shoot down. Instead zeppelins worked the Baltic and North Seas, giving away the positions of Allied ships to German vessels.

When Germany lost the war in 1918, the Treaty of Versailles dictated every Zeppelin in existence be transferred to the Allied forces and called for Germany to cease production of the airships. Ferdinand von Zeppelin died just before the war ended, leaving the reins of the Zeppelin Company to Dr. Hugo Eckener. Eckener had no taste for war and was eager to reestablish a relationship with DELAG airlines to resurrect positive public opinion of the Zeppelin. Eckener ran into problems getting around the provisions of the treaty, but in 1921 the United States hired the Zeppelin company to build the LZ126 later designated The USS Los Angeles (ZR-3). This started friendly relations between the German Zeppelin company and the United States that would prove fruitful and disastrous, both.

While Luftschiffbau Zeppelin gained headway over the next decade with a highly successful line of Zeppelins, their largest flagship, the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], exploded while visiting the United States on a transatlantic flight in 1936. The spectacular disaster, covered live in the media, made world headlines and changed the course of commercial airship history. To this day, the Hindenburg remains the largest ship ever to take to the skies, with dimensions roughly comparable to the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

In the United States, blimps take the place of zeppelins, though the USS Los Angeles served faithfully as a commercial airship for eight years until 1932. In the midst of the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] its service ended, and the zeppelin was later dismantled. Today, the company Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH continues, investing in smaller, hybrid zeppelin ships used primarily for advertising, pleasure rides, and observational platforms. Zeppelins can also be contracted for [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.].

[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] Source: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Silent footage about the disaster of the Zeppelin Hindenburg exploding while docking in Lakehurst, New jersey on May 6th, 1937. Very good image quality.

Some great Zeppelin pictures here:
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Rosebud's WWI and Early Aviation Image Archive
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Re: Zeppelin

Post by Tater Salad on Sun Feb 28, 2010 7:38 pm

Oh, the humanity! The Hindenburg disaster took place about 50 miles from here.

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