Fun and Interesting Facts about Zeppelins

Picture of Modern Zeppelin Airship
  • The first commercial Zeppelin flight was in 1910.
  • Gasbags of many rigid airships were made of sheets of so-called “goldbeater's skin” which is made from the intestines of cows. A typical World War I Zeppelin needed about 200,000 sheets.
  • Beside standard Zeppelin, Graf von Zeppelin also patented “Lenkbarer Luftfahrzug”, a type of rigid airship made from three connected airships - Steerable air train! Idea never saw light except on paper.
  • The first Zeppelin ZL-1 was made in a shed that floated on the surface of the lake so it could be aligned with the wind.
  • During World War One, Zeppelins were used as bombers and scouts because ground artillery or airplanes of the time could not reach them if they flew high.
  • The Art Deco spire of the Empire State Building was originally designed to serve as a mooring mast for Zeppelins.
  • LZ-6 was the first Zeppelin to have wireless communication.
  • The first Zeppelin accident to cause fatalities was Helgoland Island Air Disaster. LZ-14 crashed into the North Sea during a thunderstorm on 9 September 1913. 14 crew members drowned.
  • Hindenburg was named after the late Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg (1847–1934), who was the President of Germany from 1925 to 1934.
  • Joseph Goebbels, wanted the “Hindenburg” to be renamed the “Adolf Hitler”. Hugo Eckener refused.
  • LZ-127 “Graf Zeppelin” was the first airship to fly around the world, the first aircraft in history to fly over a million miles, and the first Airship to fly to Arctic and back.
  • From the first flame until the whole of the Hindenburg’s envelope was completely burnt - passed 37 seconds.
  • LZ-129 Hindenburg and her sister ship LZ130 Graf Zeppelin were the largest Zeppelins and the largest aircrafts ever flown with length of 245 meters.
  • Before he joined Luftschiffbau Zeppelin, Hugo Eckener was a journalist and editor and had a doctorate in psychology.
  • To make his second Zeppelin ZL-2, Graf von Zeppelin had to make a lottery, collect some public funding, invest his money and put under mortgage his wife's estate.
  • On its first flight the LZ-1 reached height of 410 m and flew a distance of 6 km in 17 minutes.
  • When LZ130 “Graf Zeppelin II” was finished, it got permit to fly for only a year but not to transport passengers.
  • Mission of LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin on Arctic was to test the Graf Zeppelin under Arctic conditions, scientific and geographic research of large areas of the Arctic, measurement of magnetic field changes, meteorological measurements which included weather balloon launches, geo-photographic recording of large areas with a panoramic camera which would take much longer time if it was made by ship or by land.
  • Both, LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin and LZ-130 Graf Zeppelin II as well as the unfinished framework of LZ-131 were scraped under the order of Hermann Göring.
  • The greatest airship disaster was a crash of USS Akron which flew into the sea in bad weather and broke up.
Picture of White Balloon