Ferdinand Graf von, 1838, 1917, dt. Erfinder; vollendete (mit Th. Kober) 1895 den ersten Entwurf eines Starrluftschiffs. 1900 machte das von ihm erbaute Luftschiff LZ 1 den Probeflug.
Count von Zeppelin (1838-1917) German airship pioneer. His first airship was built and tested 1900. During World War I a number of zeppelins bombed England. They were also used for luxury passenger transport but the construction of hydrogen-filled airships with rigid keels was abandoned after several disasters in the 1920s and 1930s. Zeppelin also helped to pioneer large multi-engine bomber planes.
Zeppelin was born in Constance, Baden, and entered the army 1858. In the 1860s he joined an expedition to North America to explore the sources of the Mississippi River, and in 1870 at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, he made his first ascent in a (military) balloon. Zeppelin rose to the rank of brigadier general before retiring from the army 1891. He devoted himself to the study of aeronautics, and by 1906 he had developed a practical airship. The German government then subsidized him with a National Zeppelin Fund.
In World War I zeppelins were used extensively for air raids on Britain and France 1915–16 but the large size and slow speed of the zeppelin made it a relatively easy target, and it remained in use only as a supply transport.
A steerable self-propelled airship; SYN. dirigible.
Or dirigible; Any aircraft that is lighter than air and power-driven, consisting of an elliptical balloon that forms the streamlined envelope or hull and has below it the propulsion system (propellers), steering mechanism, and space for crew, passengers, and/or cargo. The balloon section is filled with lighter-than-air gas, either the nonflammable helium or, before helium was industrially available in large enough quantities, the easily ignited and flammable hydrogen. The envelope's form is maintained by internal pressure in the nonrigid (blimp) and semirigid (in which the nose and tail sections have a metal framework connected by a rigid keel) types. The rigid type (zeppelin) maintains its form using an internal metal framework. Airships have been used for luxury travel, polar exploration, warfare, and advertising.
Rigid airships predominated from about 1900 until 1940. As the technology developed, the size of the envelope was increased from about 45 m/150 ft to more than 245 m/800 ft for the last two zeppelins built. In 1852 the first successful airship was designed and flown by Henri Giffard of France. In 1900 the first successful rigid type was designed by Count (Graf) Ferdinand von Zeppelin of Germany. Airships were used by both sides during World War I, but they were not seriously used for military purposes after that as they were largely replaced by airplanes. The British mainly used small machines for naval reconnaisance and patrolling the North Sea; Germany used Schutte-Lanz and Zeppelin machines for similar patrol work and also for long-range bombing attacks against English and French cities, mainly Paris and London.
In 1919 the first nonstop transatlantic round trip flight was completed by a rigid airship, the British R34. In the early 1920s a large source of helium was discovered in the US and was substituted for hydrogen, reducing the danger of fire. The US military attempted to use zeppelins but abandoned the effort early on. In the 1920s and early 1930s luxury zeppelin services took passengers across the Atlantic faster and in greater comfort than the great ocean liners. The successful German airship Graf Zeppelin, completed 1927, was used for transatlantic, cruise, and round-the-world trips. In 1929 it traveled 32,000 km/20,000 mi around the world. It was retired and dismantled after years of trouble-free service, and was replaced by the Hindenburg 1936.
Several airship accidents were caused by structural breakup during storms and by fire. The last and best known was the Hindenburg, which had been forced to return to the use of flammable hydrogen by a US embargo on helium; it exploded and burned at the mooring mast at Lakehurst, New Jersey, US, in 1937. The last and largest rigid airship was the German Graf Zeppelin II, completed just before World War II; it never saw commercial service but was used as a reconnaissance station off the English coast early in the war (it was the only zeppelin used in the war) and was soon retired and dismantled. Rigid airships, predominant from World War II, are no longer in use but blimps continued in use for coastal and antisubmarine patrol until the 1960s, and advertising blimps can be seen until this day. Recent interest in all types of airship has surfaced (including some with experimental and nontraditional shapes for the envelopes), since they are fuel-efficient, quiet, and capable of lifting enormous loads over great distances.
Sinonimi: Graf Zeppelin
A large rigid dirigible designed to carry passengers or bombs; SYN. Graf Zeppelin.