Named after the German Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin, an early pioneer of rigid airship development, the Zeppelin was first flown commercially by Deutsch Luftschiffahrts (DELAG), the world’s first airline in revenue service. By mid-1914, DELAG had carried over 10,000 fare-paying passengers on over 1500 flights. When war hit, it was employed to military advantage, wreaking carnage upon Britain’s towns and cities. German defeat in 1918 temporarily halted the airship business (many had to be surrendered under the terms of the Treaty of Versailles), although it did bounce back with the construction of the Graf Zeppelin in the 30s. A series of terrible accidents was soon to signal the demise of the Zeppelin however; following the Hindenburg disaster of 1937, and in the midst of a host of political and economic issues, the Zeppelin was soon to be consigned to the history books as one of the great aviation relics of the 20th Century.This new publication explores each facet of its history, and concludes by assessing the legacy of rigid airship development, still felt to this day.
This title from Michael Belafi offers a very detailed account of Zeppelin’s efforts to develop his innovative ideas. Photographs of the mighty Zeppelin at all stages of development feature in a publication that aims to chart the entire course of the airship’s history. The portion of the book that discusses Zeppelin’s and his various companies’ roles in developing and producing many of the German heavy bombers of WW I and large seaplanes is especially interesting.