Zeppelin, Count Ferdinand von

Zeppelin, Count Ferdinand von
SUBJECT AREA: Aerospace
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b. 8 July 1838 Konstanz, Germany
d. 8 March 1917 Berlin, Germany
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German designer of rigid airships, which became known as Zeppelins.
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Zeppelin served in the German Army and retired with the rank of General in 1890. While in the army, he was impressed by the use of balloons in the American Civil War and during the Siege of Paris. By the time he retired, non-rigid airships were just beginning to make their mark. Zeppelin decided to build an airship with a rigid framework to support the gas bags. Plans were drawn up in 1893 with the assistance of Theodore Kober, an engineer, but the idea was rejected by the authorities. A company was founded in 1898 and construction began. The Luftschiff Zeppelin No. 1 (LZ1) made its first flight on 2 July 1900. Modifications were needed and the second flight took place in October. A reporter called Hugo Eckener covered this and later flights: his comments and suggestions so impressed Zeppelin that Eckener eventually became his partner, publicist, fund-raiser and pilot.
The performance of the subsequent Zeppelins gradually improved, but there was limited military interest. In November 1909 a company with the abbreviated name DELAG was founded to operate passenger-carrying Zeppelins. The service was opened by LZ 7 Deutschland in mid-June 1910, and the initial network of Frankfurt, Baden- Baden and Düsseldorf was expanded. Eckener became a very efficient Director of Flight Operations, and by the outbreak of war in 1914 some 35,000 passengers had been carried without any fatalities. During the First World War many Zeppelins were built and they carried out air-raids on Britain. Despite their menacing reputation, they were very vulnerable to attack by fighters. Zeppelin, now in his seventies, turned his attention to large bombers, following the success of Sikorsky's Grand, but he died in 1917. Eckener continued to instruct crews and improve the Zeppelin designs. When the war ended Eckener arranged to supply the Americans with an airship as part of German reparations: this became the Los Angeles. In 1928 a huge new airship, the Graf Zeppelin, was completed and Eckener took command. He took the Graf Zeppelin on many successful flights, including a voyage around the world in 1929.
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Bibliography
1908, Erfahrungen beim Bau von Luftschiffen, Berlin. 1908, Die Eroberung der Luft, Stuttgart.
Further Reading
There are many books on the history of airships, and on Graf von Zeppelin in particular. Of note are: H.Eckener, 1938, Count Zeppelin: The Man and His Work, London.
——1958, My Zeppelins, London.
P.W.Brooks, 1992, Zeppelin: Rigid Airships 1893–1940, London.
T.Nielson, 1955, The Zeppelin Story: The Life of Hugo Eckener, English edn, London (written as a novel in direct speech).
M.Goldsmith, 1931, Zeppelin: A Biography, New York.
W.R.Nitshe, 1977, The Zeppelin Story, New York.
F.Gütschow, 1985, Das Luftschiff, Stuttgart (a record of all the airships).
JDS

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Zeppelin,Count Ferdinand von — Zep·pe·lin (zĕpʹə lĭn, zĕpʹlĭn, tsĕp ə lēnʹ), Count Ferdinand von. 1838 1917. German inventor who designed and manufactured the first motorized, rigid frame dirigible balloon (1900). * * * …   Universalium

  • Ferdinand von Zeppelin — For other uses, see Graf Zeppelin (disambiguation). Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin Ferdinand von Zeppelin …   Wikipedia

  • Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin — noun German inventor who designed and built the first rigid motorized dirigible (1838 1917) • Syn: ↑Zeppelin • Instance Hypernyms: ↑inventor, ↑discoverer, ↑artificer …   Useful english dictionary

  • zeppelin — (n.) 1900, from Ger. Zeppelin, short for Zeppelinschiff Zeppelin ship, after Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838 1917), German general who perfected its design …   Etymology dictionary

  • zeppelin — [zep′ə lin, zep′lin] n. [after Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838 1917), Ger general who designed the original] [often Z ] any rigid airship: commonly used from 1900 to 1937 …   English World dictionary

  • Zeppelin — A Zeppelin is a type of rigid airship pioneered by the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin in the early 20th century, based on designs he had outlined in 1874, [Eckener 1938. pages 155 157] designs he had detailed in 1893, and that were reviewed… …   Wikipedia

  • Zeppelin — /tsep euh leen , tsep euh leen /; Eng. /zep euh lin/, n. Count Ferdinand von /ferdd di nahnt feuhn/, 1838 1917, German general and aeronaut: designer and manufacturer of the zeppelin. * * * Rigid airship of a type designed by the German builder… …   Universalium

  • Zeppelin —    The zeppelin, long and cylindrical, was a majestic sight in the air, but a catastrophic sight when it fell and burned with a great loss of life. The zeppelin s creator was Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838 1917), a German army officer who… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • zeppelin — noun Etymology: Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin Date: 1900 a rigid airship consisting of a cylindrical trussed and covered frame supported by internal gas cells; broadly airship …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • zeppelin — zep|pe|lin [ˈzepəlın] n [Date: 1900 2000; Origin: Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838 1917), German soldier who invented it] a German ↑airship used in World War I …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Zeppelin — zep·pe·lin || zepÉ™lɪn n. family name; Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838 1917), German army officer, developer of the first rigid airship in 1900 …   English contemporary dictionary

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