Zepplin Blimp Midtown New York 1933

$9.99

Zepplin Blimp Midtown New York 1933

  • Certainly the most successful zeppelin ever built, LZ-127 was christened “Graf Zeppelin” by the daughter of Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin on July 8, 1928, which would have been the late count’s 90th birthday.
  • By the time of Graf Zeppelin’s last flight, nine years later, the ship had flown over a million miles, on 590 flights, carrying thousands of passengers and hundreds of thousands of pounds of freight and mail, with safety and speed.  Graf Zeppelin circled the globe and was famous throughout the world, and inspired an international zeppelin fever in the late 1920s and early 1930s
  • Graf Zeppelin made its first flight on September 18, 1928, under the command of Hugo Eckener.  The ship lifted off at 3:32 PM and flew a little over three hours before returning to its base in Friedrichshafen
  • The ship’s first transatlantic crossing almost ended in disaster when it encountered a strong squall line on the morning of October 13th.  Captain Eckener had uncharacteristically entered the storm at full power — he was known to reduce speed in bad weather — and the ship pitched up violently in the hands of an inexperienced elevatorman; the airships R-38 and USS Shenandoah had broken up under similar circumstances.
  • Eckener and his officers re-established control, but soon learned that the lower covering of the port fin had been torn away, threatening further damage which would have rendered the ship uncontrollable.  Eckener sent a repair team of four men — including his son, Knut Eckener; senior elevatorman and future zeppelin commander Albert Sammt; and Ludwig Knorr, who would become chief rigger on LZ-129 Hindenburg — to repair the covering in flight.  Eckener also made the difficult decision to send out a distress call, knowing that he was risking the reputation of his brand new ship, and perhaps the entire zeppelin enterprise. The distress signal was soon picked up by the press, and newspapers around the world ran sensational stories about the looming destruction of the overdue Graf Zeppelin on its maiden voyage.
  • The emergency repairs were successful, but the ship encountered a second squall front near Bermuda. Graf Zeppelin made it through the second storm, even with the temporary repairs to the damaged fin, and reached the American coast on the morning of October 15th. After a detour over Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, to show Graf Zeppelin off to the wildly enthusiastic American public, Eckener brought his damaged ship to a safe landing at the United States naval base at Lakehurst, New Jersey on the evening of October 15, 1928.

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