Zeppelin LZ 1

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Zeppelin LZ 1
Ascent of Zeppelin LZ 1 in Lake Constance, Germany.
Role Experimental Zeppelin
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Luftschifffahrt
Designer Theodor Kober
First flight 2 July 1900
Introduction 1900
Status Scrapped
Primary user unknown
Number built 1

The Zeppelin LZ 1 was the first truly successful experimental rigid airship. It was first flown from a floating hangar on Lake Constance, near Friedrichshafen in southern Germany on 2 July 1900.[1] "LZ" stood for Luftschiff Zeppelin, or "Airship Zeppelin".

Designing and development[change | change source]

The Lexikon der gesamten Technik, second Auflage 1904–1920, included this plan of the LZ 1.

Count Zeppelin had been devoting his energies to the design of large rigid-framed airships since his retirement from the army in 1890. In 1898 he established the Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Luftschifffahrt. The company had a subscribed capital of 800,000 Deutschmarks, of which Zeppelin contributed 300,000 Deutschmarks: the remainder was provided by various industrialists, including 100,000 Deutschmarks contributed by Carl Berg, whose company provided the aluminium framework of the airship.[2]

Career[change | change source]

Daimler NL 1, Motor used by Zeppelin.

At its first trial the LZ 1 carried five people, reached an altitude of 410 m (1,350 ft) and flew a distance of 6.0 km (3.7 mi) in 17 minutes, but by then the moveable weight had jammed and one of the engines had failed: the wind then forced an emergency landing. After repairs and alterations the ship flew two more times, on 17 and 24 October, showing its potential by beating the speed record then held by the electric-powered French Army non-rigid airship, La France of 6 kilometres per hour (3.2 kn; 3.7 mph), but this did not convince the possible investors. Because funding was exhausted, Graf von Zeppelin had to dismantle the airship, sell the scrap and tools and liquidate the company.

Notes and references[change | change source]

  1. Lueger, Otto: Lexikon der gesamten Technik und ihrer Hilfswissenschaften, Bd. 1 Stuttgart, Leipzig 1920., S. 404–412. Luftschiff
  2. Robinson 1973 p. 23
  • Robinson, Douglas H. (1973) Giants in the Sky Henley-on-Thames, Foulis. ISBN 0 85429 145 8
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 906.