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Ferdinand von zeppelin

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Ferdinand von zeppelin

Ferdinand von Zeppelin


Born in Konstanz, Baden. Count von Zeppelin joined the Army at 16 and earned his commission by the time he was 20. Five years later, as a military observer for the King of W'rttemburg, he traveled with the Union Army during the American Civil War. It was in that service that the young count had gone aloft in military observation balloons. During Zeppelin's military career, he fought in the Seven-Weeks War (1866) and the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), serving in the armies of W'rttemburg, Prussia and Imperial Germany. In 1890, Zeppelin retired from military service as a brigadier of cavalry, but the 52 year old count was not ready to retire completely. He had been nursing a dream since 1874 of giant flying 'ships' .'He became a tireless champion of lighter-than-air aircraft.

By the late 1800's, people were attaching motors and propellers to balloons in order to travel at will. Makers of engine-powered lighter-than-air craft's quickly encountered a technological ceiling. Lifting more powerful engines and heavier loads, required a much larger

gas envelope. To attain any speed faster than a crawl, the larger envelope had to be fashioned into sleek aerodynamic shape with small frontal area. These long, thin, 'sausage' shapes tended to be highly unstable. Slight changes in the craft's center of gravity could cause the larger volumes of hydrogen to shift wildly with sometimes with tragic results. Zeppelin's design broke the technological barrier and made his name a synonym for the airship. His solution contained the hydrogen in separate 'cells' all within a long, thin, light-weight metal frame covered with

stretched fabric. His first rigid airship, the Luftshiff Zeppelin 1, made its initial flight in July 1900. While not perfect, the LZ 1 impressed some people with the potential of airships. <...

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