"Freidrichshafen, Germany (on Lake Constance)" Friedrichshafen by leecouk12324
Friedrichshafen Travel Guide: 36 reviews and 97 photos
I never seen anything as smooth as these new Zeppelins comming in to land - they are so graceful and magnificent. They are used of course now for tourism but it is very expensive for a flight.
Museum is worth a visit though - with replica scale models of all Airships use in the 1st Word War and you really get the idea of how huge the Zeppelin Airships were - they could carry lots of bombs and everything for the raids of London but their sheer size also meant they were easier to hit - and once hit they exploded due to being filled with Hydrogen Gas.
Worth reading about the History of Airships first being used for Cross Atlantic Flights for tourists which were the luxury travel of their time and you could do the journey much faster than by ship.
Americans refused to supply the Germans with Helium for the Passenger Airships because they were worried about Airships being used for Nazi Propoganda. This did not stop the Germans - and they used Hydrogen for the passenger ships for a very many years - a desicion that was going to have grave effects some years later when the Hindenburg Airship exploded on 6th May, 1937 during a thunderstorm when comming into land in the USA.
You will find lots of info on Airships on Internet - especially The Hindenburg and there is a video of the tragedy.
There is also a very good book called "The Hindenburg" which is all about Airships.
Today the new technology in the Airships means that the Hemium cirulates around the Airship so it is contained rather than being released.
When i was in Friedrichshafen in 2005 - an Airship had just been sold to South Africa for flying low over the ground at night with night vision looking for diamonds - and i think one had been sold to Japan (or China - but i think Japan) (but Russians would not allow for it to fly over their land so it had to be sent by ship).
They are of course extremely expensive to buy (like the large one they sold to Africa) - a few billion i think
The pic here is the small one that is used for tourism flights over the Lake Constance - it is around maybe £200 per person for a flight that lasts probably 40 mins maybe. I prefer to just watch it taking off and landing from the ground.
(Notice also how small the passenger compartment is compared to the "air balloon" - and when they were first used as passenger ships they were huge - because they were competing with cruise liners of the time they could maybe onlt hold about 60 people but there where things like a ballroom and restaurant and viewing platforms and, err - yes - smoking roooms - so the Zeppelins really were huge - the balloon had to be much bigger of course - because of all this).
One of the most magnificent pictures and famous pictures of an Airship i think is the Hindenburg flying over Manhatten Island, New York.
Great Britain also had Airships during the 1st World War - i think they were very small and more manouverable than the Zeppelins of course
There are many other countries had Airships - ncluding the USA.
Weblink - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bhGPHNX7wo&NR=1
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