1st Flight of the Zeppelin
On todayÕs date back in 1900, Count Zeppelin made the first airship flight with the LZ 1 over Lake Constance, in Southern Germany. This event is considered an inflection point in ZeppelinÕs career for balloon improvement.
Airships are a type of aerostat that were used the most between 1900 and 1930Õs. These machines are composed of two parts, the gas-containing envelope and a gondola or similar structure containing the crew and other equipment. The engines can be mounted in any of these two parts. The envelopes usually contain different gas bags to contribute with stability. At first, the gas used was hydrogen, but this was replaced by helium; the reason is that, even when helium hasnÕt some of the properties hydrogen has, it is not flammable.
Their most important uses were the mail transport and as weapons in World War I. They also were a symbol of power. However, the fatal accident of the ÒHidenburgÓ, the biggest airship ever built, and the better capabilities of aeroplanes contributed to the slope of airships. Anyway, there still are projects related to airships nowadays, including cargo transport and long-range cruising.
By Gabriel Jimenez Perera
Student at CET Services