Factual Friday

Hello all – today’s topic is a short one but I found it interesting. The Zeppelin (not the band, but the ship).


The Zeppelin Airship was created by Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin. It started in draft form as early as 1874. However, the first ship wasn’t actually launched until 1900. Germany purchased approximately 14 ships and used them during WWI by both the German Navy and Army. Mostly used for reconnaissance missions, the ships were also used by the Army for bombing raids. The U.S. and Britain also commissioned these style of ships mostly used between WWI and WWII. The U.S. used them in their Navy while the British used theirs for passenger travel. Because of the expense of these ships, after WWI and the subsequent economic downturn, plans were scrapped for any additional ships.

The most famous Zeppelin was the Hindenburg. In 1937, the ship’s tail caught fire and the entire ship burst into flames within seconds during landing. Of the 97 people on board, 35 were killed. Despite this, other Zeppelins were not taken out of service immediately but their reputation became tainted and eventually, in a fire that destroyed the facility, the rest of the Zeppelins were destroyed in 1940.

These ships were the forerunner to the blimps that we see today around sporting events (Goodyear and Metlife to name two). In May 2011, Goodyear announced they are returning to the Zeppelins in the future. Talk about a blast from the past…this might change the saying “It’s not a bird, it’s not a plane, it’s…a Zeppelin”?


Thanks to Wikipedia!


About jenvolk5

Bank auditor by day, trivia and knowledge hound all other times.
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One Response to Factual Friday

  1. Jay says:

    I find it amazing that only 35 of 97 on board perished – based on the footage we’re all familiar with. I remember the television series, The Waltons, once had an episode that featured John Boy covering the Hindenberg’s arrival as his first major ‘assignment’ as a newspaper reporter…

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