In Germany, a City's Famed Industry Now Helps Keep It Afloat [Free registration may be required]
Return of the Zeppelin
Dark Autumn: The 1916 German Zeppelin Offensive
Zeppelin NT [Macromedia Flash Player]
First World War: Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin
NPR: Remembering the Hindenburg in Verse [Real Player]
1937 was not a good year for zeppelins. That year, the Hindenburg caught fire while attempting to dock at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey and was destroyed in less than two minutes. Public confidence in these unusually shaped flying machines was effectively shattered, and it seemed as if they would remain a rather curious side diversion in aviation history. Yet, interest in these rigid airships has grown significantly in recent years, and the Airship Ventures Company in California recently announced that they would be offering aerial sightseeing tours of San Francisco in the near future. Of course, the zeppelin business remains relatively small, but there are a number of companies (including Germany's ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik) that see great potential for future growth. Zeppelins have been used in a variety of commercial endeavors lately, including one that found work in the DeBeers diamond company, where it was deployed in diamond exploration before it met an untimely end at the hands of a dust devil while it was parked on the ground. It will probably be sometime before trans-Atlantic zeppelin flights become a reality, but for those willing to pay $300 for a half hour flight aboard such a titan of the sky, it would seem that that is merely a pittance for such a privilege.
The first link will lead interested parties to a piece from New Hampshire Public Radio that discusses the reemergence of zeppelins. Also, the feature includes comments from Airship Ventures' CEO, Alexandra Hall. Moving on, the second link will take visitors to an article from this Monday's New York Times on the zeppelin industry in Friedrichschafen, Germany. The third link leads to an excellent piece of reporting from the Daily Mail's own Christopher Hudson on the history of these flying machines. The fourth link will whisk users away to a section of "The War Times Journal" site, which investigates the 1916 German Zeppelin offensive over London and environs. The fifth link leads to the homepage of the Zeppelin NT Company, where zeppelins and zeppelin-related accessories are made. The sixth link leads to a short biography of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, the man responsible for inventing and popularizing the zeppelin at the turn of the nineteenth century. Finally, the last link leads to a National Public Radio feature that includes a bit of verse about the ill-fated Hindenburg written by Joe Pacheco who saw the explosion of that particular zeppelin on May 6, 1937.