100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

German Airship Destroyed

In the late 19th century, the development of airships and airplanes happened simultaneously. In July 1900 the launch of Luffschiff (Airship) Zeppelin #1 or LZ1 by Count Von Zeppelin began the most famous airships ever – zeppelins. Their rigid structure allowed for massive cargo space to carry freight or passengers. Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft (“German Airship Travel Corporation”) or DELAG is the world’s first airline using a Zeppelin rigid airship founded in November 1909 and operated airships manufactured by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin. Passenger service aboard the airship began in 1910 with routes from Frankfurt to Baden-Baden and Düsseldorf. A steward was introduced later and was responsible for the well-being of the passengers. They have carried thousands of passengers without a single injury. LZ 10 Schwaben was a German rigid airship built by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin in 1911 and operated by DELAG for passenger service. It is regarded as the first commercially successful passenger-carrying aircraft.

On June 28, 1912 LZ 10 Schwaben was at an airfield near Dusseldorf anchored outside the hangar as the strong winds had hampered efforts to take her in. Static electricity from the ship’s rubberized fabric gas cells caused a spark to ignite the hydrogen in one of her gas bags. In moments the entire ship had caught on fire and the remnants of its frame, the cabins, and engines that had not burned were destroyed upon collapsing to the ground. Depending on differing reports, up to 40 people were injured.

Wreckage of the LZ 10 Schwaben – June 28, 1912

LZ 10 Schwaben

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