[WORLDKINGS] On this day - March 14, 2023 – 124th Anniversary of Ferdinand von Zeppelin's receipt of a US patent for "Navigable Balloon" (1899)


(Worldkings.org) Zeppelin's invention of rigid dirigibles led to the first flight of a Zeppelin airship, LZ 1 in 1900 which he designed. Later airships designed and built by Zeppelin confirmed the viability of the airship concept and ultimately ushered in the age of air transportation.

Ferdinand Zeppelin was born in 1838 in Konstanz in what was then the Grand Duchy of Baden. His father Friedrich Jerome Wilhelm Karl Graf von Zeppelin was a minister of state and a minor official in the prince’s court in Wurttemberg.


Zeppelin served as an official observer with the Union Army during the American Civil War. While staying at a Hotel in St Paul, Zeppelin took his first ride in a balloon. It was designed by John Steiner, who had also served as an observer in the Union army, but was now offering flights to paying customers. This is said to have been the inspiration of his later interest in aeronautics. 

Zeppelin's ideas for large airships were first expressed in a diary entry dated 25 March 1874. Inspired by a recent lecture given by Heinrich von Stephan on the subject of "World Postal Services and Air Travel", he outlined the basic principle of his later craft: a large rigidly-framed outer envelope containing a number of separate gasbags. In 1887, the success of Charles Renard and Arthur Krebs' 1884 airship La France prompted him to send a letter to the King of Württemberg about the military necessity for dirigibles and the lack of German development in this field.


He served as commander of the 19th Uhlans in the 1880s but in 1890, after his time as commander was criticised he resigned from the army. It gave him the opportunity he had been waiting for, to begin work developing his rigid framed balloon aircraft.

Working with engineer Theodor Gross, Zeppelin began to test materials that were lightweight enough for use in the balloon and looked for lightweight but powerful engines.

After writing to Prussian military authorities that he was ready to start building his airship, he found that the lightest German engines lacked power. He sacked Gross, citing Gross's lack of support and writing that he was "an obstacle in my path" and pressed on, hiring engineer Theodor Kober, who produced a design that was patented in 1895 as an “airship train”.

New inexpensive methods for producing aluminium and more powerful lighter engines began to make Zeppelin’s airship look more practical and in 1896 he put up nearly half a million marks to begin construction on a Zeppelin. With construction well under way he applied for a patent in December 1897 and it was finally granted on March 14, 1899.


In July 1900 his first aircraft, the Luftschiff Zeppelin or LZ-1 lifted into the air for its first test flight. It stayed aloft for 20 minutes. Government officials remained unconvinced of the craft’s viability and Zeppelin had to suspend development.

He went on to create a second balloon LZ-2 in 1905 and a third LZ-3 shortly after. However, the LZ-3 was far more successful and showed the potential of Zepplin’s machine. In 1908 the military bought his LZ-3, renaming it Z1. The first Zeppelins were used in civilian transport the next year. By 1914 airship airlines were carrying tens of thousands of passengers a year on trips between capital cities.


According to Wikipedia & dailytelegraph.com.au

Kyna ( Collect) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos: Internet)


towerWorldKings journeys
CAMBODIA BOOK OF RECORDSWorld Records University