The skeleton of the LZ 126 airship.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The skeleton of the LZ 126 airship. A photograph from the official album of the Zeppelin Naval Airship Company, published in 1924. Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838-1917) made his first balloon ascent while serving with the Union Army during the American Civil War. He launched the first Zeppelin, the LZ1, in July 1900 from a floating hangar on Lake Constance near the company's factory at Friedrichshafen in Germany. The LZ 126 was sent to the United States as part of Germany's reparation agreement after World War 1. Between 12 and 15 October 1924, it flew a record 8300 kilometers between Friedrichshafen in Germany and Lake Hurst in the US taking 81 hours and 17 minutes