Passengers looking out of the window of the Graf Zeppelin, Hanworth, 1931.
© NMeM / Daily Herald Archive / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph by Harold Tomlin showing the Graf Zeppelin at Hanworth Air Park in Hounslow, West London. On 18 August 1931 the Graf Zeppelin LZ 127, commanded by its constructor Hugo Eckner and piloted by Captains von Schiller and Wiedeman, made an unscheduled landing at Hanworth causing chaos at the air park. The Zeppelin was 236 metres long and 30.5 metres in diameter. It was powered by five Maybach 12 cylinder engines, which gave it a top speed of 128 kph, and could travel up to 10,000 km before refuelling. Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin (1838-1917) started designing and building engine-powered dirigibles (which became known as zeppelins) after retiring from military service in 1873, and constructed the first dirigible in 1900.