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Count Ferdinand Adolf August Heinrich Zeppelin
b. 8 July 1838, Constance, Baden
d. 8 March 1917, Charlottenburg, near Berlin

Count Zeppelin was persistent and indefatigueable in his pursuit of his goal to construct a dirigible for Germany. He flew his first airship -- the LZ1 -- over Lake Constance on 2 July 1900.

LZ1 was about 128 meters (420 feet) long and 38 ft in diameter. Inside was a row of 17 gas cells each covered in rubberized cloth. The hydrogen-gas capacity totaled 11300 cubic meters (399,000 cubic feet).

By comparison, LZ129 Hindenburg had a volume of 217,000 cubic meters and a length of 245 meters. It could carry 200 tons.

The cylindrical framework was covered with smooth surfaced cotton cloth. The ship was steered by forward and aft rudders and driven by two 15-hp Daimler internal-combustion engines, each rotating two propellers. Passengers, crew, and engine were carried in two aluminum gondolas suspended forward and aft.  At its first trial it carried five persons attaining an altitude of 1300 feet  and flew a distance of 3.75 miles in 17 minutes.

DATE: 14 March 1899
PATENT: 621195
TITLE: Navigable Balloon

Hugo Eckener
b. 10 August 1869, Flensburg, Prussia
d. 14 August 1954, Friedrichshafen

Eckener joined Count Zeppelin in developing the rigid airship, helped train pilots, and popularized airship travel. He was amiable, courageous, thoughtful, and a first-class pilot. He popularized the use of Zeppelins as transoceanic passenger ships. In a demonstration flight, he commanded the Graf Zeppelin -- LZ127 -- in a round-the-flight in 1929!

Ludwig Durr
b. 1878
d. 1956

Durr was Chief Engineer for Count Zeppelin. He was responsible for the overall designs and incremental improvements of the Zeppelins.

Daimler, Gottlieb (Wilhelm)
b. March 17, 1834, Schorndorf, Württemberg [Germany]
d. March 6, 1900, Cannstatt, near Stuttgart

German mechanical engineer who was a major figure in the early history of the automotive industry.

Daimler studied engineering at the Stuttgart polytechnic institute and then worked in various German engineering firms, gaining experience with engines. In 1872 he became technical director in the firm of Nikolaus A. Otto, the man who had invented the four-stroke internal-combustion engine. In 1882 Daimler and his coworker Wilhelm Maybach left Otto's firm and started their own engine-building shop. They patented one of the first successful high-speed internal-combustion engines (1885) and developed a carburetor that made possible the use of gasoline as fuel. The two used their early gasoline engines on a bicycle (1885; perhaps the first motorcycle in the world), a four-wheeled (originally horse-drawn) carriage driven by a one-cylinder engine (1886), and a boat (1887). The two men's efforts culminated in a four-wheeled vehicle designed from the start as an automobile (1889). This commercially feasible vehicle had a framework of light tubing, a rear-mounted engine, belt-driven wheels, and four speeds. In 1890 Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft was founded at Cannstatt, and in 1899 the firm built the first Mercedes car.

Maybach, Wilhelm (b. Feb. 9, 1846, Heilbronn, Württemberg [Germany]--d. Dec. 29, 1929, Stuttgart, Ger.), German engineer and industrialist who was the chief designer of the first Mercedes automobiles (1900-01).

From 1883 Maybach was associated with Gottlieb Daimler in developing efficient internal-combustion engines; their first important product, a relatively light four-stroke engine, was patented in 1885. In 1890 Daimler and Maybach formed the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft, in Cannstatt, to manufacture automobiles; from 1895 Maybach was the firm's technical director. His design for a carburetor was widely used from 1893 and was the subject of litigation (successful in England) over infringement of his patents. In 1909 Maybach and his son Carl organized a company at Friedrichshafen to build aircraft engines, including the power plants for airships constructed by the Zeppelin organization, to which the Maybachs' firm was subsidiary. Automobiles bearing the Maybach marque were produced from 1922 to 1939.

For the earliest Mercedes cars Maybach greatly improved an existing design for a 24-horsepower engine, providing mechanical inlet valves that could be throttled by the driver. He was at least in part responsible for the development of a light pressed-steel chassis with a honeycomb radiator; the initial conception perhaps should be credited to Paul Daimler, Gottlieb's son.

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This site was created, written, and is maintained by John Dziadecki 1995-2012. The information contained in this page is intended for educational purposes only. Images and quotes not the author's remain in the copyright of the originator. Additions and corrections are welcomed! Please send comments, suggestions and possible links to: John.Dziadecki@colorado.edu.

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