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Zeppelin

Artifacts

A general starting point for LTA relics. Your input is encouraged. A great deal of airship materials -- books, photos, models, etc -- may be found on ebay.


Canada

In Barry Countryman's book, "R-100 IN CANADA," (Boston Mills Press, 1982) "Appendix "C" (Page 124) contains a reprint of the internationally accepted signals for airship mooring and take-off opertions.

These standards were adopted at the London Conference, August 11, 1927. This conference was attended by the GB Air Ministry, The Airship Gurantee Company, (private builders of the R-100), the Zeppelin Company and two U.S. Naval Attaches as observers.

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22 Mar 1996: George Prytulak <george_prytulak@pch.gc.ca>
Has anyone come across an inventory of surviving airship artifacts in museums? If not, would airship-list subscribers be interested in compiling one? The Internet seems like the perfect way to accomplish this. I'm sure most museums would be glad to publicize what they have in their collections. We could start with structural/mechanical components (ships' wheels, swatches of fabric, chunks of duralumin frames) and work down to memorabilia, toys, etc. Comments?

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25 Mar 1996: George Prytulak <george_prytulak@pch.gc.ca>

Thanks to everyone for the positive response! Originally, I had hoped to see the information available to all at a web site, either the "Airship Home Page" (hint) or "Airship and Blimp Resources" (nudge). If this is a problem, maybe someone can offer a third option. (I only have very limited access to the Internet at this point, and no experience creating web sites.)

I suggest we all compile the information as the opportunities arise. I can cover Canadian museums. Ideally, we should contact the museums and ask them to send the information directly to a designated e-mail address, both for the sake of accuracy and to clear it with the museums involved.

Re: content - This should include the artifact's description, associated airship(s), accession number, present location, probable date of manufacture, dimensions and condition. Also, whether the artifact is on display or in storage.

Re: private collections - This would have to be done on a strictly voluntary basis by the collectors themselves, for security reasons.

Re: scope of the project - This is a long-term, cumulative project. Definitely a challenge...BTW, similar resources are already available for vintage aircraft and surviving steam locomotives. Some day, I hope to see every artifact in every museum on-line. How's that for dreaming?

George Prytulak > Industrial Conservator > Canadian Conservation Institute > Ottawa, Ontario > Canada


Germany

On Zeppelin museum tour in '96, we saw the bow of somebody hanging on the wall in Deutches Museum at Munich. I believe 130, but don't remember now. That was LZ-127's nose. They did have a couple girders from the LZ-130 in a display case, don't remember them being a peculiar color; that does not mean they had not been treated with a different anti-corrosion coating than LZ-129, of course.

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zeppelin gondola in Musee de L'Air, in Paris

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The Museum of Air and Space ( France ) web site has a photo of the LZ-113 Zeppelin gondola which is on exhibit there.

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21 Mar 1996 -- Alexander R. Swaim <darswaim@mars.superlink.net>
Naval Air Station at Lakehurst -- I was there a few month ago (November?). The base itself is prety empty. However, there are many hangars and a monment to the Hindenberg were the control car hit the ground. You can get to the monmuent, but the hangars are almost impossiable to get to. I was fortunate enough to get a rather inexperenced guard who said that we could go to hangar number 1. I (not knowing this was strictly verboten...no, really) went over and managed to get in a side door. There is not much there. The asphalt tile floor is largely intact, and there is a lot of mechanical equipment in small side rooms. The outside is in good shape for being 60+ years old. The other hangars are from the second world war, and are not very interesting (any way, an MP stoped us, and told us that we were not really suposed to be there). The memorial is interesting. It is on the site of the WWII take off and landing strip. In all, quite interesting.

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11 May 1998 Paul A Adams <tlgops@email.msn.com>

There are a couple of engine cars in The Brussels aviation museum. Not sure of the details but perhaps someone on the list does.

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A good idea. I could start by mentioning a number of instruments from very early Zepps and a handful of pieces of L-31 which are on display in the tiny little aviation museum in Balboa Park, San Diego. Also displayed is a very large and fairly accurate model of L-31. The color is wrong, but it's a beautiful model nonetheless.

Fri, 22 Mar 1996 21:30:04 -0500 From: Jumanji <us024227@interramp.com>

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There is surprisingly little remaining in Germany besides at Fredrichafen where there is lots to be seen.

I understand that there may be a wooden Zeppelin shed just inside the Polish boarder. Without my notes I don't know it's exact location. I have heard it burned down some two years ago however - perhaps others will have more up to date news.

In Frankfort there is a rather somber monument - as are most German monuments -to the Hindenburg dead. There is nothing at the airfield.

Count Zeppelin is buried in the town cemetary in Stuttgart. Near by at Echterdingen is the monument to the LZ4 loss. It is worth the work but very hard to find. Go to the city center and look at the map. Yes the road leading to it does go through that industial complex!

There are small museums at several of he old military Zeppelin bases but most require prior arrangements to visit.

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In Doug's original publication concerning the large Zeppelin's, "LZ-129: Hindenburg" (Arco Publishing Co., 1964), Doug describes his trip to Friedrichschafen while on a European bicycle tour in the summer of 1937. He was, I believe, 16 years old at the time.

On Page 1, "Pilgrimage to Friedrichschafen," Doug writes: "The new ship was not quite completed, and in fact, her builders were marking time, waiting for the all-important decision on helium which in the end went against them. Between barricades we walked across the hangar floor, beneaththe control car, a streamlined blister looking by comparison like a child's playhouse. The fabric was not yet in place along the bottom of the ship, and we looked up as from the bottom of a giant cave, a hundred and thirty five feet through empty space which would eventually be filled by the gas cells, to the inner side of the top outer cover. Vividly do I recall the colors -- a soft rust red on the inner side of the cover, due to the iron oxide mixed in the dope to minimize the absorption of solar heat; and coating all the delicate, lace-like duralumin girders, a preservative lacquer of a gaudy, arresting turquoise blue. We came to a flight of stairs and climbed a story to a gallery running along the north wall of the hangar; but still the rounded sides of the streamlined giant loomed high above us, and the vast rectangular windows spaced along the hangar side soared even higher. Like mice staring upward at an elephant, we were much too close to comprehend what we saw."


Italy


Pakistan

The huge hangar at Karachi is gone
Karachi, Pakistan
Thanks to Ford U. Ross ATC/AC USN(Retired)

American Airship Bases and Facilities
by James R. Shock:

"A large hangar, (859 ft long, 200 ft. wide and 170 ft. hight) that resembled the German design's steel supporting overhead door structure was erected at Karachi, finished in 1929. Offered for sale about 1952, existed to about 1960, It was later dismantled and the steel sold for other purposes."

Depending upon whether these are inside or outside dimensions, the hangar was almost as large, maybe longer , than Hangar One at Lakehurst. The interior length of Hangar One is 807 ft, plus the huge external doors which pushes it out to 966 ft. long. It is 270 ft wide internally and a clear door height of 172 ft, so that's greater than the Karachi Hangar. Hangar One at Moffett Field is even larger, 2nd only to Akron Air Dock. Of course the Houston Astrodom is larger yet and the VAB at the cape the Largest in Volume within the U.S.A.


Russia


UK


USA

Frontiers of Flight Museum
Main Terminal
Dallas Love Field, TX

contact: Gerald Knox Bishop, Curator
tel: 241-350-3600

Has many original Zeppelin items including the china service from the Hindenburg, the Radio Operator's chair from the Hindenburg, Admiral Charlie Rosendahl's diary of his trip around the world aboard the Graf Zeppelin, the props off of LosAngeles & Shennandoah, the radio from Los Angeles, a section of life raft from Macon signed by 40 survivors, etc.

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National Air and Space Museum
Washington D. C.

The Hindenburg model from the Universal / Robert Wise 1975 film, 20 ft. or so, reportedly still hangs outside of the gift shop.

The plaque was modified to say that the flammable cover was responsible for the fire.

"Don Overs" <deovers@icubed.com> 11 May 2005
Allan Janus <allan.janus@verizon.net> 11 May 2005

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A remarkably well-preserved 48" girder from the LZ129 Hindenburg is owned by John Sarnovsky <chartco1@aol.com> in Elyria, Ohio. Mr. Sarnovsky was kind enough to send me detailed analysis, information about and photos of the girder. I will be posting an image here in the near future.

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Goodyear Hangar, Wingfoot Lake, Akron, Ohio -- Has the gondola of the USN's L8. During WW2 it was out on antisubmarine reconnaisance off California. It drifted down over the land -- its two crewmen absent without a trace. A strange, unsolved mystery.

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Eric Brothers
The ZPG blimp at Pensacola is the ZPG-2, BuNo 141561, famous as the "Snowbird" record-setting blimp, aloft for 264.2 hours and 9,448 miles unrefueled under the command of CDR Jack R. Hunt, 04-15 March 1957.

The parts arrived at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in April 1992. As of Sept 1995, the car, separate engine gondolas and detached upper deck were parked in the sand outside of the museum in a storage (not exhibit area), exposed to the wind, salt air, sun, hurricanes, etc.

I do not know the current status of this LTA artifact, but it certainly deserves to be stabilized or covered, if not outright restored, as soon as possible.

The -3W car at Davis-Monthan is also a worthy Cold War-era artifact, since the blimps filled the gap in Airborne Early Warning before the DEW line was operational. Good luck to Mark and the others working to get the 3W out of the boneyard and into a museum!

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Pensacola Naval Air Station Museum has an entire wing devoted to airships. It is a very impressive display for persons interested in lta and I found it to be well worth the trip.

Amogst the collection is the nose cone of a ZPG-2, in particular BU NO 141561, the endurance record holder. Rumor has it when "Tex" Settle was to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame last week, Pensacola couldn't find the materials on him.

The Naval Airship Association periodically holds their reunions there. And then there's the Smithsonian and Zeppelin. There are also museums in Tillamook and Moffett Field. Add to that all the privately held items, and you will have a nice list.

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The Soukup & Thomas International Balloon & Airship Museum of the City of Mitchell, South Dakota has a fine collection of Airship artifacts, from the doorway to the control car of the Shenandoah (I think) to some of the finest engravings and medallions, etc. Contact them at : 76330,276@Compuserve.com

Do you want inventories of private collections of unique and scarce items?

(I still wear my G. I. "Transport Coat" that the senior officers wore on the Naval ZR's - those shin length goat skin overcoats with alpaca lining and electrified lamb collars. And how about a Docking Manual for the Akron?)

22 Mar 1996: Don Piccard <balloon@msn.com>

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23 Mar 1996: Alexander R. Swaim <darswaim@mars.superlink.net>
Is the Cathedral of the Air still located on the Lakehurst base? I've never even seen pictures of it. As I recall, it is just off the base, about half a mile. It is rather small, but interesting.

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23 Mar 1996: Don Piccard
And don't forget the Lighter-Than-Air-Society's collection at Akron. Also, any member would usually be welcome here for a cup of coffee if they would call ahead, but most of my STUFF is loaned to the City of Mitchell, SD where some of it is on display at the Soakup Thomas International.....

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24 Mar 1996: Eric Brothers <aa208@freenet.akron.oh.us>
The airship car hanging from the ceiling of the NMNA in Pensacola is the K-47, a WWII-vintage K-ship car, but in its post-war modified form (ZSG-3 type). There is also the unrestored car of a ZPG-2 airship out back.

The National Museum of Naval Aviation also has *on loan* from the Nat'l Air & Space Museum in Washington the original Goodyear commercial blimp, "Pilgrim" car and a reconstructed Curtiss F9C-2 "Sparrowhawk" hook-on plane of the type used on the USS MACON.

There are other artifacts on display, some from the NMNA and others borrowed from other collections, that mostly pertain to the US NAvy's involvement in LTA.

A comprehensive list of all LTA artifacts in all collections is probably wishful thinking. Lots of material is barely catalogued with a general finding aid in most major collections (The LTA Society's included).

The most you could hope for is a general starting point!

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15 Mar 1997: CNJF51A@prodigy.com
If anyone is interested in a tour of Navy Lakehurst they can get in contacy with

Navy Lakehurst Historical Society
P.O. Box 328
Lakehurst, NJ 08733

or call:

(908) 349 4754 Mr. Kevin Pace
(908) 244 6004 Mr. Don Adams

or send me a E MAIL at CNJF51A@prodigy.com

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Rod Fleck <FLECKS-OF-FORKS@postoffice.worldnet.att.net>

Forks WA and in WWII an auxiliary airstation near here was an Airship port - it had a mooring mast and regular scheduled visits. In the log of the Quillayute Naval Auxillary Air Station there is a mention about two airship crashes - one was just north of the base by five miles, another may have been a Canadian airship (??) or an American Airship looking for a Canadian plane that crashed in the area of the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Any clues about either of these? If there is an interest, I can get more specific quotes from the log (yet, I think what I wrote is about as clear). As the local City Attorney, I have been spearheading a lot of interest in to this base and its aviation history.

We will also answer any and all questions about airships. We have quite a collection of artifacts from the Hindenburg and Amercian airships. We also set up displays in the NJ, PA, and NY area and do talks for any group in NJ that want to know about airships.

 
This site was created, written and is maintained by John Dziadecki 1995-2014. Images and quotes that are not the author's remain in the copyright of the originator. The information contained in this website is for educational purposes only. Additions and corrections are welcomed! Please send comments, suggestions and possible links to John.Dziadecki@colorado.edu. Last update: 12 May 2005