I have seen the original document in an exhibition here, in
Madrid, named "Medio Siglo de Aeronáutica Española"
("Half a Century of Spanish Aeronautics") a couple or trio of
years ago. By the way, this took place in the "Parque del Buen
Retiro", once overflown by the Graf Zeppelin. Sagan's cosmic
connection, I guess... :-)
Regarding the airship that appears on it, not the company
all this is about, this is not a Zeppelin (please note "Zeppelin",
not "zeppelin" in the sense of great rigid airship) but the
design of Leonardo Torres Quevedo and Emilio Herrera Linares
for the "Hispania", a transatlantic *passenger* airship. The
original plan and idea was to built it to cross the North Atlantic
in 1919. Yeap, 1919. Owed to financing problems (you know, one
of the endemic diseases -regarding airships- worlwide) and the
fact that the R 34 finally managed to do it, brought about a
premature end for the whole project.
The design therefore, comes to well before that year of 1919.
Realize the number of engines (that were to be Hispano-Suizas,
I think)!! A pity. Such a beautiful looking...
Is this not indeed the certificate for the German-Spain collaboration,
a Zeppelin Company contract worked out by Eckener, Vissering
et al? (see Meyer, AIRSHIPMEN, BUSINESSMEN, AND POLITICS, pp
I've a copy (archived away) of a mid-1920s prospectus w. a
forward by Eckener. It features the very same airship shown
on this certificate.
I posit that the airship illustrated on these bonds is indeed
a Zeppelin design based on the book "Zeppelin - The Story of
a Great Achievement," copyright 1922 by Harry Vissering. Page
54, plate 55 shows this same airship with identical features
down to the placement of engines, fin and rudder shapes, passenger
gondola, etc., labeled "135,000 Cubic Meter Fast Passenger Zeppelin.
For long distance passenger and mail service."
This illustration also includes a detailed layout of the main
gondola accomodations. I believe the engines illustrated were
to be Maybach MB IVa as this design was prepared before work
on LZ 126 commenced and the new VL1 engines were developed.
It looks as though this image was lifted directly from the
original German drawings and used on the Spanish bonds.
I do not have a scanner or I would send the image from Vissering's
book. Perhaps someone else on the list has a copy and a scanner
to post some images. In addition, there are designs illustrated
therein for four more
Zeppelin designs dating back at least to 1922 when the book
was published for inter-European and Trans-Atlantic service,
providing a fascinating insight into what the Zeppelin team
had in mind for the LZ 122 - LZ 125 had they had the means and
freedom to build in the period immediately following WWI. I
highly recommend this book to any Zeppelin enthusiast.
I have never seen the Hispania design, though would be interested
in seeing some images if anyone has any to post.
Regarding the company, I'm not sure at all about it. In fact,
I regard as even more likely that it hadn't to do with airships
The airship itself looks strikingly similar to the one I'm
mentioning. Sadly enough I didn't carry any camera ... and that's
the only place where I have seen it. I have been mad about a
good pic of this airship since ... to no avail.
Are there further credits for the pics in the book you mention?
After all, it could well be like you say. Any possiblity you
could scan it or something?
Charles Luffman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I also am one of the lurkers who shares Stuart's sentiment
with a serious interest in LTA. I have a reasonably extensive
library of books and papers, including the one mentioned, and
Now it is when doubts begin. Inside my head, I mean. General
lines are very similar. The number of engines is the same. So
would I say about the careful positioning. This I would swear
in a trial. The gondola is also pretty lengthy. I can't say
anything about the interior 'cause there was not any image in
Judging by general philosophy, one would regard it as pretty
much unmistakable of Zeppelin. But this was also pretty much
so for the time, since a logic standpoint. I do remember that
I asked for brochures or someone who had some knowledge back
then... to no avail either, yes, you've guessed it.
All in all, I'm very much in doubt now. Hey, if anyone has
ever the slightest idea or clue about the Hispania, please,
please, tell me!
Andrew Stokell <email@example.com>
"Luftschiffe die nie gebaut wurden" accompanied an exibition
at Friedrichshafen Summer 2002. I think it was a proposal for
a LZ-125 which would have been a commercial German ship.
Now whether it was considered at that stage for a joint venture
with foreign companies, or whether it just happens to be similar
to the Spanish 1928 proposal I can't say!
At this point in the company's history, Eckener was looking
to build anywhere he could, and Spain was considered a fruitful
arena for such a venture. It was actually in the mid-twenties
that Eckener, Flemming and Von Schiller travelled by sea
to South America to look over "new ground" and observe meterological
conditions over the South Atlantic.
Of course, with the Treaty of Locarno and Eckener's subsequent
persuasiveness (and occasional shaming and blackmailing of forces
in Berlin) the necessary money for the LZ127 was raised through
public subscription, government subsidy and (over what would
be Colsman's final objections) the siphoning off of funds from
LZ's diversified manufacturing/industrial base.