Website Bibliography: This list of books is selective rather than all-inclusive. I have either read these books or they have been recommended to me as being significant writings in the field of airship history.

Sky Ships

William H. Althoff: Sky Ships: A History of the Airship in the United States Navy
Pacifica, CA - Pacifica Press - 1998 - ISBN: 0-935553-08-8
Comprehensive history of US Navy airships, from its beginning to its end.

William H. Althoff: USS Los Angeles: The Navy's Venerable Airship and Aviation Technology
Dulles, VA - Brassey's - June 2003 - ISBN: 1574886215

Roald Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth: First Crossing: Polar Sea by Airship 1926
George H. Doran Company - 1927

Hindenbur: An Illustrated History

Rick Archbold: Hindenburg: An Illustrated History
NY - Madison Press/Warner - 1994 - ISBN: 0446517844
Lavishly illustrated, very well written and researched.

Thomas L. Blakemore & W. Watters Pagon: Pressure Airships
NY - Ronald Press - 1927
Non-rigids and semi-rigids and the math behind building them

Peter W. Brooks: Zeppelin: Rigid Airships, 1893-1940
Washington, DC - Smithsonian Institution Press - 1992 - ISBN: 1560982284
Extremely well researched. Lists detail on EVERY Zeppelin built in its covered period.

Carl Bruer: With the Zeppelin to South America: Diary of the Round Trip 1931
Frost Company - 2001
Bronze medal winner, APS Literature Exhibition, Atlantic City, NJ. English and German.

Barry Countryman: R100 in Canada
Erin, Ontario - Boston Mills Press - 1982 - ISBN: 0919822363

Tim Coates: R101: The Airship Disaster, 1930
The Stationery Office - 2001 -- ISBN: 0117024074

Disaster at the Pole

Wilbur Cross: Disaster at the Pole
NY - Lyons Press - 2000 - ISBN: 1585740497
The Tragedy of the Airship Italia and the 1928 Nobile Expedition to the North Pole. Revised edition of "Ghost Ship of the Pole".

Wilbur Cross: Zeppelins of World War 1
NY - Paragon - 1991

Tom Crouch: Lighter Than Air Tom Crouch: Lighter Than Air:
An Illustrated History of Balloons and Airships
Johns Hopkins University Press - 2009 - ISBN-10: 0801891272

Guillaume De Syon: Zeppelin!: Germany and the Airship, 1900-1939
Baltimore - Johns Hopkins University Press - 2002 - ISBN: 0801867347

C. Dean [editor]: Housing the Airship
London - Architectural Association - 1989 - ISBN 870890-11-6

Golden Age of Great ... Airships

Harold G. Dick [with Douglas Hill Robinson]: The Golden Age of Great Passenger Ships: Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg
Washington, DC - Smithsonian Institution Press - 1991 - ISBN: 0874743648
Eyewitness accounts written by two of the finest airship historians. Authoritative.

see also: Harold G. Dick Airship Collection at Wichita State University Libraries

[Dictionary]: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
Washington, DC - Naval History Div., Dept of the Navy - 1991
Capsule summaries of all the USN's rigid airships except ZR-2.

Ludwig Dürr: Die grossen Zeppeline: die Geschichte des Luftschiffbaus
Düsseldorf - VDI Verlag - ISBN: ISBN: 3-18-400687-5
This book is hard to find in the US as it is a German publication printed in German, but you may find it in university libraries or by ordering it through a bookstore.

Hugo Eckener [with H Leigh Farnell]: Count Zeppelin: The Man and His Work
London - Massie Pub. Co., Ltd - 1938

Hugo Eckener: Im Zeppelin uber Lander und Meere
Flensburg - Verlagshaus Christian Wolff - 1949
It's books like these that make you want to learn German. Written by the man chosen by Count Zeppelin to join him in developing and flying the Zeppelin airships.

Hugo Eckener: My Zeppelins
London - Putnam - 1958
Translated from the German By Douglas Robinson. With a technical paper by Knut Eckener. Authoritative.

Thor Goote: Peter Strasser, der F.d.L., der Führer der Luftschiffe
Berlin - Deutsche Buch-Gemeinschaft - 1938
Biography of the head of the German Naval airships of World War I.

Davide Giudici: The Tragedy of the Italia: With the Rescuers to the Red Tent
New York - D. Appleton and Co. - 1929

Margaret Goldsmith: Zeppelin: A Biography
New York - William Morrow & Co - 1931

Guy Hartcup: Achievement of the Airship: a history of the development of rigid, semi-rigid, and non-rigid airships
Newton Abbot ; North Pomfret, Vt. - David & Charles - 1974 - ISBN: 0715365517

Robin Higham: The British Rigid Airship, 1908-1913
London - G.T. Foulis - 1962

Tom Jamison: Icarus over the Humber: The Last Flight of Airship R.38 / ZR-2
Hull [England] - Lampada Press - 1994 - ISBN: 1-873811-03-9
"... an authorative account of the R.38 / ZR-2 tragedy ..."

R.D. Layman: Naval Aviation in the First World War
Annapolis - Naval Institute Press - 1996 - ISBN: 1557506175
London - Chatham Publishing - 1996
(see also: Dirigibles, Airships, and Blimps)

Ernst Lehmann: Auf Luftpatroulle und Weltfahrt

Peter G. Masefield: To Ride the Storm - The Story of Airship R101
London - Kimber - 1982

Henry Cord Meyer: Airshipmen, Businessmen, & Politics, 1890-1940
Washington, DC - Smithsonian Institution Press - 1991 - ISBN: 1560980311
Quite simply, there is information here that you just won't find anywhere else in one place. Formidable researched. Excellent.

J.E. Morpurgo: Barnes Wallis - A Biography
[Harlow] - Longman - 1972 - ISBN: 0582103606
New York - St. Martin's Press - 1972
Very well researched biography about the designer of R100.

Umberto Nobile [translated by Frances Fleetwood]: My Five Years with Soviet Airships
Akron, OH - Lighter-Than-Air Society - 1987 - LCCN: 88-153931

Lee Payne: Lighter Than Air: an illustrated history of the airship
Revised edition: NY - Orion Books - 1991- ISBN: 0517574764
One of the finest introductions to LTA history. Very well researched, nicely illustrated, informative bibliography.

Erich Rackwitz: Reisen und Abenteuer im Zeppelin
Neuenhagen at Berlin --Verlag Sport und Technik
License Nr.545/9/56; MDI of the DDR (East Germany) Nr.4342
The experiences of Dr.Hugo Eckner. It is written in lifestyle with nice pictures. -- Axel Muehring

Zeppelin In Combat

Douglas Hill Robinson: Giants in the Sky: A History of the Rigid Airship
3rd edition: Seattle - University of Washington Press - 1979 - ISBN: 0295952490

Douglas Hill Robinson [with Harold G. Dick]: The Golden Age of the Great Passenger Airships Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg
Washington, D.C. - Smithsonian Institution Press - 1985
Eyewitness account written by the Goodyear representative in Friedrichshafen

Douglas Hill Robinson [with Charles L. Keller]: Up Ship: U.S. Navy Rigid Airships 1919-1935
Annapolis, MD - Naval Institute Press - 1982
Detailed book about the US Navy's involvement with airships.

Douglas Hill Robinson: The Zeppelin in Combat: A History of the German Naval Airship Division, 1912-1918
2nd edition: Atglen, PA - Schiffer Military/Aviation History - 1994 - ISBN: 088740510X
Authoratative. Definitive. Thorough.

Raymond L. Rimel: The Airship VC: The Life of Captain William Leefe Robinson
Bourne End - Aston Publications - 1989 - ISBN: 0946627533
The story of the Royal Flying Corps pilot that was awarded the VC for shooting down the first airship (L21) over London on the night of 2/3 September 1916.

Raymond L. Rimel: Zeppelin: A Battle for Air Supremacy in World War I
London - Conway Maritime Press - 1984 - ISBN: 0851772390

James R. Shock: American Airship Bases & Facilities
Edgewater, FL - Atlantis Productions - 1996 - ISBN: 0-9649480-3-6

James R. Shock: U.S. Navy Pressure Airships: 1915-1962: A History of U.S. Navy Airships
(Non- rigid, Semi-rigid and Metalclad) by Individual Airships
New Smyrna Beach, FL - M&T Printers - 1994 - ISBN: 0963974335
Hundreds of photos are all half-toned. It seems to contain tons of info and diagrams about handling rigid airships, with closeup details on everything from the ZRS stern beam to the Ford high mast, every hangar ever built by anybody, the little- known Army airship program, Navy timber hangars and airships even in France during WWII, maps of locations by era, etc. etc. It's pretty heavy at 240 pages but it can be mailed book rate. If you tell him who to make it out to, the author will autograph and mail you a copy for $35. Tell him I sent you. His Address is:

James Shock
3208 Red Brick Ct.
Mainville, Ohio 45039-9528

Nevil Shute: Slide Rule: The Autobiography of an Engineer.
New York - Morrow - 1954 - LCCN: 54-7100
Written by one of the members of the R100 design team with details about its construction and flights. And yes, he subsequently became a noted author.

Richard K.Smith: The Airships Akron & Macon: Flying Aircraft Carriers of the United States Navy
Annapolis - Naval Institute Press - 1965 - ISBN: 0870210653
The definitive work. The single best source concerning these two dirigibles.

Christopher Sprigg: The Airship: Its Design, History, Operation and Future
London - S. Low, Marston & Co., Ltd. - [1931] (2001)
"I've read Sprigg's account a few years ago. Still learning about airships then, I found it a very complete and instructive book. It gives good explanations of the physics and the technology of LTA. It's written about 1931, just after the demise of the large British rigid program. It contains good pictures and a list of the fate of all the Zeppelins produced up to that year." Thanks to from

John Toland: Ships in the Sky
New York - Holt - 1957
Also published as Giants in the Sky. Vivid. Gripping. Makes history come alive.
And yes, this is the same historian who wrote those books about WWII.

When Giants Roamed the Sky

Dale Topping [edited by Eric Brothers]: When Giants Roamed the Sky: Karl Arnstein and the Rise of Airships from Zeppelin to Goodyear
Akron, OH - University of Akron Press - 2000 - ISBN: 1884863690
Chapter One: pdf file

Jerome Hunsaker ... Aeronautics

William F. Trimble: Admiral William A. Moffett: Architect of Naval Aviation
Washington, DC - Smithsonian Institution Press - 1994 - ISBN: 1560983205

William F. Trimble: Jerome C. Hunsaker and the Rise of American Aeronautics
Washington, DC - Smithsonian Institution Press - 2002 - ISBN: 1588340066

J. Gordon Vaeth: Blimps and U-Boats: U.S. Navy airships in the battle of the Atlantic
Annapolis, MD - Naval Institute Press - 1992 - ISBN: 1557508763
Navy blimps in Word War

J. Gordon Vaeth: Graf Zeppelin: The Adventures of an Aerial Globetrotter
New York - Harper - 1958 - LCCN: 58-6164

A.F. de Molyns Ventry and Eugène M Kolesnik: Jane's Pocket Book of Airship Development
London - Macdonald and Jane's - 1976 - ISBN: 0356046559
Same as the one below. Slightly different titles.

A.F. de Molyns Ventry and Eugène M Kolesnik: Jane's Pocket Book of Airships
New York - Collier Books - 1977 - ISBN: 0020803303
THE pocket guide to airships up to the 1970s.

A.F. de Molyns Ventry and Eugène M Kolesnik: R-36: Airship Saga
Dorset-Blandford Press-1980

R101: A Pictorial History

Nick Le Neve Walmsley: R101: A Pictorial History
Stroud (England) - Sutton Publishing - 2000 - ISBN: 0750925027
"The book tells the story in detail of the life of not only the ship, but the people behind the design and construction of the ship."

Airship Experiences Rick Zitarosa: Airship Experiences
The works of Hans von Schiller, "Ducky" Ward, Charles Mills, C. E. Aldrich and Lundi Moore. Forward by Rick Zitarosa
Edgewater, FL -- Atlantis Publications -- ISBN: 0972542361

Smithsonian Institution Press
Marketing Department
470 L'Enfant Plaza
Washington, D.C. 20560

For young readers
Heck, adults will love these as well. They are gems.

Peter Hood: When Zeppelins flew
NY - Time-Life Books - 1969 

Mareille Majoor and Ken Marschall: Inside the Hindenburg
NY - Time Warner - 1999 - ISBN: 0316123862

Shelly Tanaka: Disaster of the Hindenburg: the Last Flight of the Greatest Airship Ever Built
NY - Scholastic/Madison Press - 1993 - ISBN: 0590457500

Last update: 23 July 2014