Das fertige Schiff in der Halle

The LZ 126 "Los Angeles"

After World War I saving the jobs of Zeppelin employees was most important to Dr. Hugo Eckener, head of zeppelin construction company in Friedrichshafen. This was only possible if he could get an order from abroad to build a large airship. Because both building large aircraft was forbidden in Germany, and the means there of were not available, the only hope to continue construction if Zeppelin airships would be the government contract of a victorious country.

Fahrgastraum im Bau

Finally, thanks to Admiral Moffet of the U.S. Marine Corps., which was supposed to take over the airship, the U.S. Government gave the order for its construction for the sum of three-million marks which were due the Americans as reparations according to the Versailles Treaty. Nevertheless, this plan was in danger of failure, because transport of the ship was only possible by air, and neither the German government, nor any insurance company wanted to take the risk. Eckener received approval to go ahead with the deal after he went all out and put the entire fortune of the airship construction concern up as security.

Airship Technical Data:
Length: 200 m
Largest diameter: 27 m
Number of gas tanks: 14
Supporting gas volume: 70,000 m
Loading capacity: 40 t
Propulsion: 5 Maybach Engines with 400 HP each / total input power: 2000 HP Maximum
speed: 124 km/h
Operational range: 8,500 km

The LZ 126 with the American name ZR III "Los Angeles" was the first passenger airship that had to be built for long-range and overseas operation. Eckener was aware of the tremendous responsibility that he assumed with this commissioning. The ship had to not only fulfil technical requirements, which until then had never before been imposed, but it also had to fulfil a future endeavour: if it crossed the Atlantic successfully, then its suitability for long-distance transport and for the possibility of use for international air traffic would be proven. The ZR III was to be a standard of reliability and security for all later airship models.

The model name "ZR" had the following meaning: "Z" for Zeppelin and "R" for rigid. After both the "Shenandoah", a reproduction of a Zeppelin airship, and a second rigid airship that was not put into operation, the ZR III was consequently the third "Zeppelin" for the Americans.

Die beiden Backbord-Seitengondeln

Construction began in 1922, and new engines were developed by Maybach and tested during endless trial runs for the extraordinary task. The first test flight on August 27, 1924, already showed that the calculated performance data could be adhered to. Nevertheless, there was much worry about whether or not the October-scheduled flight over the Atlantic would succeed. On October 12, 1924, the ZR III ascended for its all-decisive flight. The 85 hours up until the landing in Lakehurst have been described in numerous reports. Four officers of the U.S. Navy, who would later be responsible for the operation of the ship in the USA, took part on the journey as guests. The risk was worth it: the ZR III crossed the Atlantic without any serious, unexpected incidents. The ship was greeted by the infernal noise of the city's fire sirens and of all the sirens of ships present there when it circled over the New York harbour on arrival. Since thousands of people had appeared in Lakehurst to witness its landing, the ZR III could just barely still be driven into the great hall.

Seitliche Schwanzfläche von innen

Dr. Eckener and the officers were invited by President Coolidge to attend an official reception at the White House. The President of the United States realised the importance of the event. For him it was more than just a technical achievement, and he designated the airship an ambassador of peace, with which Germany again found acceptance in the international circle after the years of the war. The ZR III, thus, had not only fulfilled a technical and financial mission for airship construction in Germany, but it had also taken over an unexpected political function, which is said to have positively influenced relations between Germany and the United States to this day.

After the dirigible was brougth to Amerika, the Keystone View Company published Stereoviews of the new named "ZR III".

17398 Zeppelin ZR-3 Acquired by the United States from Germany
17397 ZR3 Entering the Hangar at Lakehurst, N.J.
17402 The Shenandoah and the ZR3 side by side in the hangar
17403 Giant Zeppelin ZR3 overhead - shenandoah at right, in hangar, Lakehurst N.J.

LZ 126 - Stereoseries with wonderfull viewer

The Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH themselves sold a series with 24 Stereoviews. Enclosed there was a wonderfull aluminium viewer with the Letters: "LZ 126". Mr. Dieter Lorenz delved, that there must be a close cooperation with the "Bayrische Stereobildwerke". Maybe the series was produced there. Because at the early stereo-viewers was engraved the Letters "BSTW", the later one "D.R.G.M.", the means they were protected by a german patent. The stereoviews was made by Major a.D. Wilcke, who used a plate-camera and put them laterally. He took a big distance between the left and the right image, so his picture had a strong deep-effect, but unfortunately some of the nearer things at some pictures can't watch with a 3D-look. Some of the original Glasplates are still existing at the archiv of the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH.

With the same packet, a series was published from "Maybach" factory. Just 14 images was replaced by pictures from Maybach. Unfortunately here we can't found the originals.
I made a list of this two kind of pakets:

Stereoviews from LZ 126
Stereoviews of the
"Maybach" factory
Aufhängung einer Seitengondel Aufhängung einer Seitengondel
Hintere Backbord-Seitengondel Hintere Backbord-Seitengondel
Führer- und Fahrgastgondel Führer- und Fahrgastgondel
Schiffsheck wird verkleidet Schiffsheck wird verkleidet
Hinterste Maschinengondel Hinterste Maschinengondel
Die beiden Backbord-Seitengondeln Die beiden Backbord-Seitengondeln
Das fertige Schiff in der Halle Das fertige Schiff in der Halle
Laufgangteil über dem Fahrgastraum Laufgangteil über dem Fahrgastraum
Seitengondel Seitengondel
Blick durch den Laufgang Hintere Backbord-Seitengondel
Balastsäcke und Benzinfässer im Laufgang Motoren Montage
Benzinfaßlagerung über dem Laufgang


Maschinengondel im Bau Lehrwerkstätte 1. Lehrjahr
Einbau von Schlafräumen im Laufgang Lehrwerkstätte 2. Lehrjahr
Benzinfässer im Laufgang Borhwerk für Pleuelstangen
Schiffsheck von innen gesehen Wasserbremsstände
Bugkappe von innen gesehen Reserve-Kraftanlage
Schiffsinneres Werkschule
Laufgangteil im Bug 400 PS Maybach-Motoren (LZ 126)
Benzinfässer im Laufgang Wagen Montage
Fahrgastraum im Bau Kontrolle
Blick in das Schiffsheck Cylinder-Borhwerke
Seitliche Schwanzfläche von innen Horizontalbohrwerke
Hintere Backbord-Seitengondel Materialprüfmaschine