The dirigible LZ 127 "Graf Zeppelin"
(Photo: Rolf Carl)

LZ 127 - Graf Zeppelin

Since the success of the ZR III also inspired the German people, who were discouraged by the lost war, Dr. Eckener went on tour several months with its crew, showed photographs from the trip, and collected two and one-half million marks during the action which became famous as the "Eckener Donation". About 30% of the cost of construction for a new dirigible was covered with it. One third was contributed by the federal government, and the rest was financed by private means.

Blick vom Heck durch das ganze Luftschiff

In September of 1928, the airship construction company in Friedrichshafen was successful with the completion of a new airship, the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin, and in the meantime the size restrictions of the Versailles Treaty had been lifted. Exactly twenty-one months passed from the start of its construction to its first flight. This was an astonishingly short time considering that the total construction time of the smaller LZ 126 lasted twenty-six additional months.
The dimensions of the construction hall in Friedrichshafen limited the bulk of the new ship, resulting in unfavourable elongation proportions. Consequently, since the length and the greatest diameter could not be optimally adjusted to one another, a relatively long cylindrical central portion had to be tolerated because of the fixed maximum length. This was the only possible way to still accommodate an acceptable supporting-gas volume. Essentially, the basic ground plan of the LZ 127 corresponded with that of the LZ 126. The so-called "axial walkway" ran a few meters below the hull's axis of rotation. It was necessary because of the division of the gas installation into upper supporting-gas tanks and lower fuel tanks, and it made access possible to now higher-lying valves of the hydrogen tanks.

Aufenthalts- und Speiseraum (LZ-series)

The total volume of the ship consisted of 75,000 m³ of supporting-gas and 30,000 m³ of fuel that propelled the engines. It had a length of 236 m and a maximum diameter of 30.5 m. Five Maybach engines with 530 HP each brought a total output of 2650 HP. The highest speed was 110 km/h, and the range was increased up to 12,000 km.

The first flight of the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin took place on September 18, 1928.

Dr. Eckener (Photo: Rolf Carl, LZ-Archiv)

It has been 40 years since the "Graf Zeppelin" made its great flight round-the-world in the summer of 1929. The American newspaper publisher, Hearst, secured himself the reporting monopoly for the world tour, by which the financing was guaranteed. Enough experience had been gathered on numerous journeys to attempt a project of this kind, and only three intermediate landings were planned. The only stipulation that the publisher, Hearst, laid for his part of the financing was that the start should take place at the Statue of Liberty in New York. So the LZ 127 travelled there first from Friedrichshafen for the official start on August 7, 1929. The airship was back in Friedrichshafen on August 10, and it started eastwards a second time on the morning of August 15. The American guests onboard could appreciate the fact, that for the Germans, this was the official beginning of the world trip. After the stopover in Tokyo, which was an unforgettable experience for the Japanese as well as for the passengers and the crew, the LZ 127 headed onto its destination, Los Angeles, on the most difficult part of the trip, the crossing of the vast Pacific Ocean, which no person had ever crossed non-stop in this way before. The airship reached America after 68 hours - this time from the east. San Francisco greeted the airship in the already familiar way with the wailing of all available sirens. After its landing in Los Angeles, the LZ 127 was further on its way straight across the North American Continent to Lakehurst, where the first journey around the world by air, officially ended for the Americans. Although the Zeppelin team was already used to being received enthusiastically, the reception in New York surpassed everything that they had ever experienced. The "Zeppelin" had - so it seemed - conquered the skies for all times.

wrongly with LZ 126 pictures (not 3D)

Not only the trip around-the-world, but also the polar journey, which took place in 1931, as well as the adoption of regular air service to South America, made the Zeppelin airships world-famous. In June 1937 the LZ 127 was taken out of service and was established as a museum in Frankfurt. In the spring of 1940 is was dismantled by order of Göring.

Becaus the LZ 127 was the most popular and longest time used Zeppelin there can be found the most stereoview from it. Same as for the LZ 126, the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH puplished a new series titeled LZ 127 "Graf Zeppelin. This series included 30 images, but I think you got it smaler with 15 or 24 pictures, too. I don't know exactly. There was a wonderfull aluminium stereoviewer included with the word: "Zeppelin". Later they sold another Viewer made by black colored sheet metal. The people could by this pictures at the Zeppelin-docks or during a flight.
From one wonderfull pictere with a view inside the building Zeppelin from back to the nose there are found the original glas-plates at the LZ-archive. Farther 4 Plates that was not published in the series:
1. inside view of the "axial walkway", 2 view to the platform for package and the sleeping crew members 3. View inside a fin, 4. Worker

cook Mr. Manz inside the kitchen
(Aufn. Rolf Carl)

From about 1929 - 31 the Zeppelin Luftschiffbau engaged Mr. Rolf Carl as a photographer. One of his cameras was a Rolleidoskop. With this he made Stereoviews of the dirigible. Some of his photos was integrated die the LZ 127 series - for instance the impressive picture from the cook Mr. Manz in his small kitchen. From a trip to South Amerika there was published another series, but it's very rare, so the LZ-archives didn't have it. I don't know, which pictures are inside of it. Inside a part of his heritage, that the LZ-archives own, there are about 100 stereoview in different quality.

Start (Awuco-Aufnahme)

Next the company Awuco (Graph. Kunst- und Verlagsanstalt A. Weber & Co., Stuttgart), published 4 series with stereoviews from the dirigible LZ 126. The first and the second one had 12 pictures with same motives like the serie from the Luftschiffbau Friedrichshafen. The third and the fourth series showed 15 images from the realised dirigible. But there was found the last series with 12 pictures, too.

"The Zeppelin's Rendezvous with the Eternal Desert and the More than 4000-Year-old Pyramidsof Giza, Egypt" (Keystone)

The Raumbild-Verlag Otto Schönstein published in his monthly journal stereoviews from different themes. Inside one paper her showed 3 images from the Zeppelin themselves ((Jahrg.I Heft 1: "Anfahrt des LZ 127 zur Landung"; "LZ 127: Abfangen der Führergondel"; ""Graf Zeppelin" nach dem Einhallen") and inside another journal 3 pictures from the museum, that was included at the Zeppelin-docks. At the Schönstein-book: "Deutsche Gaue" there is one picture from the LZ 127 floating over the Marie-church at Munich.
One of the Schönstein-photographer made a series from LZ 127 landing in Friedrichshafen. This pictures were never published. They can be found at archives of the "Deutsche Historisch Museum" in Berlin. If you go to there and pick out the picture yourself (out of 30.000), they can make repros (for payment).

The Keystone View Company published at their world- and airplanes-series following stereoviews:
32277 "Graff Zeppelin inside of Hangar at Lakehurst, New Jersey"
8632 "The Zeppelin's Rendezvous with the Eternal Desert and the More than 4000-Year-old Pyramidsof Giza, Egypt"
8627 "Airplanes - The Graf Zeppelin Flying over ther Pyramids"

Inside the series "GERMANY VOL. I" Keystone hat a picture titled: "Friedrichshafen, Germany, is the Home of the Zeppelin" (Bild-Nr. 33371), there is seen the "Graf Zeppelin" from the backside with the sawastica on the fins.

I know just a few privat photos, most of them with less quality.

List of the pictures inside the LZ 127 - series (no garantee)
Series from Luftschiffbau-Zeppelin

1. Awuco-Serie
(gleiche Bilder wie LZ-Serie)

3. Awuco-series
4. Awuco-series
Im Aufenthaltsraum Heckansicht Ausbringen aus der Halle Ausbringen aus der Halle
Aufenthalts- und Speiseraum Im Steuerraum Ausbringen aus der Halle Ausbringen
Mannschaftsraum Im Navigationsraum Aufstieg Vor dem Aufstieg
Blick in eine Schlafkabine Blick in die Schlafkabine Aufstieg Vor dem Aufstieg
Schlafkabine bei Tag Blick in die Funkkabine Abfahrt Vor dem Aufstieg
Küche (Koch Manz) Mannschafts-Waschraum Abfahrt Vor dem Aufstieg
Verbindungsgang zu den Passagierkabinen Schlafkabine bei Nacht Haltemannschaft erwartet das Schiff Aufstieg
Fahrgast-Waschraum Hilfssteuer in der Heckflosse Anfahrt In Fahrt über dem Bodensee
Fahrgast-Waschraum mit Treppe zum Laufgang Fahrgast-Waschraum Landung Gelandet
Besatzungs-Schlafraum Besatzungs-Schlafraum Vor dem Abfangen Einbringen in die Halle
Im Navigations-Raum Mannschaftsraum Gelandet Einbringen
Im Steuerraum Aufgang zur Bugspitze Schiffsbug mit Führergondel Einbringen
Seitenlaufgang   Schiffsheck Einbringen
Führer und Fahrgastgondel im Bau
2. Awuco-Serie
(gleiche Bilder wie LZ-Serie)
Schiffsheck mit hinterer Maschinengondel Einbringen
Heckansicht Seitenlaufgang Einbringen in die Halle Einbringen in die Halle
Die Ruderanlagen des Luftschiffes über der unteren Leitwerk-Fläche    
Manschafts-Waschraum Innenraum vom Heck aus gesehen    
Blick in den unteren Laufgang Innenaufnahme, Blick gegen die Bugkappe    
Blick in die Funkkabine Seitenansicht des Gerippes, vom Heck aus gesehen    
Aufgang zur Bugspitze Unterer Laufgang über den Kabinen    
Innenaufnahme. Auftieg zum oberen Laufsteg und zur Plattform Innenaufnahme. Austieg zum oberen Laufsteg und zur Plattform    
Innenraum, vom Bug aus gesehen Führer- und Fahrgastgondel im Bau    
Innenraum, vom Heck aus gesehen Innenaufnahme, Blick gegen das Heck    
Hilfssteuer in der Heck-Flosse Blick in den unteren Laufgang    
Unterer Laufgang über den Kabinen Aufenthalts- und Speiseraum    
Seitenansicht des Gerippes, vom Heck aus gesehen Innenraum vom Bug aus gesehen    
Innenaufnahme. Blick gegen die Bugkappe      
Innenaufnahme. Blick gegen das Heck      
Über der unteren Leitwerk-Fläche      
Aufenthaltsräume für die Besatzung