The Zeppelin NT bounded on the pylon

The new "Zeppelin NT"

The Zeppelin NT Since the end of the Zeppelin-era because of the "Hindenburg"-desaster and the disassembly of the "Graf Zeppelin" I + II by the order of Göhring, there were different plans to built new dirigibles for commercial flights.

At the end of the 80ies, Mr. Hagenlocher, an engineer at the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH made a positive expert opinion about the chances of new commercial dirigibles, built with today's technology. Thereupon it was decided to take the risk and in September 1993 a new Company, named "Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmgH" was established.

The Zeppelin NT flying

After countless tests and tryouts, they started in November 1995 to build the prototype. On a triangular-formed carrying-structure all mainparts (cabin, engines and fins) are fixed. The swivel-mounted propeller gives a much higher manoeuvrability than the old Zeppelins, so it's only needed a crew of 3 persons for start and landing. Inside the cabin there's place for 2 pilots and 12 passengers. The length of the Zeppelin NT is 75 meters and a gas-volume of 8225 m².

3 Zeppelin NT in diverent perionds of building: left the prototype, right the second airshop filled with air to controll dense of the skin. Above under the roof hanging the skelleton of the third.

About 30.000 people watched at the evening of the 18th of August the virgin-flight of the prototype. Thereafter followed a long time with testing. At the 2nd of July 2000, exactly 100 years after the first-flight from the first Zeppelin-digible, Mrs. Veil, the granddaughter of the Count of Zeppelin baptised the new dirigible to the name: "Friedrichshafen".

Already in May 2001 taked place the first-flight of the first serial Zeppelin NT and at August 2001 they got the permission of the Luftfahrt Bundesamt Braunschweig for commercial passenger-transportation. This dirigible was baptised by SKH Carl Herzog of Württemberg (the descendant of the German king).

Same as in the history of the first Zeppelins, there was problems with selling and find competent carrier. So they decided in January 2001 to establish a own carrier-company, named "Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei GmbH". They are now responsible for marketing and selling tickets, like the DELAG at the time. The third and at the moment the last NT had it's virgin-flight on 9th of February 2003. This dirigible was overtaken by the Zeppelin-Reederei, too.

Alt und Neu treffen sich - Ein Maybach bei der Taufe des 2. Zeppelin NT

The plans for a bigger dirigible with place for 30 passengers and a length of 130 meters was unfortunately stopped because of the high of the investment. Also the Zeppelin NT is diminutively in relation to the old Zeppelins, he's seen with pleasure in the heaven over the Lake of Constance and other places.

There are (still) no stereoviews for sale. But I worked at the airport of Friedrichshafen, so it was possible for me to make a lot of stereoviews of all three Zeppelin NT by the years for my archives. A small part of them will be shown at the fair: "Zeppelin im Raumbild" at the Zeppelin Museum (25th June - 18th August 2004).