from Zeppelin’s announcements page, dated April 19, 2002:
Want to ride in a Zeppelin? Me too! The next season begins 19 April. Book flights via Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei: http://www.zeppelinflug.de/pages/D/buchung.htm. Auf deutsch. € 335,00 – € 370,00 per person. Tell them I sent you. They’ll look at you strangely 🙂
Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei GmbH
Telefon: +49 (0) 75 41 / 59 00 – 0
Telefax: +49 (0) 75 41 / 59 00 – 499
Hey look! The krauts have a webcam pointed at the zeps!
Here’s a googlefish tranny of the deustchsprak about the webcam:
“Our Web Cam shows pictures of the anchorage for the zeppelin NT with telephoto and wide angle. The pictures are updated once in the minute by the camera. We wish you much fun with the observation of the zeppelins.”
Lessee now… As I recall, this company is actually related to the old, prewar Zeppelin company started by Herr Zeppelin at Freidrechshafen around the turn of the century and continued under the leadership of Dr. Hugo Eckener until the Hindenburg disaster. That company, though, was pretty well wrecked by both wars.
Hm, understanding the actual ties of the old company to this one must be pretty complex; I’m sure the current proprietors must be eager to embrace everything about the old Zeps except their actual use as aerial terror weapons during World War One (however abject a failure such deployment proved to be) and as ambassadors of Nazi propaganda up to the eve of World War Two.
Which leaves pretty much just the technology itself, abstracted from any messy real-world political or economic considerations.
The Great Zeppelin Raid on England of 1916 is thoroughly documented in the eassy at this link. The essay begins with these words:
This article was begun on January 31st, 1996, at just before 9.00 p.m. At around that time and on that date eighty years before, two German airships were flying South over Shropshire, and although they didn’t know it, they would soon bomb my town, and almost kill my great grandfather, my grandmother and her sister.
Which is a great lead. Go read it.
There’s a great but also terrible movie, made with a generous budget in 1970, called “Zeppelin“, starring Michael York and Elke Sommer, which is about a fictional spy mission involving a German military zeppelin. If love the LTA, you’ll dig the flick, which is geektacular for it’s accurate recreation of the scale of the great ships and for the detailed, persnickety recreation of the control deck of a German military zeppelin. The control systems for the zeps were borrowed, in part, from the control systems of u-boats, with a seaman (or naval airman, in this case) at two independent attitude wheels, one for steering starboard and port, and one for setting climb and dive inclination.
Bouyancy was controlled by dropping water from ballast tanks, and venting gas as needed – very similar in principle to the bouyancy controls on a submarine.
I actually learned about the control system for these zeps from an online game, “Dawn of Aces“, in which you can select from a number of WW1 military aircraft to fly against others while online, including a military zep.
… and an UPDATE (which I have also added to the appropriate entry): I was mistaken, somewhat, in characterizing the Shenandoah as United States designed – she was actually built using plans developed in Germany by the Zeppelin operation, and can be considered the immediate forerunner of the great zeps we think of most commonly when the subject comes up, namely the Hindenburg and the Graf Zeppelin. She can be immediately recognized in photographs by her streamlined control fins; all the later ships employed more blockily shaped fins in order to increase control-surface area. She’s clearly the ship seen on the cover of Sky Ships.
Sigh. And an update to the update. first, the cover of Sky Ships actually shows the Los Angeles, built in Germany by the Zeppelin company for the Navy immediately after the end of the war. The Shenandoah was in fact reverse-engineered from a zep brougt down over England, but was indeed built in the United States. A diagnostic distinction between Shenandoah and Los Angeles is the externally mounted control car of the Shenandoah.