On this day in History


Today in Aviation History 9 October 1906 – (DEU) Zeppelin LZ 3 flies for the first time. A Zeppelin is a type of rigid airship named after the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (German pronunciation: [ˈt͡sɛpəliːn]) who pioneered rigid airship development at the beginning of the 20th century. Zeppelin’s notions were first formulated in 1874 and developed in detail in 1893. They were patented in Germany in 1895 and in the United States in 1899. After the outstanding success of the Zeppelin design, the word zeppelin came to be commonly used to refer to all rigid airships. The principal feature of Zeppelin’s design was a fabric-covered rigid metal framework made up from transverse rings and longitudinal girders containing a number of individual gasbags. The advantage of this design was that the aircraft could be much larger than non-rigid airships, which relied on a slight overpressure within the single pressure envelope to maintain their shape. The framework of most Zeppelins was made of duralumin (a combination of aluminum and copper as well as two or three other metals—its exact content was kept a secret for years). Early Zeppelins used rubberised cotton for the gasbags, but most later craft used goldbeater’s skin, made from the intestines of cattle. LZ 3 became the first truly successful Zeppelin. This renewed the interest of the German military, but a condition of purchase of an airship was a 24-hour endurance trial. This was beyond the capabilities of LZ 3, leading Zeppelin to construct his fourth design, the LZ 4. Before World War I (1914–1918) the Zeppelin company manufactured 21 more airships. The Imperial German Army bought LZ 3 and LZ 5 (a sister-ship to LZ 4 which was completed in May 1909) and designated them Z 1 and Z II respectively. Z I flew until 1913, when it was decommissioned and replaced by LZ 15, designated ersatz Z I.


Great post!
But why did the zeppelin decommission in 1913, a year before WWI, even though the German Army bought them? Was it just not combat worthy? I can see that being a reason since it’s a huge target.

Basically with a few shots, big boom boom. However they were great for troop transport and dropping bombs. They were flying fortresses. Except you know, the actual part that made them fly made it hard. Not to mention that they are not exactly stealthy.

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@RotorGuy : Lov AvHistory, more periodically pls. Here’s one from the safety net. Regards, Max

Date: Tuesday 9 October 1962
Time: ca 15:15
Type: Silhouette image of generic DC3 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Douglas C-47A-1-DK (DC-3)
Operator: PLUNA
Registration: CX-AGE
C/n / msn: 12113
First flight: 1943
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Crew: Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10
Passengers: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 0
Total: Fatalities: 10 / Occupants: 10
Aircraft damage: Damaged beyond repair
Location: Montevideo-Carrasco Airport (MVD) (|"16"x"11" Uruguay)
Phase: Takeoff (TOF)
Nature: Test
Departure airport: Montevideo-Carrasco Airport (MVD/SUMU), Uruguay
Destination airport: Montevideo-Carrasco Airport (MVD/SUMU), Uruguay

The aircraft was undergoing the final flight test required for issuance of its Certificate of Airworthiness. It was to be a visual, local flight lasting about 1 hr 30 min.
The takeoff run began at 15:14 hours, 200 m from the threshold of runway 23. This meant that 1900 m of the runway remained for the takeoff. The aircraft rose to a height which could not be determined but could not have been less than 5 m or more than 15 m. About 30 seconds after the commencement of the manoeuvre its right wing grazed the surface of the runway several times. During the later contacts the landing gear bounced off the ground with such force that the right tire burst and the landing gear leg broke causing the axle and propeller to hit the ground while the right engine was turning at almost full power. The aircraft again bounced into the air rolled over completely and finally came to rest upside down. Between the time the aircraft bounced into the air and the moment it finally came to rest, the pilot turned the power off completely. This was proved by an inspection of the condition and final positions of both propellers and the engine control switches, which were in the “off” position. Fire broke out for reasons that could not be precisely ascertained.

Probable Cause:

PROBABLE CAUSE: “The accident was attributed to a maintenance error, which was not noticed by the airline inspectors and the inspector from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. This was followed by an omission on the part of the pilot.”


@RotorGuy @Maxmustang You two should team up for a forum for each day in Aviation History. You can show something for everyday.


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