Around the world on Graf Zeppelin

image of airship Graf Zeppelin

On August 8, 1929, Graf Zeppelin, a large airship named after the German pioneer of airships, count von Zeppelin, started its travel around the globe. The voyage received massive media and public interest and became Graf Zeppelin’s most renowned flight.

With about 60 passengers on board, among them a reporter who became the first woman to circumnavigate the globe by air, Graf Zeppelin made the flight in 5 legs:
from Lakehurst to Friedrichshafen,
from Friedrichshafen to Tokyo,
from Tokyo to Los Angeles,
from Los Angeles to Lakehurst,
and from Lakehurt to Friedrichshafen again.

Graf Zeppelin’s round-the-world trip was the first ever nonstop flight of any kind across the Pacific Ocean. Interestingly, the airship’s commander Hugo Eckener deliberately timed his flight down the American coast to make a dramatic entrance through San Francisco’s Golden Gate with the sun setting behind the ship. Eckener explained: “When for the first time in world history an airship flies across the Pacific, should it not arrive at sunset over the Golden Gate?”

The voyage took 21 days, 5 hours and 31 minutes and covered 49,618 km.

See more items on this amazing air vessel on Europeana.

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