NINETY YEARS SINCE THE FIRST ROUND-THE-WORLD AIRSHIP FLIGHT
Article By FÉDÉRATION AÉRONAUTIQUE INTERNATIONALE – WORLD AIR SPORTS FEDERATION
Photo credit: FAI
August 2019 marks the 90 year anniversary of the first round-the-world airship journey, made by German pilot Dr Hugo Eckener and his passengers in the rigid airship, Graf Zeppelin.
The Graf Zeppelin was already famous, having already made a 71-hour, 6384.50km journey in 1928, making the FAI record books for distance and duration in an airship; records that still stand today.
In 1929, American media mogul William Randolph Hearst part-sponsored the Graf Zeppelin to make the first round-the-world trip by a passenger carrying airship. He insisted that the trip began and ended in the US, and so the airship departed from Lakehurst, New Jersey on 8th August 1929 with Dr Hugo Eckener at the helm.
It was the first round-the-world trip to carry passengers. A total of 20 men and one woman – Hearst reporters (including journalist Lady Grace Drummond-Hay), a millionaire socialite, an Australian explorer, US Naval representatives – joined the crew of 40, including physicians, meteorologists, navigators and engineers to make the record-breaking journey.
Read original full article by WORLD AIR SPORTS FEDERATION here: