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AES

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I think that like me, several UKW members are interested in aviation. So I'm pleased to say that after some study and passing a formal test, I have now been appointed as an official Tour Guide at the Zeppelin Museum.

It's located on the N. shore of "Bodensee" ("Lake Constance" in English), in the Baden Württemberg region of South East Germany.

It's a delightful area to visit, but as we live in the digital era, these days it's not necessary to visit in person as "3D Virtual Tours" using Zoom software are also now available.

In future I shall be leading tour groups both virtually and in person (but only in English!) through the largest collection of airship models, replicas, actual components, photos and documents in the world. These include a "walk-in" 100% size replica of the passenger areas of the ill-fated "Hindenburg" airship which visitors will actually board to look at in detail.

The Museum covers mainly Count Zeppelin and his 130 airships as he was born in the area and founded the Zeppelin Airship Company. But it also covers American, Italian, French and English lighter-than-air commercial and military aviation - e.g. the British R34, R38, R100, and R101 airships.

Just as an appetite wetter, the museum includes both a photograph and a model of "Whoopsie". Who or what was "Whoopsie"? "Answers on a postcard please to .........." (Or just visit the Museum to find out)!


3D Virtual Tours last an hour and cost €3 per person. In-person tours last about 90 minutes to 2 hours and cost €13 per adult.

(Please note, I'm NOT a Museum employee, purely a volunteer. So I'm NOT doing this as a business in any way. ALL monies received are paid direct to the Museum via their secure website and do NOT come to me. I'm doing this simply to keep my ageing brain cells alive with something that interests me - that's apart from my workshop of course. Also please note that before making this post I got an OK in advance from "UKW powers that be").

Links to the Museum's official website, and to their YouTube channel are below. At the Top RH of the first page (portal) of the Zeppelin Museum website you can select "E" for English language.

LINKS:


(please note, most of the videos are only available in German)

You can book a virtual tour in English at just about any time you like, and having paid your fee through their secure pay link you will receive another link to download the necessary Zoom software at no charge.

If you're making a visit to the area, a visit to the Zeppelin Museum is very worthwhile. And as well as Zeppelins, there is the excellent Dornier Air & Space Museum nearby, as well as a superb general science and technology Museum with a separate large aviation section in Munich (the nearest airport to Friedrichshafen). Munich is also home to one of the excellent Dictum Tools shops/showrooms, and there are plenty of other attractions in both areas to satisfy non-aviation people, including ladies!

You can always book a 3D virtual tour and specify that you want English (or virtually any other language), though there's no guarantee you'll end up with me as your tour guide. But if planning on visiting the area then please contact me via Private Message on UKW beforehand and I'm sure we can arrange something convenient to all.

Cheers
 
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D_W

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Well done!

The history of aviation and what was common, economically viable, etc. is fascinating.

Here in the US, private aviation is unaffordable for the average person (getting a license isn't that bad, but being able to afford flying much with it is very steep).

At any rate, the blimps are still kind of common here as an advertisement vehicle (and they do some aerial sport events shots, but that's probably something much more cheaply covered by drones now - I'd imagine the value of a huge blimp with your company logo on it here over the sporting event is the draw - and the things can be seen flying to and from events doing the same - advertising).

Are they still flown much there?
 

Keith 66

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That looks like a facinating museum to visit, my wifes Grandfather was air crew on Royal navy air service airships during WW1, he flew on SS (Sea Scout) & NS (North Sea) class versions. We have a couple of faded photos of his airship & him working on the engine. Apparently flew anti submarine sorties from Scapa flow, this may have been more dangerous than being in the submarines they were hunting!
 

Duncan A

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Congratulations, sounds like an interesting job, and I bet you end up meeting some fascinating people.
I'd better not go in person, though, if there's a Dictum shop nearby. It would be a very expensive museum visit 😁
 

AES

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Well done!

The history of aviation and what was common, economically viable, etc. is fascinating.

Here in the US, private aviation is unaffordable for the average person (getting a license isn't that bad, but being able to afford flying much with it is very steep).

At any rate, the blimps are still kind of common here as an advertisement vehicle (and they do some aerial sport events shots, but that's probably something much more cheaply covered by drones now - I'd imagine the value of a huge blimp with your company logo on it here over the sporting event is the draw - and the things can be seen flying to and from events doing the same - advertising).

Are they still flown much there?

Thanks D_W. Although I've always been interested in aviation (even before I became professionally involved) I've never been much of a lighter-than-air fan, and apart from the basics I had to do a fair bit of research via many different sources, including my own fairly extensive aviation library (both hard-copy and e-book) just to pass their "test". So yes, I am quite pleased with myself (last "test" I took - and passed - was after a Boeing 737 NG (NOT the Max!)"General Differences Familiarisation" course. But that was about 5 or 6 years ago before I retired, and was "only" the differences between the earlier B737 models, which I already knew pretty well and the NGs. The Zepp test was MUCH stiffer - AND I had to learn to "manipulate" some pretty new (to me) software, always an Achilles heel for me!

But I must say though that I learnt a lot of new stuff and hadn't realised how "really effective" airships were until I started this effort a couple or three months ago now. Particularly the LZ 127 "Graf Zeppelin" Regular pax/mail/freight air services from Germany to Brazil in the 1920's! Who would have thought it?

But yes "blimps" (i.e. non-rigid airships where the shape of the "balloon" comes purely from the pre-shaped envelope covering and the pressure of the gas inside "the bag") do still exist here in Europe, and are still flown - as you say, mainly for coverage of big sports events, advertising, etc.

Our biggest supermarket chain opened a new branch nearby about 10 years ago and flew a "blimp" to advertise the opening. (This vehicle had vectored thrust propellers - a bit like that vehicle was used by a baddy in one of the James Bond films). I'll go and have a dig around and come back later with a pic or two I took at the time.

And, just as you say, there seems to be a lot of "professional" drone usage here these days, including for checking power and gas lines. But I think (NOT sure), one advantage that blimps have over drones is considerably longer duration, so ideal for lengthy sporting events I guess.

When I've found the above pics I'll come back and post again.

Thanks
 

AES

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Congratulations.

Googled it and Whoopsie was a stowaway cat on R34's voyage across the Atlantic. 🐱

Pete


Well done Pete. Correct. That was your starter. Now for your bonus for 10. Who was the commander of that "expedition, who was the "Captain" of the ship, and what was the name of the other (human) stowaway?

:) :) :)
 

D_W

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Thanks D_W. Although I've always been interested in aviation (even before I became professionally involved) I've never been much of a lighter-than-air fan, and apart from the basics I had to do a fair bit of research via many different sources, including my own fairly extensive aviation library (both hard-copy and e-book) just to pass their "test". So yes, I am quite pleased with myself (last "test" I took - and passed - was after a Boeing 737 NG (NOT the Max!)"General Differences Familiarisation" course. But that was about 5 or 6 years ago before I retired, and was "only" the differences between the earlier B737 models, which I already knew pretty well and the NGs. The Zepp test was MUCH stiffer - AND I had to learn to "manipulate" some pretty new (to me) software, always an Achilles heel for me!

But I must say though that I learnt a lot of new stuff and hadn't realised how "really effective" airships were until I started this effort a couple or three months ago now. Particularly the LZ 127 "Graf Zeppelin" Regular pax/mail/freight air services from Germany to Brazil in the 1920's! Who would have thought it?

But yes "blimps" (i.e. non-rigid airships where the shape of the "balloon" comes purely from the pre-shaped envelope covering and the pressure of the gas inside "the bag") do still exist here in Europe, and are still flown - as you say, mainly for coverage of big sports events, advertising, etc.

Our biggest supermarket chain opened a new branch nearby about 10 years ago and flew a "blimp" to advertise the opening. (This vehicle had vectored thrust propellers - a bit like that vehicle was used by a baddy in one of the James Bond films). I'll go and have a dig around and come back later with a pic or two I took at the time.

And, just as you say, there seems to be a lot of "professional" drone usage here these days, including for checking power and gas lines. But I think (NOT sure), one advantage that blimps have over drones is considerably longer duration, so ideal for lengthy sporting events I guess.

When I've found the above pics I'll come back and post again.

Thanks

Probably not correct usage of the word "blimp" here vs. anything else. The hindenburg is what most people think of in the US if you mention a zeppelin, just because it happened here.

As far as the economics go, I could easily understand that - from a "guy walking down the street" point of view, it's a matter of one airship mostly lifting itself (or completely) and an airplane constantly spending energy to do the same. In low wind, an airship seems more like a boat - as long as you don't try to push it through the atmospheric envelope too fast, it would seem like it should work well and very efficiently.
 

AES

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That looks like a facinating museum to visit, my wifes Grandfather was air crew on Royal navy air service airships during WW1, he flew on SS (Sea Scout) & NS (North Sea) class versions. We have a couple of faded photos of his airship & him working on the engine. Apparently flew anti submarine sorties from Scapa flow, this may have been more dangerous than being in the submarines they were hunting!

That sounds VERY interesting Keith 66. I did read a little about those "airships" (semi-rigid blimps with "any old used aircraft fuselage" hung underneath). They sound VERY hairy to me, and as you say, I don't think I'd like to have been in either a sub OR that sort of "airship" in those days. IF you're interested there's a very interesting pair of books written by Andrew Wareham (on Amazon, apart from other places). I forget the titles, but if you PM me I'll look them up. Fictional, but from the v little I know about those vehicles, pretty accurate in the technical details.

Would your wife have any pictures by any chance? If so I'd be very pleased to have a scanned copy.
 

AES

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Probably not correct usage of the word "blimp" here vs. anything else. The hindenburg is what most people think of in the US if you mention a zeppelin, just because it happened here.

As far as the economics go, I could easily understand that - from a "guy walking down the street" point of view, it's a matter of one airship mostly lifting itself (or completely) and an airplane constantly spending energy to do the same. In low wind, an airship seems more like a boat - as long as you don't try to push it through the atmospheric envelope too fast, it would seem like it should work well and very efficiently.

Yup, "blimp" is a bit mis-used (as I quickly found out during my researches). Not sure if the "VEHICLE" I was referring to above qualifies as a "real" blimp or not. You decide when I post the pics.

Re energy used, "Zeppelin" airships of the rigid type, like the ill-fated "Hindenburg" were actually pretty efficient FOR THEIR TIME when comparing payload/range curves with the heavier-than-air aircraft available at the same time (which in 1930's Trans-Atlantic times were mainly flying boats like the Sikorskys, Martins, the Boeing 314s, (Pan Am) and the Shorts Empire boats (Imperial Airways/BOAC).

Actually, "Graf Zeppelin" was pretty good but just not big enough - compared to "Hindenburg", "Graf Zeppelin's" gas capacity was only three quarters of "Hindenburg", hence only 20 pax as against 60 to 70 (+ 2 tonnes more freight) aboard "Hindenburg". But "Hindenburg" was fast enough (about 70 knots eco cruise) to cross the Atlantic in 2 days, v "Queen Mary's 5 days (and when finally available, the Boeing 314's also 2 days - for Newfoundland and Ireland refuelling stops).

But of course, after WWII and particularly with the B707, then the 747, plus todays B777, et al, we are now talking a whole new ball game.

Anyway, I'm off to look for those pix!
 

Inspector

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Well done Pete. Correct. That was your starter. Now for your bonus for 10. Who was the commander of that "expedition, who was the "Captain" of the ship, and what was the name of the other (human) stowaway?

:) :) :)

Commander was probably Brigadier General E M Maitland.
Captain George Herbert Scott.
Stowaway besides the cat was William Ballantyne. He had to arrange his own transportation home from America.


Now one for you. What was the oil weight/grade used in the engines and how much did they carry in each engine and spare in case? I don't know myself but am being the silly person tourist in the crowd. I was an aircraft mechanic on firebombers (A-26 and DC-6 mainly) in my early working years. I suspect the oil to be SAE 50 weight, likely non-detergent in those days.

Pete
 

Spectric

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You may be working in an airship museum but this could also be the future, with modern materials like carbon fibre and polymers, not to mention fabrics the airship could make a comeback with electric propulsion and although slower it would be greener and not heat up the atmosphere like current jet engines.
 

paulrbarnard

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You may be working in an airship museum but this could also be the future, with modern materials like carbon fibre and polymers, not to mention fabrics the airship could make a comeback with electric propulsion and although slower it would be greener and not heat up the atmosphere like current jet engines.
Personally I would love to see it. Great for cargo, fantastic for ‘cruising’. I wouldn’t mind long haul passenger service with it being more like vs a ship where you don’t get stuck in a seat in a tin can.
 

Droogs

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Awesome AES well done. Have to say V V jealous, I used to go there every couple of months when I lived in Zurich for the weekend, I am besotted with Luftschiffe. I have photos of R101, Graf Zeppelin , Hindenburg, Shenandoah and LZ38 as my art contribution to our house, SWMBO has about 20 paiintings. Me I just like looking at Zeppilins
 

MikeK

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I had the pleasure of taking the virtual tour of the Zeppelin Museum with AES at the helm. Although I am fortunate to live a few hours from the museum and intend to visit in person one day, the virtual tour is fantastic and I learned a lot. AES is a great host and the hour seemed to fly by too fast, but definitely sparked interest for another tour.

I used to design systems that were tested at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in the early 80s. On my first trip, I drove from Virginia to Lakehurst and my boss told me I would know I was getting close when I could see the hangars that were used for the airships. I crested a hill on Route 70 and caught my first sight of the hangars. I thought I was making great time until an hour later when I crested the next hill. The hangars appeared to be the same size as they were an hour ago. Some time later, I was finally on the installation and those hangars are HUGE. It takes over three hours to open the doors and they have their own weather inside the hangar.

At the end of the first day of testing, I asked one of the technicians about the location of the Hindenburg memorial. He pointed to a field and told me it was out there somewhere. I finally found it obscured in the knee-high brush, and it was a simple bronze or brass plaque on the ground where the airship was supposed to be moored. The memorial has since been expanded and is no longer difficult to find.
 

AES

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Commander was probably Brigadier General E M Maitland.
Captain George Herbert Scott.
Stowaway besides the cat was William Ballantyne. He had to arrange his own transportation home from America.


Now one for you. What was the oil weight/grade used in the engines and how much did they carry in each engine and spare in case? I don't know myself but am being the silly person tourist in the crowd. I was an aircraft mechanic on firebombers (A-26 and DC-6 mainly) in my early working years. I suspect the oil to be SAE 50 weight, likely non-detergent in those days.

Pete
Cor, Pete, that's a tough one. During my apprenticeship I had a little to do with "big round engines" but those were mainly the sleeve-valved Hercules and Centaurus, plus the Alvis Leonides. Though in RAF service at the time (along with the R-R Griffon) I never had any connection with any of them once I'd graduated.

So BEFORE I do some research, I'd say the easy answer to your Q re oil quantity would be "a lot"! As to the grade, "no idea" but I guess that thinking we're talking the 1930s, you'd be correct in assuming non-detergent/not ester lube. I'll come back to you all on that IF I can find some answers. (I'm still trying to find those pix I took of that advertising "blimp").

Interestingly Scott was also captain of the R100 which made a successful flight UK/Montreal/UK (though there was a case of flying into heavy weather over the St. Lawrence and ripping a substantial area of fin covering - which they fixed in flight BTW!!!!), AND he was also "advisory capacity" (and probably issuing orders) when the R101 hit the hill in Beauvais. The public enquiry into that crash is/was generally considered to be a whitewash BTW.

Anyway, back to your oil Qs later. Thanks for your interest.
 

AES

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I had the pleasure of taking the virtual tour of the Zeppelin Museum with AES at the helm. Although I am fortunate to live a few hours from the museum and intend to visit in person one day, the virtual tour is fantastic and I learned a lot. AES is a great host and the hour seemed to fly by too fast, but definitely sparked interest for another tour.

I used to design systems that were tested at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in the early 80s. On my first trip, I drove from Virginia to Lakehurst and my boss told me I would know I was getting close when I could see the hangars that were used for the airships. I crested a hill on Route 70 and caught my first sight of the hangars. I thought I was making great time until an hour later when I crested the next hill. The hangars appeared to be the same size as they were an hour ago. Some time later, I was finally on the installation and those hangars are HUGE. It takes over three hours to open the doors and they have their own weather inside the hangar.

At the end of the first day of testing, I asked one of the technicians about the location of the Hindenburg memorial. He pointed to a field and told me it was out there somewhere. I finally found it obscured in the knee-high brush, and it was a simple bronze or brass plaque on the ground where the airship was supposed to be moored. The memorial has since been expanded and is no longer difficult to find.

Thanks Mike. I've never been to Lakehurst, but last time I was around the area (a while back I admit) the 2 airship sheds at Cardington (near Bedford) were still there, though in some disrepair.
 

AES

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Personally I would love to see it. Great for cargo, fantastic for ‘cruising’. I wouldn’t mind long haul passenger service with it being more like vs a ship where you don’t get stuck in a seat in a tin can.

There are some experiments in that area, but although I haven't been following closely, I don't think there's been too much outright success. Yet? But certainly in terms of the environment and shifting at least heavy/bulky cargo, the idea seems to make a lot of sense.

However the Zeppelin company does still exist at Freidrichshafen, and when in the area one often sees the apparently huge "Zeppelin NT" (New Technology) flying around. Holds I think 20 pax and you can buy sightseeing flights AND get a conducted tour of the factory where they built it. It's called New Technology because as well as the use of ali in the structure, they also use carbon fibre/composite tubing, plus I think a rather advanced synthetic material for the outer covering. AND the gas used is Helium!! And I THINK it's vectored thrust too (not sure).
 

AES

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Found the "blimp" pictures. (Just for info "Migros" is the leading supermarket chain here in Switzerland).

Migros Blimp Lupsi.JPG


DSC01681-E.JPG


Cheers.
 
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