Ferdinand von Zeppelin

August von Parseval and his Dirigible Airships

August von Parseval and his Dirigible Airships

On May 26, 1906, German airship designer August von Parseval succeeded launching his new airship at Berlin Tegel military field. In contrast to his rival Zepellin, Parseval’s airships – also in honor of their inventor called Parsevals – were non-rigid or semi-rigid airships, with little or no stiffening structure inside the fabric envelope. Parseval Background Parseval was the first son of the Bavarian Councillor Joseph von Parseval (1825-1887) and his wife Marie Amélie, née…
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Auto Pioneer Wilhelm Maybach

Auto Pioneer Wilhelm Maybach

On February 9, 1846, German engine designer and industrialist Wilhelm Maybach was born. Wilhelm Maybach, together with Gottlieb Daimler, developed light, high-speed internal combustion engines suitable for land, water, and air use. [1] These were fitted to the world‘s first motorcycle, motorboat, and to a new automobile introduced in late 1902, the Mercedes model. Wilhelm Maybach was educated at a philanthropic institution at Reutlingen. His skills were detected early there and by…
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Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin and his Rigid Dirigible Airships

Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin and his Rigid Dirigible Airships

On July 8, 1838, German aviation pioneer Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin was born. After retiring from his military carreer, he built the first rigid dirigible airships, named Zeppelin, and founded the Zeppelin airship company. Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin attended the military academy at Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart and became an officer in the army of Württemberg. In 1858 he became a lieutenant in the Württemberg Army and in the same year was on…
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Erich von Drygalski’s Antarctic Expeditions

Erich von Drygalski’s Antarctic Expeditions

On February 9, 1865, German geographer, geophysicist and polar scientist Erich Dagobert von Drygalski was born. Drygalski discovered a volcano, free of ice, on the Antarctic continent. He named it Gaussberg, after the name of his research ship Gauss in which he led the German South Polar Expedition (1901-03). Erich von Drygalski was born in Köningsberg, East Prussia. At age 17, Drygalski began to study mathematics and natural science at the University of Königsberg,…
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Mixing Up a Plane with a Train – Franz Kruckenberg’s Schienenzeppelin

Mixing Up a Plane with a Train – Franz Kruckenberg’s Schienenzeppelin

On 21 June 1931, Franz Kruckenberg’s Schienenzeppelin (rail zeppelin) set a new world railway speed record of 230.2 km/h (143.0 mph) on the Berlin–Hamburg line between Karstädt and Dergenthin, which was not surpassed by any other rail vehicle until 1954. The famous Schienenzeppelin was anticipated by the design of the Aerowagon, an experimental Russian high-speed railcar fitted with an aircraft engine and propeller traction invented by Valerian Abakovsky, a Soviet engineer from Latvia. It…
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