LZ-130
a.k.a. Graf Zeppelin II


The Graf zeppelin II was the last of the airships to be built for the great German fleet. The Graf Zeppelin II’s size and shape were almost no different than her sister, the Hindenburg. The only noticeable difference were the Graf zeppelin II’s forward facing propellers. Most Zeppelins around the time of the Graf Zeppelin II had backward facing propellers used for pushing. The LZ-130 had propellers made for pulling. Even though The Hindenburg and the Graf zeppelin II looked much alike they would never share the sky. As the LZ-130 was entering mid-construction the engineers and workers heard the terrible news of the Hindenburg’s flaming death.


After the news swept sorrow over the country, Nazi Germany began to emerge.


Being near completing the LZ-130, the zeppelin company found it hard to survive, let alone complete the airship. But it was completed and so was research on the Hindenburg’s death. While most engineers blamed the death of the Hindenburg on the flammable gas, Hydrogen, inside the ship, it was the dope’s fault. This research caused the workers to change the composition of the “dope.” The dope was an oil based coating that gave most light airplanes and airships their shiny metal look, when in actuality it was a stretched cotton canvas. The dope also created a waterproof seal over the ship. The testing for the dope was done secretly.


Once the secret news reached America, American scientists quickly found out that the dope has a lower flash point than the hydrogen inside. When the Americans told the zeppelin company about this, they quickly locked it away and never told anybody. If the secret did come out, the zeppelin company would be a disaster. They couldn’t let anyone know that the whole ship was flammable.


Once the new dope was applied and dried it was time for the Graf zeppelin II’s debut. As the LZ-130 was walked out of the hanger where it was built, onlookers saw it striking resemblance to the Hindenburg. But once it’s 4 massive 1200 horse power Mercedes Benz engines revealed themselves everyone knew it was its own monster.


The whole 804 ft. by 135 ft of it took more than 30 minutes to completely leave the hangar. But once it did I’m sure it was a sight to see. In the air the Graf Zeppelin II could reach a top speed of 84.4 m/h, faster than some airplanes of the time. The Graf Zeppelin II’s life out of the hanger was boring. The Graf Zeppelin II was a passenger airship which only made routine flights back and forth between hangars.