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By John Duggan, Henry Cord Meyer

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Here he argued that LZ3 and its improved successors were most likely to challenge successfully the French military semi-rigids and lead Germany towards world supremacy. 13 The upshot was that Zeppelin’s venture would be supported financially by the Empire for its cultural, technological, and military importance; it was also decided that the Count’s invention should be considered for purchase by the Reich, once the rigid airship had completed a 24-hour flight over a prescribed course. Coincidentally dozens of German engineering professors made an appeal favouring the Aeronaut’s airship as of great technological importance in fostering Germany’s world scientific reputation.

One expert described structural engineer Vincent C. 33 An airplane pilot testified: When one went to an airship station [in England, 1919–21] and saw what airships could do, and what they did do, and what they had done, and what he hoped they could do, then one became confident that the present lapse [in airship flying] was purely temporary. He went up to Howden and was taken into R33, and he must say that it was simply like stepping into fairyland. 34 American engineer and businessman Harry Vissering had the same experience travelling with LZ120 Bodensee as Richmond had had.

Technology and nationalism intertwined for greater nationalist dreams and modernist visions. 17 Still, it was not to be initially the success that Count Zeppelin sought – indeed, quite the opposite. Stubborn motor trouble made him turn 32 Airships in International Affairs, 1890–1940 southeastward from Mainz to Stuttgart, where the Daimler works could eliminate the problems. Arrived there, and awaiting the engine experts, a sudden afternoon rain squall tore the airship from its moorings and generated the spark that caused an instant hydrogen explosion.

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