New-era Zeppelin aborts historic maiden flight

31st August 2004, Comments 0 comments

31 August 2004 , FRIEDRICHSHAFEN - The first of a new generation of airships designed by Germany's Zeppelin corporation was forced to abort its maiden flight from Germany to Japan Tuesday following delays owing to Russian red tape, officials said. For more than six weeks, the airship and its crew have been stranded in Finland, unable to get permission from Russian aviation authorities to fly through Russian airspace before the onset of the Siberian winter. The 75-metre-long Zeppelin NTD will now return to

31 August 2004

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN - The first of a new generation of airships designed by Germany's Zeppelin corporation was forced to abort its maiden flight from Germany to Japan Tuesday following delays owing to Russian red tape, officials said.

For more than six weeks, the airship and its crew have been stranded in Finland, unable to get permission from Russian aviation authorities to fly through Russian airspace before the onset of the Siberian winter.

The 75-metre-long Zeppelin NTD will now return to the Zeppelin corporation headquarters on the shores of Lake Constance where it will spend the winter before attempting a new flight to Japan next spring, officials said.

The flight started on 4 July amid a flurry of publicity - 104 years after the first Zeppelin dirigible was launched. It is the first, trans-continental flight by a rigid airship since the Hindenburg went up in flames on 6 May 1937.

Officials of Nippon Airship Corporation took possession of the new airship in a ceremony in Friederichshafen, the Zeppelin firm's headquarters since 1900.

It was from here that Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin's prototype LZ-1 lighter-than-air ship made aviation history with a 20-minute flight on 2 July 1904.

From the outset, the trip has been plagued by problems. Launch of the gleaming new airship, buoyed by non-flammable helium, was delayed for 48 hours due to thunderstorms on the first flight's anniversary on 2 July.

This summer marks the 75th anniversary of the precedent-setting, round-the-world flight in 1929 of the legendary Graf Zeppelin. Some 100,000 people greeted it when it made a stopover in Tokyo that year.

The new airship, accommodating 12 passengers, will be used for tourist flights in Japan.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

0 Comments To This Article