Design and development Construction of the Graf Zeppelin in Friedrichshafen: the lower and middle gangways are highlighted green with main rings in red; two people are shown in yellow.Built at the Zeppelin Company works (Luftschiffbau Zeppelin) in Friedrichshafen am Bodensee, Germany, between 1926 and 1928, the design of the LZ-127 was patterned on that of the LZ-126 which the company had delivered as a war reparation to the U.S. Navy at NAS Lakehurst, NJ in October 1924 where it was commissioned as the USS Los Angeles (ZR-3).[1] With that project completed, the Zeppelin company's chairman Dr. Hugo Eckener promptly began a two year campaign of lobbying the German Government for funds and permission to proceed with construction of a new airship for Germany.[2] Construction began in 1926 with the aid of a government grant although the majority of the necessary 2,000,000 Reichsmarks (RM) in funding would eventually be raised by public subscription.[3] The LZ 127 was completed and launched in September 1928. At 236.6 m (776 ft) and a total gas volume of 105,000 m³ (3,707,550 ft³) of which 75,000 m³ (2,648,585 ft³) was hydrogen carried in 17 "lift gas" cells (Traggaszelle) and 30,000 m³ (1,059,435 ft³) was Blau gas in 12 "power gas" cells (Kraftgaszelle)), the Graf was the largest airship in the world at the time. It was powered by five Maybach VL-2 12-cylinder 550 hp engines that could burn either Blau gas or gasoline.[4] Although the Graf could achieve a top airspeed of 128 km/h (80 mph, 70 knots) at its maximum thrust of 2,650 horsepower (1,980 kW), its normal operational airspeed was 117 km/h (73 mph, 63 knots) at a thrust of 2,150 horsepower (1,600 kW).[4] Some flights were made using only Blau gas carried in the dozen power gas cells which enabled the airship to cruise for up to 100 hours. Using gasoline alone it was able to cruise for 67 hours, and up to 118 hours using both. The Graf Zeppelin had a total lift capacity of 87,000 kilograms (191,800 lbs) with a usable payload of 15,000 kg (33,000 lbs) on a 10,000 km

johnbr, Feb 22, 2012
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    Aircraft 20's +30'
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