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zeppelin flights and flying boats: sometimes the story does make a difference

Article about: you hear the advice to "buy the object, not the story" quite often when talking about militaria. this is some of the BEST advice one can get when dealing with militaria in all its

  1. #1

    Default zeppelin flights and flying boats: sometimes the story does make a difference

    you hear the advice to "buy the object, not the story" quite often when talking about militaria. this is some of the BEST advice one can get when dealing with militaria in all its forms. but every now and again often overlooked items can actually be much more interesting if not valuable BECAUSE of the "story"

    i personally collect flight covers ranging from zeppelins to early pioneer flights.

    i would like to share two examples from my personal collection that illustrate my point about the backstory adding new depth to an otherwise common appearing item.
    (the backstory will be below the picture of each flight)

    this may not be the ideal place for this post, but it really seems to be where it fits the best to me.
    remember, the graf zeppelin and later the hindenburg as well were considered to be grand symbols of both the re-emergence of the german nation as a technologically forward thinking country, as well as a potent propaganda symbols for the national socialist party.

    the first is a GRAF ZEPPELIN flight cover from 1929.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    While the Graf Zeppelin would eventually have a safe and highly successful nine-year career, the airship was almost lost just a half a year after its maiden flight while attempting to make its second trip to the United States in May 1929. Shortly after dark on 16 May, the first night of the flight ("1. Amerikafahrt 1929"), the airship lost two of its five engines while over the Mediterranean off the southwest coast of Spain forcing Dr. Eckener to abandon the trip and return to Friedrichshafen. While flying up the Rhône Valley in France against a stiff headwind the next afternoon, however, two of the remaining three engines also failed and the airship began to be pushed backwards toward the sea.
    As Dr. Eckener desperately looked for a suitable place to crash-land the airship, the French Air Ministry advised him that he would be permitted to land at the Naval Airship Base at Cuers-Pierrefeu about ten miles from Toulon to use the mooring mast and hangar of the lost airship Dixmude (France's only dirigible which crashed in the Mediterranean in 1923 resulting in the loss of 52 lives) if the Graf could reach the facility before being blown out to sea. Although barely able to control the Graf on its one remaining engine, Eckener managed to make a difficult but successful emergency night landing at Cuers.[14] After making temporary repairs, the Graf finally returned to Friedrichshafen on 24 May. Mail carried on the flight received a one-line cachet reading "Delivery delayed due to cancelation of the 1st America trip" and was held at Friedrichshafen until 1 August 1929, when the airship made another attempt to cross the Atlantic for Lakehurst, arriving on 4 August 1929. Four days later, the Graf Zeppelin departed Lakehurst for another daring enterprise — a complete circumnavigation of the globe. (article from wikipedia)



    the second is a 1930 dornier d0x flight cover to chicago from friedrichshafen via brazil

    Click image for larger version. 

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    To introduce the airliner to the potential United States market[1] the Do X took off from Friedrichshafen, Germany on 3 November 1930, under the command of Friedrich Christiansen for a transatlantic test flight to New York.[1] The route took the Do X to the Netherlands, England, France, Spain, and Portugal. The journey was interrupted at Lisbon on 29 November, when a tarpaulin made contact with a hot exhaust pipe and started a fire that consumed most of the port side wing.[6] After sitting in Lisbon harbor for six weeks while new parts were fabricated and the damage repaired, the flying boat continued (with several further mishaps and delays) along the Western coast of Africa and by 5 June 1931 had reached the Capverdian Islands, from which it crossed the ocean to Natal in Brazil[6], where the crew were greeted as heroes by the local German émigré communities.
    The flight continued north to the United States, finally reaching New York on 27 August 1931,[6] almost nine months after departing Friedrichshafen.[1] The Do X and crew spent the next nine months there as its engines were overhauled, and thousands of sightseers made the trip to Glenn Curtiss Airport (now LaGuardia Airport) to tour the leviathan of the air. The economic effects of the Great Depression dashed Dornier's marketing plans for the Do X, however, and it departed from New York on May 21,1932 via Newfoundland and the Azores to Müggelsee, Berlin where it arrived on 24 May and was met by a cheering crowd of 200,000. (article from wikipedia)




    i hope you enjoy this brief postal interlude
    -sean

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  3. #2

    Default Re: zeppelin flights and flying boats: sometimes the story does make a difference

    Nice postcards. Are the fronts of them interesting what is subject of the pictures are they Zepplin related?
    I have flown in and out of Friedrichshafen airport quite a few times and always think about the history of the place when i am there.
    The postcards may have been sent Par Avion but it wasnt exactly an express delivery service at the time!!! LOL
    Thanks for sharing.

    Kris...

  4. #3

    Wink Re: zeppelin flights and flying boats: sometimes the story does make a difference

    Hello Clarksville,I am Operaman and I live in Memphis,I collect zep material as well I am enclosing a few scans I hope you will enjoy.How is the speed trap in Clarksville doing now a days?
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #4

    Default Re: zeppelin flights and flying boats: sometimes the story does make a difference

    stunning olympic flight there. speed trap?? what speed trap..... surely local government would never do such a underhanded thing!

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