Not all that many years ago, the dream of safe, inexpensive travel by lighter-than-air craft was still a near reality. Although there had been a series of disasters, dirigibles had also had their triumphs in their eighty year history. An airship had taken men across the north pole. Transatlantic service had operated successfully for eight months. Then came the final disaster - the spectacular explosion and crash of the Hindenburg in 1937 - which proved once and for all the insurmountable dangers of dirigible flight, and put an end to those dreams forever.
This books tells the story of adventurous men and of those great ships of the sky, beginning with the pioneer invention of Dr. Solomon Andrews, who in 1865 made motorless flights over Manhattan in his Aereon No. 2 to "Crazy Count" Ferdinand von Zeppelin, whose pioneering work in Germany led to that country's remarkable achievements in airship manufacturing, and of course, stories of the great American airships - the Shenandoah, the Akron, and the Macon - their successful cross-country flights and the catastrophic fates met by each in the end. Also included is a minute-by-minute account of the Hindenburg tragedy. The grandeur of the great dirigibles once captured the imaginations of millions, and is still a fascinating, if failed, chapter in the history of man's inventiveness. This wonderful book brings it all together under one cover. 32 Illustrations, 532 Pages. Soft cover. Any distortion in image is from scanner.