Dr Eckener's Dream Machine: The Historic Saga of the Round-the-World Zeppelin

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9780006532255: Dr Eckener's Dream Machine: The Historic Saga of the Round-the-World Zeppelin

Based on the Graf Zeppelin’s amazing round-the-world flight in 1929 – the first-ever passenger circumnavigation by air – the book tells the story of the Zeppelin airship: one of the most spectacular technological and operational marvels of its age.

The year 2000 marked the hundredth anniversary of the maiden flight of the first experimental Zeppelin airship. A further 115 giant airships were built and flown by the Zeppelin company (based at Friedrichshafen on the shores of Lake Constance in Germany) – mostly for the purposes of war – but the most successful and best loved was the second to last of them, Dr Hugo Eckener’s round-the-world airship, Graf Zeppelin, the dream machine.

Based on the reports and recollections of those on board, including Lady Grace Drummond Hay, an attractive young aristocratic English widow, and the man at the heart of the story, the airship’s creator and commander Hugo Eckener, the book is both a romantic travel adventure and the story of a great scientific achievement.

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From the Back Cover:

This is the epic story of the zeppelin airship – the 'Titanic' of the air and one of the most splendid technological marvels of its age, centred on the first-ever passenger circumnavigation of the world by the 'Graf Zeppelin' in 1929. It is also the story of the airship's creator and commander, Dr Hugo Eckener, the charismatic pioneer who became a national hero while loathing the Nazis and shunning Hitler.

For 12 days Dr Eckener's dream machine – the size of an ocean liner – flew at about the height of the Empire State Building east-to-west across Siberia and the Pacific before arriving in New Jersey for a ticker-tape welcome in New York. Eight years later, the fateful crash of the 'Hindenburg' put a savage end to the dream.

"The story of these remarkable flying machines is ably told by Douglas Botting, who writes with patent sympathy for the courage and steadfastness of the early rigid-airship visionaries…Splendidly evocative contemporary photographs, and helpful diagrams and maps illustrating 'Graf Zeppelin''s flight, complement a narrative that seldom flags…One is left with admiration for the zeppelin pioneers, and with envy of their passengers, whose comforts, including private cabins, ample promenade space, elegant cuisine and impeccable service, have not been enjoyed by any subsequent class of air traveller."
A.J. SHERMAN, 'Times Literary Supplement'

"Marvellous…a truly exciting book, filled with colourful characters and plenty of derring-do."
'Booklist'

"A fascinating read."
'New Scientist'

About the Author:

Douglas Botting’s biography of GAVIN MAXWELL was hugely praised and is still in print as a HarperCollins paperback. His previous books reflect his interest in travel, exploration and wild places. He was an exploration film-maker for the BBC’s ‘World About Us’ and became a full-time writer with the publication of his highly praised biography of the German explorer-naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, Humboldt and the Cosmos. His biography of Gerald Durrell, published in March 1999, received excellent, widespread review and feature coverage.

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BOTTING, Douglas
Published by HarperCollins, London (2002)
ISBN 10: 000653225X ISBN 13: 9780006532255
New Soft Cover Quantity Available: 1
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Peter White Books
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Book Description HarperCollins, London, 2002. Soft Cover. Book Condition: New. Paperback Edition. 20 Cm x 13 Cm. The epic story of the first-ever passenger circumnavigation of the world by the Graf Zeppelin in 1929. 356 pages + xxii prelims. 24 pages of b/w photographs. Every book is sent in a rigid cardboard posting box. 20 Cm x 13 Cm. Bookseller Inventory # 7820

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