Course of passenger airship development in Germany w/o Nazis in power

What would passenger airship development in Germany have been like if the Nazis never came to power?

  • Passenger airship development in Germany would not have lasted beyond the 1940s.

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Vahe Demirjian

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I'm wondering how the course of passenger airship development in Germany would have unfolded if Hitler and the Nazis had not come to power, because the Nazis disliked Hugo Eckener, even though the Zeppelin company had no choice to adorn the Hindenburg's fins with the swastika emblem due to a German law requiring civil aircraft to have their tails with the Nazi flag, but also due to the fact that passenger airplanes were faster than passenger airships. If Eckener had known that his airship designs weren't capable of speeds greater than 100 miles per hour, he might have got to work on designs for gigantic hybrid airships measuring more than 1,000 feet long with 100+ foot wingspans borrowed from the Blohm und Voss Bv 222, Focke-Wulf Fw 200, or Junkers EF 100, because hybrid airships can fly as fast as privately-owned airplanes.
 

ceccherini

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I'm wondering how the course of passenger airship development in Germany would have unfolded if Hitler and the Nazis had not come to power, because the Nazis disliked Hugo Eckener, even though the Zeppelin company had no choice to adorn the Hindenburg's fins with the swastika emblem due to a German law requiring civil aircraft to have their tails with the Nazi flag, but also due to the fact that passenger airplanes were faster than passenger airships. If Eckener had known that his airship designs weren't capable of speeds greater than 100 miles per hour, he might have got to work on designs for gigantic hybrid airships measuring more than 1,000 feet long with 100+ foot wingspans borrowed from the Blohm und Voss Bv 222, Focke-Wulf Fw 200, or Junkers EF 100, because hybrid airships can fly as fast as privately-owned airplanes.
Nazi's rise had actually a very limited impact on airship development. The last official pre ww2 Zeppelin project, the LZ131, was a limited development of the LZ129 class, a sort of elongated Graf Zeppelin 2. LZ129 Hindenburg's design was finalized before the star of Hitler cancellery. So it could be said that the rigid airship concept reached the peak of its evolution before the Nazis came to power. The Helium was negated by the USA before the German government became an international pariah so I think that nazism was not a key reason to forbid its sales. The very core of the question is that the airship as a passengers transport was just a niche somewhat commercially viable for at most 15 years and impending extincion. They were closer in speed to an early '30s vintage ocean liner that to an aircraft but their facilities were incomparably closer to an aircraft than to an ocean liner. In the very moment an aircraft started some kind of transatlantic regular service the fate of the passenger airship as a concept was sealed. A major evolution of the concept, like the hybrid you propose, probably could not have hoped to offer much more confort than the much faster giant seaplane that in 1939 were 3 or 4 years distant and much more speed than the vastly more luxurious 35/37 knots ocean liners that were on the drawing board in that very moment. Why would one chose to stay 2 days on a sort of a flying camping instead of less than 1 day on a flying train cab or 4 days on a huge floating resort? So ultimately I guess at most Zeppelin would have built airship up to the LZ132, making a two ship regular service on both north and south Atlantic route, after that the would have concentrated their resources on giant planes such as those they were actually projecting.
 
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