Find out about the ‘giant of the skies’!

Have you ever seen an airship? Long before jet aeroplanes were invented, airships were the best way to travel long distances in style. They were faster than ocean liners and could cover long distances without landing.

The most famous airships in the world were made by the Zeppelin company, based in Friedrichshafen, in southern Germany.

A modern zeppelin

Did you know …?

  • Airships are shaped like giant cigars. Their shape helps them move through the air much faster than a round balloon.
  • In 1929, a German Zeppelin airship travelled around the world.
  • The Graf Zeppelin airship was almost 237 metres long. That’s longer than 23 buses in a row!
  • On one famous flight across the Atlantic, a 19 year old stowaway was found on board. Instead of being angry at him, the Zeppelin captain set him to work peeling potatoes in the kitchen.
  • The food on board the Zeppelins was very good. It had to be because tickets were very expensive.
  • A flight from America to Germany and back in 1928 cost around $3,000. That’s over £25,000 in today’s money!
  • Zeppelins were used to deliver airmail. Several countries had special Zeppelin stamps.
  • Modern Zeppelins are being produced today!

Words Ahoy! · Wörter Ahoi!

Deutsch English
das Flugzeug aeroplane
das Luftschiff airship
die Luft air / sky
fliegen to fly
der Pilot pilot
die Reise journey



Find out more about Zeppelins on the Zeppelin Museum’s website.


Look at these pictures of Germany from the air taken from a modern Zeppelin.