Eckener, Hugo

Eckener, Hugo,

1868–1954, German airship designer and pilot, Ph.D. Univ. of Leipzig, 1892. As a journalist he covered early flights of ZeppelinZeppelin, Ferdinand, Graf von
, 1838–1917, German army officer and airship inventor and builder. He entered the Prussian army in 1858 and served in the Seven Weeks War and in the Franco-Prussian War. He was an observer with the Union army during the American Civil War.
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's first rigid airshipsairship,
an aircraft that consists of a cigar-shaped gas bag, or envelope, filled with a lighter-than-air gas to provide lift, a propulsion system, a steering mechanism, and a gondola accommodating passengers, crew, and cargo.
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. He joined (1908) Zeppelin's company as a publicist and in 1911 commanded the LZ 8, which crashed on its first flight. He then directed the construction of several airships for the German navy and trained airship pilots during World War I. After the war he succeeded von Zeppelin as head of the company and commanded the Graf Zeppelin on its flight around the world (1929) and on a polar exploration (1931); he also sought to develop commercial trans-Atlantic airship travel. An early opponent of the Nazis, he was marginalized under Hitler.
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