World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG

Article Id: WHEBN0006780177
Reproduction Date:

Title: Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Zeppelin
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-AG

DELAG, acronym for Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft (German for "German Airship Travel Corporation"), was the world's first airline to use an aircraft in revenue service.[1] It was founded on 16 November 1909 with government assistance and operated Zeppelin rigid airships manufactured by the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin Corporation. Its headquarters were located in Frankfurt, Germany.


Alfred Colsman served as the airline's first general director. Also involved in the early stages were Dr. Love and Dr. Franz Adickes, the mayor of Frankfurt. The founding capital amounted to three million Marks, of which the majority (Mk 2,600,000) came from the cities of Frankfurt and Düsseldorf. The remaining Mk 400,000 came in the form of the airships from the Zeppelin plant in Friedrichshafen.

Passenger service aboard the airship LZ 7 began in 1910 with routes from Frankfurt to Baden-Baden and Düsseldorf. This vessel, known as the Deutschland, was destroyed on 28 June 1910 (nine days after its maiden voyage) when it crashed into the Teutoburger forest. One year later, a steward was introduced aboard the new airship LZ 10 Schwaben and was responsible for the well-being of the passengers.

By 1913, DELAG had established a route network between Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Baden-Oos, Berlin-Johannisthal, Gotha, Hamburg, Dresden and Leipzig. The outbreak of World War I prevented the planned expansion to other European capitals.

By July 1914, one month before the start of World War I, DELAG's Zeppelins had transported 34,028 passengers on 1,588 commercial flights; the fleet had flown 172,535 kilometres in 3,176 hours.[2]

Impact of World War I

The airships LZ 11, LZ 13, and LZ 17 were pressed into service for the German Army. After the war, however, DELAG's LZ 120 "Bodensee" and LZ 121 "Nordstern" helped reconnect the cities of Europe. LZ 120 already flew between Friedrichshafen and Berlin-Staaken with a stopover in Munich, but both ships were surrendered as post-war reparations in 1921: LZ 120 went to Italy and was re-christened "Esperia", while LZ 121 became France's "Méditerranée" before it ever entered service for DELAG.

Transatlantic service

For more details on DELAG's transatlantic services, see LZ 127 and LZ 129.

In September 1928, DELAG began operating the successful rigid airship LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin, which made regular, nonstop, transatlantic flights possible before airplanes had flight ranges sufficient to cross the ocean in either direction without stopping. For DELAG's first transatlantic trip, Dr. Eckener commanded the Graf Zeppelin airship leaving Friedrichshafen, Germany, at 07:54 on October 11, 1928, arriving at Lakehurst Field, New Jersey, on October 15. In 1931, the airship Graf Zeppelin began offering regular scheduled passenger service between Germany and South America which continued until 1937. Over its career Graf Zeppelin crossed the South Atlantic 136 times.[3] In 1936, the airship Hindenburg entered passenger service and successfully crossed the Atlantic 36 times before crashing at Lakehurst, New Jersey on May 6, 1937.[4]


The Graf Zeppelin was the final airship employed by DELAG. In 1935, the successor to DELAG, the state-sponsored Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei (DZR) was founded. Its fleet included the LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin, LZ 129 Hindenburg and LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin.

In 2001, a modern firm also by the name Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei was established as a subsidy of Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH (ZLT). It operates the Zeppelin NT airships from Friedrichshafen at Lake Constance, mainly for sightseeing flights around Germany.


Prior to World War I:

Following World War I:

  • LZ 120 Bodensee
  • LZ 121 Nordstern (North Star)
  • LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin, the last airship used by DELAG

In March 1935 the LZ 127 was transferred to the newly founded Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei company, which also received as start capital the Hindenburg, which was at the time under construction.


  • "Delag" Encyclopædia Britannica (2009). Retrieved May 5, 2009.

External links

  • The Early Years of German Commercial Aviation
  • Airships: A Zeppelin History Site
  • Information about DELAG successor Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei

This article incorporates information from the Deutsch World Heritage Encyclopedia.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.