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LZ 10 Schwaben

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LZ 10 Schwaben

Zeppelin LZ 10 Schwaben
Role Passenger airship
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Luftschiffbau Zeppelin
Designer Ludwig Dürr
First flight 26 June 1911
Primary user DELAG
Number built 1

LZ 10 Schwaben was a German rigid airship built by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin in 1911 and operated by DELAG (Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft) for passenger service. It is regarded as the first commercially successful passenger-carrying aircraft.


The Schwaben was 140 m (440 ft) long and was powered by three 145-horsepower Maybach engines and had a maximum speed of 73 kilometres (45 mi) per hour. The airship was the first to use these engines, which were also used to drive most later Zeppelins. The diameter was 14 metres (46 ft) and the volume of gas was 17,800 cubic metres (630,000 cu ft). The passenger quarters (with a capacity for 20 people) were mounted amidships; the steering gondola was closer to the bow, between the first pair of engines, and the engine gondola sat near the stern, between the second pair of engines.[1][2][3]

Operating history

The LZ 10 made her first flight on June 26, 1911 and was put into service three weeks later, on July 16, 1911. She was called the "lucky airship" because she was more successful than any of the previous craft that DELAG had put into service, and was the first commercially successful passenger aircraft in history.[1] Over the course of the next year she made 363[4] or 364 flights totaling roughly 28,000 miles (45,000 km), transporting 6,045 passengers.[4][5] Schwaben.[6]

Schwaben was catastrophically destroyed in a gale on June 28, 1912 at an airfield near Düsseldorf,[4][7] which snapped her in two, causing a spark to ignite the hydrogen in one of her gas bags. At the time she was at anchor outside the hangar as the strong winds had hampered efforts to take her in. In moments the entire ship had caught on fire and the remnants of its frame, the cabins, and engines that had not burned were destroyed upon collapsing to the ground.[5][8] Sources differ regarding injuries suffered: the New York Times reported "34 soldiers were injured";[9] others claimed either 30[7] or 40 injured.[10]

Schwaben had one sister ship, LZ11 Viktoria Luise, built in 1912.[11] LZ 11 was even more successful than LZ 10, and was in service for over three years.


Data from Robinson 1973 p.330

General characteristics
  • Length: 140 m (460 ft 0 in)
  • Diameter: 14 m (46 ft in)
  • Volume: 17,800 m3 (630,000 ft3)
  • Powerplant: 3 × Maybach C-X 6-cylinder inline piston engines, 108 kW (145 hp) each


  • Maximum speed: 73 km/h (45 mph)
  • Range: 1,400 km (900 miles)

See also



  • Robinson, Douglas H., Giants in the Sky Henley-on Thames: Foulis, 1973 ISBN 08542 145 8

Further reading

  • Evening Post - 9 November 1912 - Page 10, newspaper article with statistics on the Schwaben
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