„Von Zeppelin bis Airbus“

Begleittext zur Sonderausstellung des Landesmuseums für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte Oldenburg, Auftraggeber: LMO.
Übersetzung Englisch - Deutsch

In 1909, the “Luftschiffbau Schütte-Lanz” was founded by Oldenburg born constructor and ship builder Johann Schütte and Dr. Karl Lanz, manufacturer of agricultural machines from Mannheim. This was the only German enterprise to enter into competition with Zeppelin. In its factories in Mannheim-
Rheinau and Zeesen near Berlin, so-called rigid airships were built until 1918. As early as May 1914 a fundamentally improved second design had been completed. With this SL 2
of 144 metres length and 23 metres height, Schütte
introduced some constructive innovations giving him the lead in airship development: streamlined shape of the missile
pointed aft, gangway integrated into the interior, propellers with direct rear drive, gas conduits through shafts. The relevant principals of this construction were taken over by Zeppelin in the following years. Between 1911 and 1918,
22 SL-airships were built altogether. After the end of the war, the construction of airships in Germany was forbidden by the treaty of Versailles from June 28, 1919. This spelled demise
for the company Schütte-Lanz. Because of a lack of capital the company, unlike Zeppelin, had focused entirely on the government sponsored production of military airships.

The so-called “Bath Air Travel” could be booked with ticket agents of the Deutsche Luft Hansa in Berlin or with other agents including Hapag, Norddeutscher Lloyd and Mitteleuropäisches Reisebüro. In the brochure of 1929, the Luft Hansa assures that “only the exact amount of flight tickets”
will be sold “as seats are available on the plane”. For getting to the airport, coaches should “provide complimentary transportation for the air traveller to the airport”. Having
cleared the formalities, the brochure says: “Please board the plane, ladies and gentlemen! You proceed into a cabin of six or twelve seats, sit down in a comfortable wicker or leather chair, the air policeman gives the starting signal and with 500 or more HP the great bird dashes into the wind, rises gently into
the air and moves with a speed of 160 kilometres per hour
(100 mph) towards its destination.”

Until today, the Transall is the workhorse of the air force. In 2010, the Transall will be substituted by the Airbus A 400M which is being build in Bremen (body, parts of the wings), Nordenham (body) and Varel (structural metal parts).
The “Weserflug” which had 4,000 employees in 1959/1960 had as one more project the VFW 614 which was being developed since 1960. It was the first German commercial plane with
jet-propulsion and reached a travel-speed of 735 kilometres
per hour (470 mph).