Today is the birthday of human flight.
On this day in 1783, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, Marquis d’Arlandes made the first manned flight in history when they flew over Paris for 25 minutes in a hot air balloon built by the Montgolfier brothers.
Happy birthday, helium heads!
Today is the anniversary of the world’s first airline. DELAG was established on November 16, 1909, and provided passenger service — including the world’s first transatlantic airline service — using zeppelin airships.
DELAG was an acronym for Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft, or German Airship Transportation Corporation Ltd.
Brochure and “seat map” for the DELAG passenger airship Bodensee.
While many of the flights before World War I were local sightseeing tours, the DELAG airship Bodensee began regular scheduled service between Berlin and southern Germany in 1919. The flight from Berlin to Friedrichshafen took 4-9 hours, compared to 18-24 hours by rail.
DELAG offered the world’s first transatlantic passenger airline service, using LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin to make regularly scheduled flights between Germany and South America beginning in 1931. Graf Zeppelin crossed the South Atlantic 136 times before being retired after the Hindenburg disaster in 1937.
Transatlantic schedule of DELAG airships Graf Zeppelin, 1934 (Airships.net collection)
DELAG also employed the world’s first flight attendant, Heinrich Kubis.
The world’s first flight attendant, Heinrich Kubis, with passengers on the airship Bodensee
DELAG’s operations were taken over by the newly-formed Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei in 1935.
A great photo of the Goodyear Blimp Resolute taken over Manhattan in August, 1935, by Dr. Alfred “Ted” Hill.
Goodyear Blimp Resolute. (photo by Dr. Alfred Hill, Kent O’Grady collection)
My deep thanks to Kent O’Grady for allowing me to share this wonderful photo from his personal collection.
About Igor Pasternak and Aeroscraft, in today’s New York Times:
Pursuing a Shipping Revolution as Big as His Airship