Schwarz No. 2, 1897
The first airship with a rigid structure to be tested in flight
Published 1973 © Hugh Evelyn Limited; artist Peter W.M. Griffin;
c. 34 x 24 cm (13″ x 9″) on high white matt cardstock of 115 g/m²;
Shown here is a scan of the print.
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In 1894 the Prussian government awarded a contract for development of an airship to Carl Berg, an industrialist who planned to use the concept of David Schwarz (1850-1897), a Croatian-Hungarian aviation pioneer born in the Austrian Empire. Berg already had experience working with the then novel aluminium, and would later manufacture components for Zeppelin‘s first airship. Construction began in 1895 at Tempelhof field in Berlin. The Prussian Airship Battalion placed its grounds and personnel at Schwarz’s disposal. A gondola, also of aluminium, was fixed to the framework. Attached to the gondola was a 12 hp (8.9 kW) Daimler engine that drove aluminium propellers. One of the propellers was used to steer the craft. Delays caused the airship to be first filled with gas and tested on 9 October 1896, but the results were unsatisfactory because the hydrogen delivered by the Vereinigte Chemische Fabriken from Leopoldshall was not of the required purity and so did not provide enough lift. Gas of the required quality could not be obtained for some time so a test flight could not be made until November 1897, ten months after Schwarz’s death. Although unsuccessful, Schwarz influenced Zeppelin’s later design of rigid airships. In addition, he directly anticipated the successful American Metalclad of 1929. Some sources have claimed that Count Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin purchased Schwarz’s airship patent from his widow, a claim which has been disputed.
|Dimensions||34 × 24.1 cm|