Robert's Reviews > Dr. Eckener's Dream Machine: The Great Zeppelin and the Dawn of Air Travel

Dr. Eckener's Dream Machine by Douglas Botting
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's review
Mar 26, 2009

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bookshelves: history-biography

A fairly comprehensive account of the heyday of the dirigible, this book brings to readers the thrill and danger of flight, the unique feeling of floating lighter than air, and the financial and technical limitations that would doom the great zeppelins. Though far easier to propel than the passenger airplanes that made them obsolete, dirigibles' leisurely speeds, costly lighter-than-air gases, and susceptibility to high winds made them ultimately impractical. However, the story of their origins and of dangerous record-breaking flights is a very engaging one. Above all, Dr. Eckener himself, a man of honor and decency (if a demanding chief) was pushed into obscurity by the Nazis. Fittingly,when his grandest ship, the "Hindenburg" flew without him for the first time, the trip ended in a fiery catastrophe.

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