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Zeppelin travel was a cross between the luxury of ocean liners and the convenience of airliners. Passengers and most crew were accommodated in a long gondola suspended beneath the long sausage-like gasbag. There were staterooms for the passengers, a fine kitchen and dining area, an observation deck with large windows to look down on the world, and a control room. It took about three days to cross the Atlantic on a Zeppelin from New York to Berlin. One advantage a Zeppelin has over airliners is that even if all its engines quit running, it doesn't come down.

Inside the huge gasbag were a dozen or more smaller balloons which actually held the gas. There was a catwalk down the middle and even access hatches to get out on top of the bag. The downfall of the Zeppelins was that the Germans had to use hydrogen gas to fill them. The US had a monopoly on helium and would not sell any to Nazi Germany. Both are lighter than air gasses but hydrogen is extremely flammable, as horribly demonstrated when the Hindenburg burned practically instantly before a horrified crowd.

The US Navy had zeppelin-like craft they called airships. Several of these were lost by being caught in the air in storms, which tore them up and caused everyone aboard to die. With modern weather satellites and accurate storm tracking and helium gas, the Zeppelin would be the safest form of travel. The Zeppelin company is still in business and recently completed a small airship in which passengers can take a cruise over the Rhine River gorge.

When the Empire State Building was first finished on top it had a "Zeppelin Mooring Mast". Zeppelins were supposed to tie up and load and unload passengers into the top of the building, but its too windy over Manhattan for this to be possible. The mooring mast is replaced today with a TV broadcast antenna.

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