As early as the 1880s, the great Russian scientist Tsiolkovsky calculated and suggested the project of a large cargo airship with a hard framework and a metallic lining. But what was invented in Russia was implemented in Germany by Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin. He was born in the town of Konstanz on Lake Constance where the river Rhine starts. Here, in Germany, he graduated from a military academy and went to war in the US. During the American Civil War, he made a reconnaissance flight on a hot air balloon and started thinking seriously about a dirigible air balloon. Later, he took part in another couple of wars in Europe, and in 1891, he retired and dedicated himself entirely to the creation of a dirigible air balloon.
For his own money, he built a hard airship, named it LZ1 and on the 2nd of July 1900, made his first trial flight over Lake Constance. He managed to spend 17 minutes in the air, but then, the altitude control broke. The dirigible landed on water, got pierced and the air went out of it. The scientist came out unharmed and continued with his experiments. By World War I the dirigibles he made were named “zeppelins” after him and became a means of transportation. They bombed London during the war, crossed the Atlantic afterwards, and one of them even made a flight around the globe. What failed it was the hydrogen used instead of helium: after the Hindenburg disaster, zeppelins became history. However, today we see attempts to bring zeppelins back to life: it turned out that they have many benefits.