Graf Zeppelin over Bergen 1930
LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin was a large German passenger carrying rigid airship which operated commercially from 1928 to 1937. It was named after the German pioneer of airships, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who held the rank of Graf or Count in the German nobility. During its operating life the great airship made 590 flights covering more than a million miles.

In July 1930, Hugo Eckener had already piloted the Graf on a three-day trip to Norway and Spitsbergen, in order to determine its performance in this region. Shortly after Eckener made a three day flight to Iceland, both trips completed without technical problems.

The initial idea was to rendezvous with the ill-fated Nautilus, the submarine of polar researcher George Hubert Wilkins, who was attempting a trip under the ice. This plan was abandoned when the U-boat encountered recurring technical problems, leading to its eventual scuttling in a Bergen fjord.

Eckener instead began to plan a rendezvous with a surface vessel. He intended funding to be secured by delivering mail post to the ship. After advertising, around fifty thousand letters were collected from around the world weighing a total of about 300 kilograms. The rendezvous vessel, the Russian icebreaker Malygin, on which the Italian airshipman and polar explorer Umberto Nobile was a guest, required another 120 kilograms of post. The major costs of the expedition were met solely by sale of postage stamps. The rest of the funding came from Aeroarctic and the Ullstein-Verlag in exchange for exclusive reporting rights.

---> During the flight over Bergen Norwegian photo pionéer Knud Knudsen captured these pictures of the airship.
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