The German Graf Zeppelin was the most successful passenger airship of all time, travelling over one million miles during her 9-year career. Built in 1928, the ship’s length of 237 metres and 105,000 cubic metre volume made her the largest airship constructed up to that time.
In October 1928 the ship made the first of many voyages to the United States. Other notable achievements in the early years were a round-the-world voyage in 1929 and a trip to the Arctic in 1931. The Graf Zeppelin began the first transatlantic airship service in 1930, and construction was begun on two much larger ships to expand the service.
The destruction in 1937 of the first of these new ships, the Hindenburg, shattered public confidence in airship travel, and Graf Zeppelin was retired soon after. In 1940 she was broken up, her aluminum frame re-used for Germany’s war industry.