By John Duggan, Henry Cord Meyer (auth.)
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Extra info for Airships in International Affairs, 1890–1940
Given this fact, together with the awareness of the large crowds that airships attracted until their ﬁnal days, both power-seeking and power-holding politicians sought to manipulate that technology to ends not inherent in the essential purposes for building and ﬂying the impressive skyships. Such political calculation was less random and spasmodic than workaday political behaviour, for in its attractiveness the rigid airship was also fairly predictable in its measured movement, in the scarcity of its presence, and the great expense of its construction and operation.
Modern psychological and sociological data offer new possibilities of understanding historical events in terms of the experiences of the observing and participating human beings. This work will draw upon those kinds of evidence as the skyward rivalries of the era unfold. Twentieth-century aviation stands at the culmination of several millennia of technological development making its impact upon the human psyche. Within the recent and most attractive threedimensional world of airborne wonders, the airship still holds a place of unique psychological importance.
Inherently biased against maverick Zeppelin since the conﬂicts of the early 1890s, the Army establishment preferred the advice of its tested Prussian Airship Battalion; but in the national interest it still kept an option open for possible rigid airship success. Sensing the competition from non-rigids and manoeuvring for time ﬁnally to prove his rigid airship, the ﬁnancially strapped Count began at the age of 68 a third aggressive campaign for his enterprise. He supplemented a vigorous defence of his design and experience with a public manifesto written with the assistance of Dr Eckener: The Truth About My Airship.