I would like to know how much time it took to train new zeppelin pilots, the cost to train them, if the airship pilots were normal airplane pilots, and the demand for them. Any help will be appreciated and if you could tell me where you got the answer to any of the questions that would be great.

  • 4
    Welcome to History:SE. What has your research shown you so far? Where have you already searched? What did you find? Please help us to help you. You might find it helpful to review the site tour and Help Centre and, in particular, How to Ask. – sempaiscuba Apr 23 '20 at 0:48
  • 3
    Can you clarify what it is you are asking exactly? As Mark has pointed out in his answer, Zeppelins didn't have pilots. – Lars Bosteen Apr 23 '20 at 3:13
  • i would mention that training for pilots and submmariners, both very new forms of machines, was very ad hoc, maybe even until ww2 but especially ww1. automobile racers became sometimes fighter pilots and people who could train others to become fighter pilots specifically were rare indeed -- Roald Dahl, in ww2 entered combat with just a few hours of training and he was told he would probably die. For submariners, they looked for miners because of being used to closed spaces. For zeps I am guessing they looked for sailors, not airplane pilots whose skills would be better suited to planes. – releseabe Apr 23 '20 at 3:59
  • If you don't have answers here, you could try aviation.SE, but there is a chance the only answers you can get there are related to newest airship (such as the Zeppelin NT) – Manu H Apr 23 '20 at 18:04

Zeppelins didn't have pilots.

Flying a Zeppelin was a team effort. A typical R-class Zeppelin would have a cockpit crew of four: the elevator man, rudder man, navigator, and officer of the watch; additionally, each engine gondola would have a mechanic to operate the engines. All this was necessary because of the limited degree of automation available: increasing speed, for example, meant signaling the mechanics to open the throttles on the engines.

A Zeppelin operated much like a ship, and the process of training a crew was similar.

  • also, I think the analogous skills of a pilot were not required in zep because of the much, much slower maneuvering speed as well as limitations of maneuvering itself -- airplane pilots could turn sharply and even roll their aircraft whereas, almost exactly like a submarine, a zep pretty much only rose, descended and turned very slowly. i would argue that the control of a zep's movement would not have required nearly the skill of a skilled pilot even though the overal operation might have been more complex. – releseabe Apr 23 '20 at 2:50
  • @releseabe: Think "pilot" in terms of a "harbour pilot" rather than an "airplane pilot". – Pieter Geerkens Apr 23 '20 at 5:32
  • @PieterGeerkens: I think the OP meant "pilot" as in the guy who flies the plane. A harbor pilot-like position would almost certainly not have existed aboard zeps. A navigator (who maybe also was sort of a weatherman since zeps were more subject to winds and perhaps thermals) would have been very important for zeps as a separate member of the crew from the guy doing the steering or perhaps he did both. But my point throughout is that maneuevering a zep did not require the same skill-level as piloting plane. – releseabe Apr 23 '20 at 6:20
  • 1
    Zeppelin's, in 1914 when they were taken over, had Commanders (Army) and in the Navy sometimes called Captains which coordinated the activities of the crew. – Mark Johnson Apr 23 '20 at 10:50
  • @releseabe, "rudder man" is a full-time job. An airship is, at best, neutrally stable in yaw, so someone needs to be making constant adjustments to keep it flying in the correct direction. Similarly, "navigator" is a full-time job if you're doing more than test flights over Lake Constance: you need to keep track of where the airship is, which way the winds are blowing it, and so on. You can't combine the two positions. – Mark Apr 23 '20 at 21:15

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.