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The first airship was built in 1900 by Count Ferdinand Zeppelin (b. 1838, d. 1917). Following successful trials, he was commissioned to build 100 airships (Zeppelins) for the German military, which used them for reconnaissance and bombing flights during World War I. In Britain, airships were built after World War I, but they were abandoned in favour of flying boats in the wake of the explosion of the hitherto largest airship, the R101, on its maiden voyage to India in 1930. The Germans continued to use the Zeppelins until the Hindenburg, the body of which contained 200,000 cubic metres of hydrogen, exploded above New York in May 1937.

Subjects: Warfare and Defence — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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