The Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg
Written in the 1985 by Harold G. Dick and Douglas H. Robinson, this book is a real gem.
Harold Dick was an American engineer assigned as a technical liaison to the Zeppelin Company in Germany. Harold worked for the Goodyear-Zeppelin Company in Akron Ohio. His 5 years working in Germany during the turbulent 30s saw the rise of the greatest of all airships, the Graf Zeppelin and the Hindenburg. Despite the rising militarism and despotism of the NAZIs he had access to every aspect of the Zeppelin operation and flew on nearly every flight of the great airships. Keeping meticulous records of every aspect of their operation.
This book is a goldmine of information on how these vast machines were designed, maintained and actually operated.
Narrowly missing the fateful last flight of the Hindenburg, he describes the reaction to this tragedy technically as well as socially and politically. He also describes the changes made to the successor to the Hindenburg, the Graf Zeppelin II, which unfortunately was never flown commercially and was broken up to be turned into fighters during the war.
The book is illustrated with lots of photographs and diagrams, many taken by the author himself and never before published. There are also translations of original documents, maps and diagram aplenty.
While not really being Steampunk this book does give the reader a real taste for what might have been in the best tradition of our favourite "what ifs".
I've tagged this post "Flight Engineer" because it has lots of good information useful as reference for the design.
The Golden Age of the Great Passenger Airships
Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg
Harold G. Dick
Douglas H. Robinson
Smithsonian Institute Press
Keep your sight glass full and your firebox trimmed.