KITE FLY ON GERMAN LAKE CELEBRATES WEATHER STATION’S 100TH ANNIVERSARY

Authors: 
Ben Ruhe
Article type: 
Discourse

A busy Lake Constance ferry port in the south of Germany, Friedrichshafen is inextricably linked to the stately Zeppelins built and flown there for the last century. The link to inventor Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin remains strong. Throughout the city, streets, schools, cafes, even a dress shop are named for him. A children’s slide near the sprawling waterfront Zeppelin Museum is shaped like an airship. Because the huge, lighter than air flying machines required good weather predictions to be safely flown, a kite link with the Zeppelin evolved soon after the flight of the first Zeppelin in 1900. Professor Hugo Hergesell, of Strassbourg, a friend of Count Zeppelin, proposed that a weather station be set up in the area. Since Lake Constance sits in a bowl surrounded by mountains, the only feasible space was the 30-mile-long lake itself. Hergesell urged a fast boat for towing weather kites and both Count Zeppelin and the surrounding regional states, often at odds, but not this time, joined in financing the concept.

PDF File: 
Page Number: 
5