The Graf Zeppelin's first appearance over London was to a very mixed reception:
Only fourteen years since the Zeppelins had flown above England in anger, the Graf arrived at London on 26 April 1930. The airship flew over Buckingham Palace and along the Thames before heading towards Wembley where King George V was watching the FA Cup Final being played between Arsenal and Huddersfield. Unfortunately when the Zeppelin cast its shadow over the packed stadium, in the later part of the first half, it was much to the annoyance of the crowds. Apparenetly their jeers sounded like cheers to the Zepp crew as they kept the airship hanging low before departing for the British airship base at Cardington near Bedford.
As the Graf Zeppelin landed beside the massive airship sheds the British R100 was riding at the high mast while the R101 remained tucked away in her shed.
Admiring crowds flocked around the Graf Zeppelin, and after two hours she began her return journey to Germany. And as she ascended Eckener leant out of the cabin and shouted to the commander of the R100, "I hope to have the honour of seeing your airship in Friedrichshafen."
The Graf Zeppelin returned to London the following year, arriving at Hanworth Air Park on 18 August 1931 before embarking on a twenty-four hour Round- Britain flight. And she was back again in July of 1932 for a third and final tour.
Of course several airships have flown over London in recent years, and in 2004 the Yosoko! Japan Zeppelin NT07 became the first Zeppelin to fly over the city since the Graf. Now in 2008 the Zeppelin will be giving Londoners and tourists the chance to get the Zeppelin experience for themselves.