Dirigibles over Petrozavodsk

July 26, 1931. The LZ-127 "Graf Zeppelin" over the building of the Central Executive Committee of the Karelian ASSR February 6, 1938. The USSR-V6 "Osoavoakhim" over the building of "Karelian Timber"

For the first time the dirigible appears in the Petrozavodsk sky in May 5th 1925, when Norwegian airship N-1 "Norge", which used the line of the Murmansk railway on his way to the North Pole, went along the West outskirts of the capital of the Autonomous Karelian Soviet Socialist Republic.

In July 26th 1931, German LZ-127 "Graf Zeppelin" went over the Petrozavodsk on his way to the North during it's well-known Arctic expedition.

View from dirigible LZ-127 "Graf Zeppelin" View from dirigible LZ-127 "Graf Zeppelin"

Later only Soviet dirigibles appeared in Petrozavodsk sky. What is remarkable, every dirigible appeared in it has finished it's flight tragically.

In October 24th 1935 the "Krasnaya Karelia" (Red Karelia) newspaper placed a small note:

Dirigible USSR-53

In October 23rd 1935 the dirigible "USSR-53" (model "Chelyuskinets V-7") had flown over Petrozavodsk.

After making several semicircles and a full turn the airship left for Leningrad.

This note did not mention that the dirigible USSR-V7bis "Chelyuskinets" that made a test-flight Gatchina-Petrozavodsk-Gatchina in the night of October 24th 1935 wrecked on the back route. Because of the extremely strong cross-wind the airship run out of the fuel some several hundreds kilometres from the destination point. For several hours the airship was drifting towards Finland. The Ship commander decided to go for a crash landing, but in the night the dirigible caught on the power line and burned completely. One of the crewmembers died.

In the February 6th 1938 the biggest Soviet airship USSR-V6 "Osoaviakhim"¹ that was going from Moscow to Murmansk and then to the Greenland Sea made a couple of circles over Petrozavodsk. The ship mission was to take off from the drifting ice-floe the Arctic expedition of Papanin. At the evening of the same day the airship had blown up in Kandalakshsky district of KASSR, crashing on the full speed into the mountain not shown on the map. 13 men of the 19 crew had died.

1930. "Let's build he Soviet dirigible!" poster 1932. "We need Zeppelins to strengthen the country defence" placard in the Petrozavodsk kindergarten

¹ Osoaviakhim – Soviet "voluntary" society to support defence, aviation and the development of chemistry industry.