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1909

“The Zeppelin” encapsulates the interwovenness of advances in aerial propulsion and Maybach engineering heritage. This chapter of Maybach history starts when one of Wilhelm’s early constructions is used to propel the “LZ 1”, the first-ever airship developed by Count Zeppelin (1900). This connection is revived later when Wilhelm Maybach is banned from working as he had left Daimler Motor Works and his son Karl had developed a new racing engine that suited aerial applications perfectly. In 1909, the cooperation between Maybach and Zeppelin officially kicked off and the first product is introduced: the AZ type engine. Over the course of the years, Maybach engines were frequently used in airships and airplanes until the production of aerial propulsion solutions ceases at the end of WWI. Contrary to what one might assume, these restrictions do not lead to the end of this chapter in Maybach engineering. Instead, they lay the base and groundwork for the golden era of airships which is launched by the LZ 127 ‘Graf Zeppelin’ in 1928. At this point, the association with the Zeppelin airships has become an integral part of the Maybach Motorenbau (« Maybach Motor Works ») brand image.