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For toy zeppelins, see Zippelin.

Zeppelins are ingenious inventions that allow small teams of Goblins to soar above the countryside and spy on enemy positions. The Zeppelins are cumbersome, awkward and maintain no armament. Their airborne capabilities, extensive line of sight, and ability to spot submerged Alliance technology, however, make them an integral part of the Horde's spy network.[1]

In the Third War, goblins sold zeppelins to all sides.[2]

Now, in the times following the defeat of the Burning Legion at Mount Hyjal, the zeppelins are employed once again by the Horde for the passage of the Great Sea between the continents. Although the goblins remain a neutral force, the Horde alone has the privilege of using the zeppelins.

Goblins still offer passage to the Alliance in many locations of the world, but those zeppelins in use by the Horde are not usually used by the Alliance. Neutral goblin zeppelins currently will allow the transport of soldiers, but heavy weaponry, such as cannons, are forbidden to maintain neutrality.[3]

In the Second War, zeppelins crews were only the single pilot. Sometimes they consist of a pilot and an engine tender.[4] Modern zeppelins have eight member crews including a sky-captain, a chief officer, a navigator, three crewmen, and two guards.

RPG lore

Zeppelin schematics

The RPG Icon 16x36.png This section concerns content exclusive to the Warcraft RPG and is considered non-canon.

A goblin zeppelin is a form of transportation that consists of a wooden gondola attached to a large balloon, into which hot air is pumped by a phlogiston boiler. They are swift, able to make long journeys, and pass above rough terrain.[5]

The pilot of the zeppelin can control the direction through use of ropes which are connected to both the steering wheel in the gondola, as well as fins on the balloon's back. Altitude is maintained or adjusted by the degree of inflation of the balloon, as well as with ballast. Moving in a direction or changing speed requires thrust, given by one or more rotors.[5]

The zeppelin is an example of one of the most stable technological devices to be found on Azeroth (a trait uncommon of goblin inventions), and malfunctions tend to be non-threatening. Naturally, it is possible for the zeppelin to drift off course or develop a leak, but only rarely will the phlogiston boiler have difficulty, and even rarer still will it explode.[5]

Since the Second War, zeppelins have become a widespread method of transportation, due to development by the goblins.[6] After the Second War, the goblins rescinded their alliance with the Horde and began selling their goods and services to the highest bidder. Throughout the course of the Third War, the zeppelins were employed by both the Horde and Alliance. Their speed had increased substantially and the zeppelins were now able to travel over long distances and rough terrain, as well as carry vast numbers of troops.[6]

They also invented other zeppelin-like "airships" that are able to ferry troops over impassable terrain.[7] Possibly referencing the transport ability zeppelins gained in the Third War.

Zeppelins come in different designs and sizes, and different zeppelins have different crew sizes. Zeppelins are manned by at least a pilot.[5] Some are manned by a pilot, navigator, and engineer.[8]

It moved at 40 miles per hour in the Warcraft RPG,[6] but was changed to 15 miles per hour in the World of Warcraft RPG.[5] Zeppelins can cover about five hundred miles in a twelve-hour day of travel, allowing the crew time to rest and make any necessary repairs. An Explorer's Guild trip from Sunwell Grove to Booty Bay was made in just under 80 days.[8]

Zeppelin routes

WoW Icon 16x16.png This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

Cataclysm Boat and Zeppelin Route Map
Zeppelin stationed in Orgrimmar.

In World of Warcraft, you won't see free-flying zeppelins without a specific course. They now follow established routes with a Zeppelin Tower at each end point. Some cargo zeppelins can be seen crashed in places.

Kalimdor ↔ Eastern Kingdoms
Eastern Kingdoms
Kalimdor ↔ Northrend
Eastern Kingdoms ↔ Northrend

Other zeppelins

Hellscream Warfleet


WCRTS logos 48x48.png This section concerns content exclusive to the real time strategy games.


  • The crashed Zeppelins seen in the old world and Outland (such as the one in Stranglethorn Vale) appear to be of a different, more compact design compared to the functioning Zeppelins seen elsewhere, bearing a close resemblance to the Warcraft 3 Zeppelin with a different paint job. This may be due to the main model being updated, while the destroyed model stayed the same, much like the iterations of steam tanks.
  • The zeppelin that dropped the mana bomb on Theramore is consistently called a "sky galleon" throughout its appearance in Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War. This is either an alternate name for zeppelins or a name for the type introduced in Wrath of the Lich King. The ship was also armed with cannons, something not seen in WoW.
  • Due to recent accidents, the goblin cartels have prohibited anyone from bringing snakes on a zeppelin.[9]
  • The voice effects for the Goblin Zeppelin unit in Warcraft 3 were done by Monte Krol.[10]


See also

Patches and hotfixes

  • WotLK Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): The crews have returned.
  • Hotfix (2007-12-06): "The vendors on the Boats and Zeppelins throughout Azeroth have run out stock and shut up shop, they are no longer able to service you with their wares."
  • TBC Patch 2.3.0 (2007-11-13): Crews and guards have been added to the zeppelins. Machine vendors were also added on each zeppelin, one for trade goods/reagents and repairing, the other for food and drink.
  • WoW Icon 16x16.png Patch 1.7.0 (2005-09-22): Some of the zeppelin paths have been modified.

Reference list