US Navy Airships

Discussion in 'Aircraft Pictures' started by T Bolt, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #1 T Bolt, Jul 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    Los Angeles mishap.jpg Los Angeles miahap2.jpg I’ve always been fascinated by airships and have collected quite a few pictures so I thought I would start this thread to post some of them.
    This first post is just to get your attention. It’s the USS Los Angeles on August 25th 1927 when a gust of wind caught the tail at Lakehurst NJ. Only minor damage and no one was hurt, but I’m sure quite a few crew members had to clean out their shorts!
     
  2. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #2 T Bolt, Jul 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    Shenandoah 1.jpg Shenandoah 2.jpg Shenandoah 3.jpg Shenandoah 4.jpg Shenandoah 5.jpg Shenandoah 6.jpg Shenandoah 7.jpg Shenandoah 8.jpg Shenandoah 9.jpg shenandoah-diagrams.jpg ZR1Mast1924.jpg zr-1.gif zzh42026.jpg zzh42032.jpg zzh98997.jpg Built in 1922 and first flew in 1923, the 680 ft long Shenandoah was ripped apart in a storm in Ohio on September 3rd 1925. 14 men died and 29 survived.
     
  3. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    Great thread!

    I'm also a huge fan of the Navy airships (and airships in general.) I'll try to post some of the photos I have later.

    In the meantime, have any of you seen this website? It's an excellent resource, one of the best I've found.

    Airships: The Hindenburg and Other Zeppelins
     
  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Great pics Glenn ! That first shot really gets the attention, and I'm sure the guys in the biplane in the foreground are giving it loads of 'welly' whilst shouting 'Run away !'.
     
  5. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Guys! and that looks like a great site Smoke. I'll have to spend some more time looking around it.

    The Navy operated six rigid airships in the 20's and 30's and I'm going to make one post for each. 1 down 5 to go.
     
  6. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #6 T Bolt, Jul 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    h42050.jpg zr2.jpg Zr2aloft.jpg ZR-2_highmast.jpg The 695 ft long ZR-2 was designed for Britain's Royal Navy during World War I as the R-38. It was completed for the U.S, Navy in 1921 and flown across the Atlantic, but was destroyed by a catastrophic structural failure on August 23rd 1921 before the Navy could take delivery of it. 44 of the crew of 49 were killed. Only 35 people died in the Hindenburg disaster.
     
  7. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    #7 Smoke, Jul 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
    I believe the Navy only operated four, the Shenandoah, the Los Angeles, the Akron and the Macon. They did buy another one, but it crashed before it was delivered.


    Anyway, here's my favorite photo of the Shenandoah.

    [Edit} I resized the image, the full sized version should be available on Airships.net.
     

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  8. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Whoa! looks like it's a great pic, but way too big for the forum. Could you re-size it to no larger than 800 x 600 px ?
    Glenn, the first two pics appear to be the airships 'sheds' at Cardington, Bedfordshire, UK. They're still there today, huge structures which can be seen rising from the fields from miles away. And they're still used for flying, including indoor 'silent flight' competitions etc.
     
  9. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #9 T Bolt, Jul 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
    Very cool picture Smoke! The biplane makes for good scale comparison. The Navy did operate the four you mentioned, and the ZR-2 which crashed like you said which I included in post #6 because even though the Navy hadn't excepted it yet it hag been given the Navy ZR-2 number and there were Navy personal on board that were killed when it crashed. The sixth one was the ZMC-2 which was much smaller and looked more like a blimp, but was a rigid airship with a Alclad skin. It was the last remaining Navy airship not being scraped until 1941.

    Terry its amazing that those sheds are still there. The huge hanger that the Shenandoah was being constructed in above is still there in Lakehurst NJ also. It was featured in an episode of the X files a while back
     
  10. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #10 T Bolt, Jul 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    big_los_angeles_in_hangar_1.jpg h63069.jpg h76379.jpg Los Angeles1.jpg los_angeles_airship_3_other_blimps.jpg Los Angeles mishap.jpg Los Angeles miahap2.jpg Built in 1923-24 in Germany by Zeppelin it was given to the United States as part of the WW I war reparations and operated by the U.S. Navy. On August 25th 1927 a gust of wind caught the tail when it was moored at Lakehurst NJ and it lifted to 85 degrees. No one was injured and no major damage was done and it flew the next day. The Los Angeles was decommissioned 1932, but recommissioned in 1933 after the loss of the USS Akron, finally being scrapped in 1939. It was the longest operating Navy airship and was 656 ft long.
     
  11. Smoke

    Smoke Member

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    Oh! I had forgotten about the ZMC-2...

    I'm not sure about the biplane really showing the scale though, it's pretty far in the foreground.
     
  12. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    NICE! I've always loved them.
     
  13. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #13 T Bolt, Jul 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    06_19_7.jpg zmc2.jpg zmc-2-2.jpg Zmc-2_1929.jpg The ZMC-2 flew from 1929 to 1941 when it was scraped. It looks like a blimp, was only 149 ft long, but had a rigid Alclad skin. It was difficult to control because of its low length to diameter ratio and therefore was not flown often.
     
  14. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #14 T Bolt, Jul 27, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    01USS_Akron_under_construction,_nov_1930.jpg Akron@Akron.jpg h42160.jpg h51493.jpg h63070.jpg macon-sf-2800.jpg Uss-akron-manhattan.jpg Construction on the Akron was begun in 1929 and the first flight was mid 1931. The Akron was 785 ft long, only slightly less that the Hindenburg and along with its sister ship the USS Macon, was capable of carrying, launching, and retrieving the Curtiss F9C-1 sparrowhawk biplane fighters, the Akron being able to carry three planes while the Macon could hold four
    The Akron crashed off the east coast on April 4th 1933, after being caught in a severe down draft during a storm. There were only 3 survivors. The death toll was 73 including 2 men from the Navy blimp J-3 which crashed during the search.
     
  15. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #15 T Bolt, Jul 27, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    01 045.jpg 01 macon-construction.jpg 01 macon-construction-205.jpg 01ah42022.jpg 01ah42023.jpg 02macon-constr-3200.jpg 03macon-hanger-2200.jpg 05h85746.jpg 05qwert.jpg 06h85747.jpg 07h85745.jpg 08g441983.jpg 10 44.jpg 11 42.jpg 12 0aMaconGroundCrew.jpg F9C-2_Sparrowhawk_approaching_for_landing_on_airship_Macon_ZRS_5.jpg g441979.jpg h77424.jpg h77596.jpg h82711.jpg h82712.jpg Uss-macon-sparrowhawk-no1-port-wing-09-2006b.jpg The 784 ft long USS Macon first flew in 1933, a month after the loss of her sister ship The USS Akron.
    It was capable of carrying four sparrow hawk fighters which sank with the Macon when the top fin came off due to structural failure, ripping the rear gasbag and causing the airship to crash into the Pacific Ocean off the California cost. The crash was not violent and the water was warm so all but two of the crew survived, and their deaths were needless. One jumped from the airship as it was descending, but still too high, and the other swam back to the wreck to retrieve personal Items.
     
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