Luftschiffe (was:ebay - Minivac 601, 1st pers. digital computer 1960s)

From: Ward Donald Griffiths III <>
Date: Fri Dec 18 17:19:00 1998

Max Eskin wrote:
> On Fri, 18 Dec 1998 wrote:
> > facility. Even if you get a gas leak, you're not going to crash --
> > a large airship doesn't have one gasbag, it has a half-dozen or more
> > ballonets inside the structure separately sealed apart from each
> > other.
> >From what I've heard, the reason why the US military stopped using
> airships was because so many crashed in storms...

Of the four rigid (Zeppelin-type) airships in the history of the US
Navy, two failed due to weather and one to human factors:
The Shenandoah was torn into three parts by a storm. 14 of the crew
died with the central section's extra weight of gondola and engines,
29 survived in the fore and aft sections, free-ballooning to safety.
The Akron was flown under the orders of Admiral Moffett into a storm
off Barnagat New Jersey, 3 survivors, 73 fatalities including the
Admiral who then had a base named after him.
The Macon was flown with temporary repairs to a structural fault on
manouvers with the fleet off Point Sur California, 2 crewman jumped
to their deaths in panic, 81 survivors floated with the ship and
were rescued.
The Los Angeles flew for eighteen years without an accident, was
scrapped for its aluminum shortly after the US entered WWII.

Most people see the old footage of the Hindenberg and assume that
everybody died. Of the 97 people on board, 62 survived, most
uninjured. 35 on board died plus one ground crewman hit by falling

The US Navy used nonrigid (blimp-type) airships from the 1920s until
about 1960, very heavily in WWII for coastal patrol to spot ships
and especially submarines. Though forbidden to engage enemy craft
due to their supposed fragility, one blimp with its radio out did
engage a German submarine in the Carribean rather than let it get
away while they physically reported to base. The bomb releases
didn't work (they'd never been used), so they strafed the sub with
their one(1) 50-cal, and took envelope damage from return fire. The
submarine fled while the blimp made it almost back to base before
needing rescue. In the 1960s the crew was given commendations (after
decades under the cloud of court-martial for disobeying the order not
to engage the enemy) when Admiral Rosendahl (a survivor many years
before of the Shenandoah) found in German records an account that the
sub had been damaged by the blimp to the point where it could not
submerge, made it back across the Atlantic but was sunk by the Royal
Navy in the North Sea.
Ward Griffiths <> <>
WARNING:  The Attorney General has determined that Alcohol, Tobacco,
and Firearms can be hazardous to your health -- and get away with it.
Received on Fri Dec 18 1998 - 17:19:00 GMT

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