77 years ago, the ultimate flying warship, the US Navy dirigible ZRS-5 USS Macon took flight for the first time.
After a short, but successful career as a flying aircraft carrier for Curtiss f9c Sparrowhawk surveillance fighter planes, she was senselessly lost in a storm due to a known design flaw and prior damage which was allowed to go uncorrected.
USS Macon was only 20 feet shorter than the German passenger airship LZ-129 Hindenburg.
If both the Macon and Hindenburg hadn’t been destroyed prematurely, I guesstimate that large rigid airships would have continued development and could have remained commercially viable passenger transit perhaps through the 1970’s and might still be around today as freighters and as high priced flying cruise ships.
That thought came from reading a book by a former GoodYear president called “Why has America no Rigid Airships?”
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