The nine transoceanic rigid airships.
I was just put in my place by @AirshipEureka on Twitter for doubting her sentience. Sorry ma’am.
Go ahead and savor that brief shining moment where large rigid airships were taken for granted as a form of current transportation.
At the same time this has an oddly almost mythological tone to it.
Today is the 76th anniversary of the first flight of the LZ-129 Hindenburg, the largest aircraft in human history.
I know I wouldn’t have even been allowed to ride it if I lived back then, shut up.
The last thing Hugo Eckener wanted was for his airships to become flying billboards for the Nazis. He outright denounced the Nazis as criminal thugs well before they came to power and long before it became fashionable or safe for him to do so.
He was even considered a favorite to run against Adolf Hitler.
I say all this just to clarify, I’m not glorifying the Nazis or their authoritarian legacy of fear, violence, and mass murder by commemorating the airship Hindenburg.
More than anything its the fault of the Nazi’s that the Hindenburg was destroyed and rigid airships vanished forever.
Look at my epic library haul of books!
I’m officially a student again, so I’m finally allowed back in the campus library!
The library’s aviation section has a whole freaking shelf of airship and ballooning books! This is hugely cool because most modern aviation schools don’t even begin to take lighter than air aviation seriously due to that thing that happened in New Jersey a few years ago.
Yeah, I’ve got a fun year ahead of me.
Oh, and there’s something especially awesome about the balloon book on the right there, but I’ll maybe share that with you tomorrow!
USS Macon over New York, in 1931
Not to be a know-it-all, but that isn’t the USS Macon, its the USS Los Angeles.
You can tell because of the external engine cars and the lack of a secondary control deck in the lower tail fin, which were distinctive features of both the Macon and Akron. The Los Angeles’ gondola is also of a very different shape than the Akron and Macon.
The USS Los Angeles had external engine cars due to the risk the engines igniting the irritable hydrogen the ship was initially designed to fly with when it was constructed by Zeppelin in Germany.
The Akron and Macon, being designed in America to fly with helium, were drawn with engine rooms inside the envelope and cool propeller pod things on the outside that could be used to help better maneuver the ship.
I’m no expert though, I’m just regurgitating stuff I’ve read in books about airships.
All that aside, awesome photo.