Two films on one video. The first is a documentary offering many old and unique views of rigid airships in historical scenes. The second film, produced by the Navy in 1950, provides an excellent overview of the ZP2K airship. Includes detailed interior and exterior views of the airship, as well as good shots of many of the controls.
“Lighter-than-Air – History of Rigid Airships” is a 1947 War Department film which commences with views of the Hindenburg disaster at Lakehurst, NJ in May 1937.
Germany pioneered the rigid airships with the LZ-1 in 1900. During World War I, the German Navy had 116 rigid airships. At least one was employed as an observation platform in the naval Battle of Jutland.
In 1919 Great Britain built its first rigid airship, the R-34, which made the first trans- Atlantic flight to Mineola, NY. A sister ship, the R-33, was used for experiments. In 1921 The R-38/ZR-2 was purchased from the British by the U.S., but soon became a total loss. In the late 1920s, Briitain built the R-100 and R-101. However, the crash of the R-101 ended British efforts in the rigid airship field.
In 1923, the Navy’s ZR-l SHENANDOAH became the first U.S.-built airship. It was used extensively in fleet exercises including the mooring to a navy tanker, the PATOKA. It crashed in Ohio during a storm in 1925. In 1924 Germany built the ZR-3 as a war reparation for the U.S., and which the Navy named LOS ANGELES.
In 1928 the Goodyear Zeppelin Co., Akron, Ohio, received a contract for two rigid airships for the Navy, to be named AKRON and MACON. AKRON (ZRS-4) was completed in Sept. 1931 and made 74 flights before it crashed off the Atlantic coast in a storm in April 1933. MACON completed in 1933 and was based at Moffett Field, Sunnyvale, CA. It crashed at sea off central California in February 1935. Both AKRON and MACON carried 5 fighter-type aircraft. Thus ended the era of rigid airships.
DVD, Total Running Time Is 90 minutes.
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