Archive for the 'Airships' Category

Feb 7

The Loss of the USS Macon, 12 February 1935

Thursday, February 7, 2019 12:01 AM

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Lieutenant Harold B. "Min" Miller at the controls of his F9C over Moffett Field. In 1934, Miller became the HTA Unit's senior aviator and was co-developer of the radio equipment which "homed" the pilots back to the airship.

  Following graduation from the Naval Academy in 1924, Harold B. Miller spent two years in the crew of the battleship USS California (BB-44) before going to flight training. As an aviator, he initially was in the battleship USS West Virginia (BB-48) and carrier USS Langley (CV-1). He served as a scout plane pilot from the Navy’s last two rigid airships, the USS Akron (ZRS-4) and Macon (ZRS-5). In this excerpt from his second interview at his home in Manhasset, New York, Admiral Miller recounts the dramatic loss of the USS Macon off the coast of California in 1935.     To read more about the Naval Institute Oral History Program, go… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 28

Here’s How the French Created Military Aviation

Thursday, June 28, 2018 8:28 AM

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On June 26, 1794, the French army launched their military balloon, L’Entreprenant, for reconnaissance during the Battle of Fleurus — the first use of an aircraft for military purposes. The Committee of Public Safety approved the creation of the French Company of Aeronauts in 1794 and sponsored the development of the hydrogen that would be used to raise the craft. After much testing and experimentation with gases and structures, L’Entreprenant was born [1].   Following a brief debut during a bombardment on June 2, L’Entreprenant was used to report enemy movements during a conflict with Austrian forces [2]. At Fleurus, the balloon… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 11

Rare German Helmet from Hindenburg Ground Crew

Friday, May 11, 2018 2:15 AM

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May 6 marked the 81st anniversary of the fiery destruction of the Hindenburg at NAS Lakehurst. The cause of the disaster is still debated but the prevailing theory is that the airship’s highly volatile hydrogen gas was ignited by static electricity as the Hindenburg descended. The widely circulated film of the burning zeppelin shocked the public. The incident caused Deutsche Zepplelin Reederei (German Zeppelin Transport Company) to ground its airships and suspend its burgeoning transatlantic operations. The outbreak of WWII a few years later prevented DZR from reestablishing it’s commercial passenger service and all its airships were ordered to be… Read the rest of this entry »