Easter Greetings from Airships.net

by Dan Grossman on April 5, 2015

Airship Easter card


Anniversary of U.S.S. Akron crash – April 4, 1933

by Dan Grossman on April 4, 2015

On this day in 1933, the U.S. Navy dirigible ZRS-4 Akron crashed in a storm off the coast of New Jersey, killing 73 of the 76 men aboard the airship.

The only three survivors of the USS Akron crash:  Moody Erwin (left), Herbert V. Wiley (center), Richard Deal (right)

The only three survivors of the USS Akron crash: Moody Erwin (left), Herbert V. Wiley (center), Richard Deal (right)

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The American Navy’s “Passenger” Airship

by Dan Grossman on February 25, 2015

U.S.S. Los Angeles was an American naval vessel, but her interiors were designed for civilian passenger service.

Interior of Navy Airship U.S.S. Los Angeles

Built as LZ-126 in Germany, Los Angeles was the brainchild of Hugo Eckener. The Treaty of Versailles prohibited Germany from constructing zeppelins, so to get around that restriction – and save the Zeppelin Company – Eckener proposed building an airship for the Americans as war reparations. The British, who had been bombed by zeppelins during the war, opposed the construction of a new German airship, but a compromise was reached under which the Zeppelin Company was allowed to build the ship as long as it was designed solely for civilian and not military purposes. And so the U.S. Navy’s ZR-3 Los Angeles was built as a passenger airship.


Book about British Airship R.34

by Dan Grossman on February 15, 2015

Flight of the Titan: The Story of the R34 is a (somewhat) recent book about the historic 1919 transatlantic crossing of the British airship R.34.

Although it was published a few years ago I have not yet read the book — my copy is now on the way — but knowledgeable friends speak highly of it. The only criticism I have heard relates to the publisher’s decision to use a photo of LZ-127 on the cover. :-)

Please feel free to post your own thoughts and reviews of the book in the comments.Flight of the Titan


Happy Valentine’s Day from Airships.net

by Dan Grossman on February 14, 2015

Valentine Airship Dirigible


R.100, Petri Dishes, and the Wheat Rust Fungus

February 11, 2015

An interesting article on a scientific experiment carried out during R.100’s transatlantic crossing to Canada in 1930. And it’s always flattering to be quoted by the BBC.      

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Zeppelin Dining included in New Book about Meals in the Air

December 23, 2014

A newly published history of dining in the sky includes the era of passenger zeppelins. Food in the Air and Space: The Surprising History of Food and Drink in the Skies discusses dining in the early DELAG airships as well as Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg, and even mentions the military airships of WWI. I was pleased to help with the book […]

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Airship Holiday Cards to Share with your Friends

December 22, 2014

Feel free to download and share by email, Facebook, Twitter, or however you choose. Happy Holidays, Helium Heads!

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Santa Rides a Blimp, not a Sleigh

December 21, 2014

In 1925 Santa Claus traded-in his sleigh for an upgrade to the Goodyear blimp Pilgrim and he has been floating rather than sleighing ever since. Pilgrim was the first advertising blimp operated by Goodyear and it was loaned to the old man of the North Pole to serve as the Santa Claus Express beginning in 1925. The tradition of […]

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Breaking News – U.S. Navy Airship Program Canceled; MZ-3A Blimp Grounded

December 8, 2014

The United States Navy’s MZ-3A airship program has been canceled, according to Lakehurst Operations Manager Rick Zitarosa. The MZ-3A crew has been furloughed and there is no pressure watch on the ship, which is sitting unattended at Hangar One at Lakehurst. The ship is a modified American Blimp Corporation A-170 series commercial blimp that has been operated by the […]

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Happy Birthday, Helium Airships!

December 1, 2014

Today is the anniversary of the first flight of a helium airship. On December 1, 1921, the U.S. Navy blimp C-7 took to the skies inflated with helium. The ship was commanded by Lt. Cdr. Ralph F. Wood, assisted by Lt. Cdr. Zachary Lansdowne, Lt. C.E. Bousch, and CMM Farriss. C-7 made several flights from Norfolk, […]

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Pan Am’s China Clipper and the End of the Airship

November 22, 2014

On this day in 1935, Pan American’s China Clipper left San Francisco on the first scheduled mail flight across the Pacific Ocean.  People often say the age of the airship ended with the Hindenburg disaster on May 6, 1937, but it may have ended with the flight of the China Clipper on November 22, 1935. Capable of crossing the […]

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Today is the Birthday of Human Flight

November 21, 2014

Today is the birthday of human flight. On this day in 1783, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent, Marquis d’Arlandes made the first manned flight in history when they flew over Paris for 25 minutes in a hot air balloon built by the Montgolfier brothers. Happy birthday, helium heads!

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Anniversary of the World’s First Airline; November 16, 1909

November 16, 2014

Today is the anniversary of the world’s first airline. DELAG was established on November 16, 1909, and provided passenger service — including the world’s first transatlantic airline service — using zeppelin airships. DELAG was an acronym for Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft, or German Airship Transportation Corporation Ltd. While many of the flights before World War I were local sightseeing tours, the DELAG airship […]

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Great Photo of Goodyear Blimp “Resolute”

November 13, 2014

A great photo of the Goodyear Blimp Resolute taken over Manhattan in August, 1935, by Dr. Alfred “Ted” Hill. My deep thanks to Kent O’Grady for allowing me to share this wonderful photo from his personal collection.

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New York Times Article on Aeroscraft

November 10, 2014

About Igor Pasternak and Aeroscraft, in today’s New York Times: Pursuing a Shipping Revolution as Big as His Airship   

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A Complete Guide to The Goodyear Blimp

November 10, 2014

I have just published The Goodyear Blimp, Today and Yesterday | A Complete Guide to Goodyear’s Advertising Blimps. Please let me know what you think.

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Silly Zeppelin Movie of the Day

November 4, 2014

This is the interior of the zeppelin in the 2006 movie Flyboys. How did the thing ever get off the ground?

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