Showing posts from March 3, 2013

March Airship of the Month: ZR-1 Shenandoah

With this headline, on the morning of September 3rd, 1925, the Baltimore American announced the crash of the first American rigid airship. The ZR-1 Shenandoah (originally designated "Fleet Airship No. 1" represented the start of America's unfortunate association with rigid airships. 
Assembled at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station the then FA-1 was copied from a wartime German Zeppelin. 
The Shenandoah garnered several firsts during her short career including the first transcontinental airship flight, the first airship to launch aircraft, the first airship to moor to a ship (the U.S.S. Patoka, more about that ship later) and, of course, the first American built airship.

The ZR-1 takes shape in the same hangar that would later shelter the Hindenburg. Parts for the airship were fabricated in Philadelphia then shipped to Lakehurst for final assembly.
 The Shenandoah is christened after two years of construction
The Shenandoah shares Lakehurst Hangar …