Showing posts from 2014

FBI Hindenburg Report

Long time no see!

Got back from my vacation to find that my FOIA request for the Hindenburg File had been approved. In all, 408 pages were released. I'm not sure how different it is from the redacted report available from the FBI Vault, but I'll be transcribing the entire report as best I can.

I need to check Bureau guidelines to be sure, but I think I can provide a copy of the  transcript here when it is finished. In addition, you can contact me at ' for further information.

£427.00, the Imperial Airship Scheme, and His Majesty's Airship R-100

HMA R-100 was one half of the Imperial Airship Scheme. The brainchild of Christopher Thomson, the British Minister of Air, the Scheme, was a farsighted plan to connect the far flung colonies of the “empire on which the sun never set”, with regular, reliable, and expedient airship service. The first ship, R-100, the lesser known cousin of the infamous R-101, was chosen to fly a transatlantic route to Canada.
                The ship was the engineering brainchild of Barnes Wallis (later famous for WWII’s ‘bouncing bomb’ and his various designs for a supersonic airliner) and Nevil S. Norway (later acclaimed as the successful author Nevil Shute). The design and construction of R-100 represented a leap in airship design, going so far as to influence both the structure and passenger accommodations of Germany’s A.S. Hindenburg.                In fact, the streamlined, elliptically shaped envelopes of both the R-100 and the R-101 held such an technological advantage over the earlier Zeppelins…

Goodyear and the ZRCV Airship

The ZRS-class USS Akron and USS Macon, both fabricated by Goodyear Aircraft Co. in Akron, served as part of a massive experiment. Their purpose as proof of concept models for a skeptic Navy was masked by the vast complexity and performance of the two ships.

The ZRS designation stood for 'Lighter Than Air (The 'Z' likely being an homage to Zeppelin) Rigid Scout'. The ship's F9C Sparrowhawk fighters were designed to serve as both protective 'parasite' fighters, dispatched to eliminate threats to the larger mothership, as well as reconnaissance vehicles, their range vastly expanded by the ultra-long distance capabilities of the airship.

The next generation airship would represent a great step in naval aviation. The ZRCV designation belied their true role, CV was the navy abbreviation for Carrier Vehicle, as flying aircraft carriers.