To learn more about the flight of the Snow Bird you might want to check out a few more great resources. The Naval Historical Center released a publication called Kite Balloons to Airships...the Navy's Lighter-than-Air Experience outlining the 75 years of history in LTA (Lighter-Than-Air) at the Navy. Chapter "XVI. LTA Records Set in the 1950s"(PDF) outlines the story on the Snowbird in great detail with many pictures. But the whole publication is worth a read. It's a free PDF download.
The Naval Airship Association also had a great article with pictures in their official newsletter The Noon Balloon(PDF) around page 18. Click here to get the Noon Balloon Number 73.
These where the Specifications of the ZPG-2 also called N Class Blimp :
- Crew: 21
- Length: 343 ft 0 in (104.57 m)
- Diameter: 76 ft 0 in (23.17 m)
- Height: 107 ft 0 in (32.62 m)
- Volume: 1,011,000 ft³ (23,648 m³)
- Powerplant: 2 × Wright R-1300-2 radials,, 800 hp (600 kW) each
- Maximum speed: 80 mph (128 km/h)
- Endurance: over 200 hours
So I can only agree to Silver Donald Cameron that airships have a great future ahead. They can provide alternative ways of travel with less fuel consumption than any modern air plane. Sure they are slower but there are lot's of applications where time is not so much an issue. Check out Mr Camerons Blogs Sailing Away from Winter and Silver Donald on Sunday for more columns and bits by him.
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