Airship designs of the Golden Age

A photo essay on airship designs, 1906-1937, using imagery sourced from Flickr.

America; non-rigid civil airship. Launched 1906, lost at sea in 1910 due to engine failure during an attempted transatlantic crossing. Crew (including ship's cat) recovered by RMS Trent near Bermuda; no losses. Wellman airship “America” seen from Trent 1910, originally uploaded by amphalon.

de Marçay-Kluytmans prototype airship with central rotating propeller ring (an evolutionary dead end). Rigid construction. c. 1907. Dirigible of Baron deMarcay, originally uploaded by amphalon.

LZ 4 / Z2. German military zeppelin; rigid construction. Launched June 1908, fatally damaged while moored August 1908. Zeppelin Landing on the Bodensee, originally uploaded by amphalon.

La République, French military reconnaissance airship. Semi-rigid construction. Launched June 1908, crashed September 1909. All four crew members were killed. The French airship “Republique”, originally uploaded by gregory lee.

Clément-Bayard, French experimental non-rigid airship. Has four lobes rather than fins for stability; the lobes retarded the maximum forward velocity of the airship. c1909. Dirigible Airship in its Shed, originally uploaded by amphalon.

R34 / G-FAAG; RNAS rigid airship. Launched March 1919, written off in 1921 after CFIT into North York Moors. Airship R34, originally uploaded by University of Glasgow Library.

ZR-3 USS Los Angeles; US Navy rigid airship. German-built, launched as LZ 126 in 1924; decommissioned in 1932, dismantled in 1939. Longest-serving US military airship. USS Los Angeles moored to USS Patoka 1931, originally uploaded by lazzo51.

USSR-W6 Osoaviahim; Russian military airship. Semi-rigid construction, designed by Italian engineer Umberto Nobile. Launched November 1934, lost February 1938 due to CFIT into Mount Nebo. 16 of 19 crew killed, crash spelled the end of the Soviet airship program. CCCP-B6, originally uploaded by lazzo51.

LZ 129 Hindenburg; German civil airship. Rigid construction. Launched March 1936, lost May 1937 due to fire. 36 passengers and 61 crew on board, 13 passengers and 22 crew died. Hindenburg in Curitiba (1936), originally uploaded by llvsboston.

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