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So that’s how they built airships. Some really interesting photos here

Neil Patrick

Airship is a type of an aerostat, with an impressive structure and really impressive terminology, we really  got blown away by the wide spectrum of names there are for an aircraft (aerostat, airship, dirigible, zeppelin, blimp, lighter-than-air- aircraft ).

Dirigible can navigate through the air under its own power. Aerostats gain their lift from large gas bags filled with a lifting gas that is less dense than the surrounding air.

In early dirigibles, the lifting gas used was hydrogen, due to its high lifting capacity and ready availability. Helium gas has almost the same lifting capacity and is nonflammable, unlike hydrogen, but is rare and relatively expensive. Significant amounts were first discovered in the United States and, for a while, helium was rarely used for airships outside the United States. Most airships built since the 1960s have used helium, though some have used hot air.Airships were the first aircraft capable of controlled powered flight, and were most commonly used before the 1940s, but their use decreased over time as their capabilities were surpassed by those of aeroplanes. Their decline was accelerated by a series of high-profile accidents, including the 1930 crash and burning of British R101 in France, the 1933 storm-related crash of the USS Akron and the 1937 burning of the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg. From the 1960s, helium airships have been used in applications where the ability to hover in one place for an extended period outweighs the need for speed and manoeuvrability such as advertising, tourism, camera platforms, geological surveys, and aerial observation.

We found this amazing photo collection of the construction and detailed structure of a dirigible, zeppelin, airship or however you would like to name it.

Catwalk on the USS Akron, ca. 1933
Catwalk on the USS Akron, ca. 1933

Photo: The U.S National Archives

Head-Chief Inspector of Structures Walking Through a Dirigible, ca. 1933
Engine Room in a Dirigible, ca. 1933
 Emergency Control Station of a Dirigible, ca. 1933
Left Side of the Control Car on a Dirigible, ca. 1933
Looking Down in Emergency Control Station of a Dirigible , ca. 1933
Navigation Room in a Dirigible, ca. 1933
Oil Tank on the USS Akron, ca. 1933
 Control Wires and Pulleys on a Dirigible


 Crew Bunks of a Dirigible, ca. 1933
Crews Quarters in a Dirigible, ca. 1933
The Nose of the USS Akron being Attached, ca. 1933
 Starboard Side of a Dirigible, ca. 1933
USS Akron in the Goodyear-Zeppelin Dock , ca. 1933
 Rising the First Main Frame of a Dirigible, ca. 1933
Propeller on a Dirigible, ca. 1933
Rear Control Car of a Dirigible, ca. 1933
Sailor at the Bow Mooring Post on a Dirigible, ca. 1933

Side Corridor on a Dirigible, ca. 1933
U.S. Congress. Joint Committee to Investigate Dirigible Disasters, ca. 1933



Neil Patrick

Neil Patrick is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News