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British Industrial History

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USS Shenandoah (ZR-1)

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USS Shenandoah was the first of four United States Navy rigid airships. It was built in 1922–1923 at Lakehurst Naval Air Station, and first flew in September 1923. It developed the Navy's experience with rigid airships, and made the first crossing of North America by airship. On the 57th flight, Shenandoah was torn apart in a squall line over Ohio in 1925.[1]

The United States Air Service airship Shenandoah, while cruising near Cambridge, Ohio, on the morning of September 3rd, encountered a storm of great violence. Travelling at a height of some 3000ft. the vessel was lifted by a sudden squall to over 5000ft. Efforts were made to escapre from a stormy region, but they were unveilling. Under the violent buffettung to hcih the vessel was subjected, the framework appears ro hve gieven way. The airship broke completely in tow, the rear and larger part crashing to the ground, while the smaller front portion, adter travelling in the manner od a free balloon, descended at a pojnt some 10 miles distant from the scen of the disater. Out of her complement of eleven iffucers and thirty-one men, fourteen lost their lives. The Shenandoah was an airship of 2,115,000 cubic feet capacity, and was designed and built in the United States as an improved version of the German L 33 and the British R33 type. Read More.

Read The Loss of the U.S. Airship Shenandoah, p 399 in The Engineer 1926/10/08 for a two-page detailed report on the airship's fate.

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