CHAPTER 5 PEACETIME AVIATION Peacetime Distance Flying Airships Barnstorming and Competing Airlines and Airmail Section A Peacetime Distance Flying
Peacetime Distance Flying
Barnstorming and Competing
Airlines and Airmail
Long distance flights demonstrated the capabilities of aircraft developed during the war as well as the skill and experience of pilots, navigators, and mechanics. Compared to prewar equipment, military aircraft at the end of the war were larger and stronger, engine more powerful and reliable, and instruments and radios more developed and more frequently installed in aircraft. Military aviation influenced the immediate postwar activities in civil as well as military aviation.
Was under-powered, so the Navy installed four engines on the other three NCs.
With the war over, the Navy decided to fly the NCs across the Atlantic anyway.
May 8 and May 31, 1919
Meanwhile, while the NCs were crossing…
Big problems for NC-1 and NC-3
Only NC-4 completed the trip eventually ending up in Plymouth, England
The London Daily Mail again offered a prize for the first flight across the Atlantic Ocean, now to be completed with 72 consecutive hours.
British war veterans John Alcock and Arthur Brown flew a modified Vickers Vimy (WWI bomber) to victory on 14-15 June 1919.
The Alcock team left Newfoundland on 14 June 1919.
Alcock was pilot
Brown was Navigator
After armistice, the British offered to loan its unneeded airships to the British Air Ministry to explore the commercial potential of airships.
The British military determined their designs were too weak, and decided to design airships based on German technology.
Postwar aviation included an enthusiasm for airships and activities such as “prospecting” or surveying air routes for possible airship lines. The airship proved itself during the war as a naval coastal patrol ship and in 1919 ad a long-distance aircraft. Prohibited from military aviation, Germany turns its postwar interest to commercial air travel by airship
As soon as the war ended, the Zeppelin Co. built two new rigids for passenger service
Both were confiscated as restitution for German equipment destroyed after the war.
France also got the L 72; renamed Dixmude
In 1923 France launched both the Mediterranee and Dixmude for flights between its African colonies. These were “prospecting” flights.
Other zeppelins were dismantled and shipped to other countries. Britain benefited by finally getting their hand on the German technology
The US Navy bought the Italian-made semi-rigid Roma and crashed it on 21 February 1922, with a loss of 34 men.
The American response was to abandon flammable hydrogen to make the switch to helium.
It never made it…..
September 1925, the Shenandoah was caught in a squall line, and crashed
BUT, IT DID NOT CATCH FIRE!
Eckener saved the Zeppelin Co. by convincing the Allies that airships were not militarily viable in the age of fighter planes. He revived the German airship industry as a wholly civil enterprise.
Soon Allied restrictions on German airship production were lifted
Time for a break!!!