July 06, 2018

It's R-34 Day!

HMA R-34 was a British R-33 class airship completed just too late for the Great War, first flying in March of 1919. The class proved to be a huge improvement on previous British zeppelin designs. After a series of trials that included a patrol around the Baltic, R-34 was given a brief refit. 


The ship's 3 inch gun as well as the depth charge/bomb racks were landed and additional petrol tanks installed in their stead. The crew was cut to 30 to save weight.. On July 2, 1919, the ship embarked Brigadier General Edward Maitland, an American naval observer (Zachary Landsdowne) a crew of 30 plus one stowaway (a William Ballantyne ) and his cat. The vessel then sailed into the Atlantic. Late on the first day, the crew discovered the stowaway (a rigger who had been one of those ordered off the ship  as a weight consideration) as he was not discovered until they were well out to sea, he was given petrol pumping and head cleaning duty. The cat was not punished.

R-34 encountered a nasty storm on the fourth and faced heavy headwinds which pushed its fuel consumption much higher than had been anticipated. Nevertheless, despite running on fumes, the R-34 landed in Long Island on July 6th, 1919. It was the first East to West crossing of the Atlantic by an aircraft, and it happened 99 years ago today.  


 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 08:33 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Posted by: Rick C at Fri Jul 6 22:35:50 2018 (ITnFO)

2 Apparently you can have an empty comment if you put in the captcha! Sorry.

Imagine being on one of those zeppelins doing the steeply-tilted landing sequence? Yikes.

Also, I'm glad the stowaway got given work and not put in suspended animation for the duration of the journey three milllion years.

Posted by: Rick C at Fri Jul 6 22:37:28 2018 (ITnFO)

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