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  • Why is this blog always finding any escuse to bash Navy dirigibles? They may not be as fancy as your British airships, or as explodey as your Nazi zeppelins but, goddammit, they’re ours! Show a little pride!

  • There were over 50,000 blimp flights during the war. They performed escort duty for merchant ships and anti-submarine patrols. No merchant vessel escorted by a blimp was ever sunk by a U-boat. Only one blimp was lost to enemy fire and that was in the course of sacrificing itself to save a merchant vessel.

    They were funny looking, but they were dependable.


  • WAY the f**k more reliable than your average airline. Northwest never would have gone bankrupt had they have flown a fleet of blimps instead. It’s the only way I travel to my arctic lair deep beneath the polar crust.

  • They would be ideal for anti-piracy work off the Horn of Africa today, with their long loitering time, high vantage point, quiet approach, and stability as a sniper platform.

  • If it weren’t for the dirigibles, who knows if Mountain View, CA would have survived as a city… Without Mountain View, CA, who knows if Google would have ever been born! So- thank goodness for these big trusty steeds and their indirect involvement in connecting me to all of the useful information out on the other side of the internet.

  • Moffett Field was an awesome place. I was there when they decommissed the naval air station. At least NASA stayed, thank god for Ames.

  • I imagine SophiaGrrl thought she was on safe territory bashing dirigibles. But no! I clicked through to defend their floaty/explody awesomeness only to find no less than 6 diriblophiles got there first.

  • Hey, I’m willing to learn. The caption on the photo now reads:

    (Some claim they were totally dependable, Hindenberg explosion aside. One larger-than-life disaster colored my assumptions.. but some more googling sort of reinforced my first impression. (http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Lighter_than_air/dirigibles/LTA9.htm) It’s a list of disasters.

    Regardless, this much remains true tho – it’s an odd motto. As though they couldn’t muster anything loftier to say than “They were dependable,” as though they felt it was something to brag on, something not taken for granted. Just sayin’.)

  • I think the motto itself is a riff on the motto of the PT boats: “They were expendable.”

  • Sophiagrrrl: some airships were very dependable. The Graf Zeppelin flew nearly 600 flights for over 1 million miles without incident. It was in operation for 9 years and flew in locations ranging from the Arctic Circle to the deserts of Egypt.

    Of course one airships switched over to helium gas they became much safer than hydrogen-based airships.

    FYI: of the 97 persons aboard the Hindenburg, 35 perished in the Hindenburg disaster?

  • I think we’d all be better off if zeppelin critics would turn their derision towards something everyone hates: old timey pennyfarthing bicycles. Those guys are worse than the Kaiser.

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