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H class
Role Observation airship
Manufacturer Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation
Introduction 1921
Retired 1923
Primary users United States Navy
United States Army
Number built 2

The H class blimps were observation airships built for the U.S. Navy in the early 1920s. The design originated with a suggestion by Commander Lewis Maxfield (who was to have commanded the ZR-2, better known as the R38, and died in its crash) for a small airship which could be used either as a tethered kite balloon, or be towed by a ship until releasing its cable it would be able to scout on its own. The results was an airship similar to the later Army Motorized Kite Balloons.

Operational history[edit | edit source]

After test flights at Wingfoot Lake, the first in the class, H-1 was shipped to Rockawaydisambiguation needed in May 1921. During the summer of 1921, H-1 completed six flights and, on its seventh, a hard landing pitched the crew out of the control car. H-1 free ballooned as far as Scardale, New York where a farmer was able to grab the rip cord and tie the blimp down. During the night it was deflated. The deflated H-1 was shipped back to Rockaway in time to be destroyed in the hangar fire of August 31, 1921.

A second H-type was acquired on a Navy contract but supplied directly to the U.S. Army which operated it as the OB-1 and lost in crash at Highland, IL on September 28, 1923.[1]

Operators[edit | edit source]

United States[edit | edit source]

Specifications[edit | edit source]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two
  • Length: 94 ft 10 in (28.91 m)
  • Diameter: 32 ft 8 in (9.96 m)
  • Height: 40 ft 10 in (12.45 m)
  • Volume: 43,030 ft3 (1,218 m3)
  • Useful lift: 1,146 lb (520 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lawrence L-4, 60 hp (45 kW) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 50 mph (80 km/h)
  • Range: 400 miles (640 km)
  • Endurance: 7 hours
  • Service ceiling: 6,000 ft (1,830 m)

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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