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« "How We Won" | Main | The Hurricane Season That Wasn't »

An Idle Thought

When I hear about NASA adding a fifth segment to the SRB, somehow it reminds me of this:

Over the summer of 1930, the R101 lay in the Number 1 shed at Cardington undergoing extensive modifications, which were needed following on from her 1929 and early 1930 trial flights. It was already known that both the R100 and R101 were lacking in the disposable lift originally planned at the outset of the Imperial Airship Scheme in 1925. Those involved in the scheme had already learnt that the R100 and R101 would not be viable for full commercial operations to Canada and India, and these intentions were later to be passed on to the new ship, the R102 class. To achieve the additional lift, R101 had a new central bay and gas bag installed.

It was expected that the new gas bag would give her another nine tons of disposable lift bringing her up to some 50 tons. The alterations were completed by Friday the 26th September and the R101 was gassed up and floated in the shed. The "new" ship, R101c, had disposable lift calculated at 49.36 tons, an improvement of 14.5 tons over the original configuration. Pressure was on for the ship to leave for Karachi on 26th September to carry the Air Minister, Lord Thompson of Cardington. Although the target date was on course to be met, wind was to keep the modified R101 in the shed until the morning of 1st October.

Not sure why, though.

Actually, I think that "Sliderule" should be required reading for every NASA employee.

Posted by Rand Simberg at November 10, 2007 09:11 AM
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Airships are the only thing that we know works. The failure of the Langley aerodrome proves that heavier than air flight is beyond our technology, and the recent crash of the Wright Flyer confirms it. We must look to the German Zeppelin, with its 100% success record. We are now builing an "American Zeppelin" that can transport NACA officials wherever we need to go for the next 40 years. While I am a strong supporter of "air commerce," as a public official, I need to ensure that NACA can carry out its air transportation missions. I can't trust American civil aviation to these private companies, which come and go.

Posted by Mike Griffin at November 10, 2007 12:18 PM

Too funny, Mike, too funny!

Posted by canttellya at November 10, 2007 12:54 PM

We have multiple copies of "Slide Rule" in the XCOR library. Everyone is encouraged to read it.

Posted by Aleta at November 11, 2007 02:59 PM

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