United States Navy K-Type Airships: Pilot’s Manual, Goodyear Aircraft Corp. Akron Ohio, 1942, Contract Numbers NOs 78121 and NOa(s)-257, 106 pp.
Airships, and blimp pilots prefer to call their aircraft airships, fly with effortless ease in a neutrally buoyant state with the earth coasting by instead of the aircraft in movement. Tubing or rafting is a river of air. Marvelous.
The crew must have little to do except navigate and pay attention to the weather.
Airship crews have calculations, as well as graph interpretations, aplenty to stay atop of in preflight planning and piloting. Blimps are properly called airships and this pilot’s manual is thorough. It is clearly written and is an excellent primer on flight considerations in lighter-than-air flight. Fixed wing pilots would benefit from a read as well as students in math and science—those who are intrigued by application, especially.
The PDF download is free and can be found here, United States Navy K-Type Airships: Pilot’s Manual.
One of the undersung heroes of World War II.
134 of these lighter-than-aircraft were built by Goodyear for anti-submarine patrol duties. Crewed by 9 or 10 and able to remain aloft for nearly two days these aircraft could easily pace with a convoy or simply patrol an area. Silently able to patrol an area giving an enemy submarine no acoustic clue it was near should it desire to surface.
I watched this blimp point into a stiff offshore breeze and hold a hover for several minutes near Fisher Island in the vicinity of Miami Beach. Then, quick as you please, the craft was pivoted 90° to starboard presenting its port side (now a giant sail) to the wind which had it body surf to the east at 20–30 mph. An excellent demonstration of the mastery of physics and lighter-than-air flight.
Bill Ramsey (accomplished pilot, Red Arrows/Sr Supervisor, Vulcan pilot, The People’s Mosquito/Operations Director) sent this link from the Vulcan to the Sky Trust. The link leads to a beautiful film by Neil Draper showing expert formation flight to Queen’s These Are the Days of Our Lives. Hearing Freddie Mercury’s smooth serenading voice as well as Brian May’s emotive guitar has the heart soaring along with these aircraft.
Also, crank the volume up to the max during the end credits 😉