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Thursday, November 14, 2013

ZMC-2

Thank god for Tam and the military. If it wasn't for them I might run out of really weird, extraordinary shit that no one would ever believe. Except you've got photos.

What we have here is a flying beer can, a blimp made out of aluminum, 100 rings or so of Alclad aluminum sheet 18 inches wide, riveted together by an automatic sewing machine, just a couple of months before the great stock market crash of 1929. It seems that this was the first use of this corrosion resistant alloy and since it was a success, it was used to build most of the aircraft in WW2. It also explains why they were able to restore a Spitfire they dug out of a Normandy beach a few years ago.

The ZMC-2 was constructed in two halves, the nose and the tail, hung from the ceiling and rings of aluminum succesively attached.

This photo gives you an idea of the relative sizes of the ZMC-2, a normal blimp and the very large airship. The USS Los Angeles is about 650 feet long. The cruiser USS Raleigh steaming along on the water was about 550 feet long.

4 comments:

Ole Phat Stu said...

Blimp stands for Balloon(limp).
So does this Al construction qualify?
Surely it's a metal dirigible???

Charles Pergiel said...

It walks like a blimp, it talks like a blimp, I'm gonna call it a blimp. Dirigible makes me think of Zeppelins, which were huge and dangerous and crashed and burned and were a really bad idea. Blimps are still flying so they must be a good idea.

Tam said...

They called it the "Tin Blimp", which is so fun to say! :D

Charles Pergiel said...

And much easier than aluminimum zepperella.