Saturday Scenes

Fri 19 July 2013

Dirigibles, Zeppelins and Blimps

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 23:45

On the 13th of July in 1919, the first airship return crossing of the Atlantic was completed by R34, which landed in Norfolk, England. This class of airships was known as the Pulham Pigs but the R34, as large as a contemporary “Dreadnought” battleship, was nicknamed “Tiny”.

On the 1st of July, the ship was ready to start its northern coastal route to America, which at the time had no experience of a rigid airship. The trip was beset with problems, including the unexpected discovery of stow-aways.

The main upset occurred at 2.00pm on the first day. It was discovered that a stowaway had managed to creep on board the ship, and hide up in-between the girders and the gasbags inside the hull of the ship. Before starting on the voyage, it was decided that some of the members of the crew, including W.W. Ballantyne , must be left behind, the numbers being limited of necessity to thirty on the voyage. Two hours before the flight, William Ballantyne managed to climb back on board the ship, and hid himself in the darkness of the ship. He had also carried with him, the crews’ mascot, a small tabby kitten called “Whoopsie”. Both of these stowaways had hidden themselves. But the cramped conditions and the fact that the smell of the gas had made Ballantyne nauseous, made him give up and come out of hiding.

The disheveled stowaway was brought in front of Major Scott and Maitland, and it was decided that there was actually nothing they could do about it. It was agreed that had they been over land then Ballantyne would have been put overboard by parachute, but as the next landfall was in fact America, he was to stay on board.

They reached Long Island, New York after 108 hours flying time. After three days rest (including hot showers and formal functions), the crew took the ship home. The journey took three days, three hours and three minutes, with the ship travelling 7,420 miles at an average speed of 43 mph.

Airman George Graham accepted responsibility for the kitten and she worked her passage throughout the rest of the voyage.

Meanwhile, on the 13th of July in 2013, SatScene participants proved they weren’t just full of hot air by submitting the following photographs:

And here are the photographers who took them:

Shouldn’t you save a photograph of your day-to-day life for posterity? It’s easy!

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send the link to @SatScenes with the location
  4. Leave URL for future descendants to find

I’m looking forward to seeing your photograph in the next edition!

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