Silver giants? Only seven Zeppelins were actually silver

Posted on April 8th, 2005 by

Lyrical writers who comment lovingly on the glories of the era of the big rigid airships – Zeppelins, to give the name of the German originator to all of them – frequently call them “Silver Giants” or something similar. Whatever... Continue Reading →

The Magic Number

Posted on March 11th, 2005 by

Those of us who own or rent airplanes are aware of the registration numbers, or N numbers, that each must carry. Few, however, realize that those numbers are not cast in concrete, but are transferable. An owner can cancel a... Continue Reading →

The power of three

Posted on February 11th, 2005 by

Without exception, all of the floats seen on licensed civil seaplanes today are of the twin-float type. The single-float type popular with the U.S. Navy when it still had seaplanes, with small floats under the wingtips as on flying boats,... Continue Reading →

Curtiss F9C

Posted on January 14th, 2005 by

One of the most memorable airplanes in the U.S. Navy inventory is the little Curtiss F9C “Sparrowhawk” of 1931-36. Aside from its distinctive gull-winged configuration and small size for a contemporary fighter, the F9Cs are best remembered for their unique... Continue Reading →

SA-1: An oldie but a goodie

Posted on December 24th, 2004 by

In the last issue, we looked at the SA-1 (Ship’s Aeroplane) developed by the U.S. Naval Aircraft Factory at the end of World War I. Although an oldie with many features that were outdated even for 1919, it deserves more... Continue Reading →

Simple Structure: The SA-1 was designed to be simple, almost to the point of being crude

Posted on December 10th, 2004 by

A major design objective of the Naval Aircraft Factory SA-1 of late 1918 was to have as simple a structure as possible. This was achieved, but almost to the point of being crude in some areas. The structure, particularly in... Continue Reading →