Tag Archives: First US Airship

this day in the yesteryear: Maiden Flight of the First US Airship (1923)

Maiden Flight of the First US Airship (1923)

The USS Shenandoah was the first American-built rigid dirigible. Its design was based on a German zeppelin downed during WWI, and it was the first ship to be filled with helium—making it safer than hydrogen-filled crafts. A year after its maiden voyage, it became the first rigid airship to cross North America. While on another tour in 1925, it passed through a storm and was torn apart. Thirteen crew members died in the crash. How did those who survived the disaster manage to do so? More… Discuss