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Old Dec 18, 2012, 07:14 AM
PhoenixFlyer
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The US Navy 3-W's LTA

Attached, our last military active duty 3W Airships. These assigned to
USN Lakehurst. Both went down, 1960. You can google newspaper info, but the reporting not always correct. Attached picture.
Powerplants on outboard nacelles, vs. the 2W's, powerplants aboard, with driveshafts to outboard nacelles.
Vince
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 02:01 PM
dusty bible = dirty life
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My Dad's first job at Goodyear Aerospace was the installation design for the height finding radar on top of the bag on these.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 02:48 PM
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What a coincidence. I have just been carving a vacform mold for the height finder radome of my model ZPG-3W. I posted details of this model on the website airshipmodeler.com, now apparently defunct (it seemed a more appropriate site for scale models), so I have added a couple of photos of it on the mooring mast (flying on your own it hard to take pictures in flight). As you can see, it is currently missing some scale details, including the height finder radome.

I have had to largely guess the shape of the radome, from a large scale 3-view of the airship and a few photos. Majortomski, do you by any chance have any drawings or pictures that give a good indication of the shape?
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 04:44 AM
PhoenixFlyer
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Radome on the 3W

Alan, I am thinking back here. The 3W's did not have a radome on top of the bag, the 2W's did, on top, and below the gondola. The new 3W's had radar antenna inside the bag itself, and nothing on the bottom of the gondola.
Years ago, I had to make a visit to Goodyear in Akron. The person I had to see, was located behind the office areas at the entrance, and I was directed to the back, with no escort. I entered one building, walked in, looked to my right, and was amazed at what I saw. Sitting there, with a ghostly appearance, one of the 3W gondolas, from one of the crashes, of course, many years ago. I do not know if it was from the squadron, ZW-1, I was attached to, or the ZP-3. There was pieces of the bag draped over parts of the gondola, just as it was lifted from the sea. I had some hours in the 3W, and fortunately not on duty when the mishaps occured.
I can remember, coming back from a barrier flight in the 2W's, and the bag losing pressure, it had to be repaired in flight, which meant a climb up the vertical tunnel to the top.
Vince
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 06:34 AM
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I may have confused the -2s with the -3s. I do know he spoke of that spooky climb up the ladder tunnel to the top of the bag. And how at Goodyear you had to talk all the way up and down so that the safety guys could hear your voice and be sure you weren't going through a helium leak.

My reccollection is the top fairing was pretty much identical to the one on an EC-121/WV-1/PO-1V Morning Star.
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Old Dec 29, 2012, 03:47 AM
PhoenixFlyer
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Helium Leak

Major Tom. We knew the helium leak right away. Your voice would go from normal to abnormal, and sound like a squeaky doll talking. The tunnels were straight up, with plexi-glass windows on a few sections, for observing the inside of the bag. You could see everything with the strobes. All ballonets were visible, and gave an eery feeling. When you are 20 years old or in that age bracket, there was no fear. Climbing the tripod to catch the nose of the airships, always an adventure.
Vince
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Old Jan 03, 2013, 03:33 AM
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The 3W definitely did have a radome on top, see images below (2nd one from Don Dwiggin's book, unfortunately the 'top side platform' did not scan too well)
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Old Jan 04, 2013, 07:17 AM
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That picture and another one of the Airdock were popular post cards from Akron when I grew up. It took 30 years before someone noticed that the picture of the airdock had been printed backwards.
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