London: Cassell, 1971, (First Edition) Hardback in dust wrapper.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Chronological tables; Cutaways; Appendices ;
From the cover: The story of airships forms one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of mans flight; a chapter filled with alternating triumph and tragedy, jubilation and heartbreak.
In a book illustrated with thirty-two pages of pictures, Robert Jackson tells of the development of lighter-than-air travel from its primitive conception seven centuries ago, when medieval thinkers such as Roger Bacon first conceived the idea that man might one day break the link that bound him to the earth. Comprehensive chapters on the pioneer airship work of the nineteenth century in France, Germany, Britain and other countries culminate in the achievements of the most famous airship manufacturer of all. Count Zeppelin, and lead on to an illuminating account of airship operations during the First World War. These include such little-known episodes as the activities of French and Italian airships, and German airship operations in the Balkans and on the Eastern Front, as well as the better-known and notorious Zeppelin raids on the British Isles,
Then comes the post-war period, covering the agony of the Zeppelin Company as it rose, phoenix-like, from the ashes to build an international commercial airship service in the face of formidable opposition. The companys star reached its zenith with the amazing voyages of the Graf Zeppelin, only to plunge to extinction when the luxurious Hindenburg exploded in flames at Lakehurst just as Britains commercial airship hopes died in the wreckage of the mighty R. 101 on a wooded hillside near Beauvais.
The airship played a considerable part in scientific exploration during the inter-war years, and there is a full account of its exploits in this field. The epic voyage of the Norge over the North Pole is described in detail, as is the story of another polar airship the ill-fated Italia, whose arctic flight ended in disaster and resulted in one of the biggest air-sea operations before the outbreak of the Second World War. The airship had a part to play in this conflict, too; the book tells of the US Navy blimps, which throughout the war flew long and monotonous patrols over the Atlantic convoys and never lost a ship.
Finally, Jackson surveys the airship scene after 1945 including the use of giant US Navy airships as flying radar stations and the development of small commercial airships for public relations and advertising purposes. The book ends with a searching discussion of a question which, today, is intriguing a new generation of aviation enthusiasts: Will the giant commercial airship ever make a comeback and again become a familiar sight in the skies of our planet?
Very Good in Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper a little darkened at the spine and onto the margins of the panels. Edges of the text block lightly spotted. Text complete, clean and tight.
Green boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [IX] 277 pages. Index. 8¾” x 5½”.