What is ZRS all about?

novel-revZRS is the novel creation of Australian author Rowan Partridge,  inspired by the Zeppelin Rigid Scouts. [Read Author’s tech notes here]

Rigid airships flying during World War II? Seems far-fetched to the layperson, if only because popular media has repeated so much miss-information about airships in general – and hydrogen-borne rigid airships in particular. We are going to take a few dozen internet pages here to try and relax those preconceived notions and deal with popular misconceptions.

As we clarify what TV and other media usually sensationalize, muddle or leave out, the readerposter-safe will learn why Partridge’s ZRS is actually a modestly alternative history. We will propose how, with your participation, we’ll proceed to bring the rigid airship flying aircraft carrier out of grainy old B&W footage onto the  3-D motion picture theater screen.  (While TV has milked the cash cow of the LZ-129 “disaster” endlessly, only a small number of films involving LTA have been produced – we complied a list – but very few with good production values about airships in particular.)

So, let’s proceed to learn about the ZRS, both real and imagined: Click on play > icon in the window below for a one-minute video in which author Rowan Partridge will explain his vision.

So, what if  the three countries’ most famous airship accidents had not happened… ?

Read on – to INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND         or…

You can return to this home page any time to use the following TABLE OF CONTENTS (in continuous update) to read our pages in any order you chose, though we generally recommend following the numbered sequence as listed here  (* means page has embedded short video):

  1. Introduction & Background *

1.1. Origins of the Airship

…………..1.1.1. Save the Observation Balloons!

1.2. LTA in the USN

               1.2.1. The “Dark Curse”

1.3. Graf Zeppelin *

1.4. Empire of the Air  *

       1.4.1. R.100   (Under Construction)

       1.4.2.  R.101   

1.5. The US Navy and the Rigid Airship  *

           1.5.1. American Zeppelins *

2. Design for Helium: the ZRS Program

     2.1. ZRS-4 Evolves

     2.2. USS Akron Arrives

      2.3. USS Akron Matures

      2.4. LTA’s Most Costly Accident

       2.5. The Hook-On Aircraft  

            2.5.1. “Min” Miller’s Presentation Part One

            2.5.2. “Min” Miller  Part Two

       2.6. USS Macon Arrives

       2.7. USS Macon Evolves  *

       2.8. USS Macon Flying Carrier Perfected

       2.9. Miss-stepping to a Premature Burial

       2.10. Ground Handling Evolution  *

               2.10.1 Class “B” Mooring Bases

3. History’s Most Famous Airship *

  3.1. LZ-129 Evolves

   3.2. The US Navy and the Hindenburg

   3.3. Hindenburg Götterdämmerung

    3.4. Hindenburg “Explosion”

     3.5. The Zeppelin Rebirth: Finding the Cause

4. The “Years of Confusion”

    4.1. Macon Post-Mortem

     4.2. Durand Committee Reports

      4.3. Tests of the “Years of Confusion”

5. The Long Road Back

    5.1. The Zeppelin Reborn: LZ-130

    5.2. ZRCV: The Giant That Almost Was

        5.2.1. Planes for ZRCV (and ZRS the Movie) *

     5.3. LZ-130: The Final Zeppelin Missions

     5.4. The Flying Carrier: The Goodyear Proposals

      5.5. ZRN: The Rigid’s Last Best Hope

      5.6. The Rigid’s Final Days and WWII  *

            5.6.1. Carrier Crisis Part One

            5.6.2. Carrier Crisis Part Two

6. ZRS: The Major Motion Picture  

    6.1.  Rowan Partridge on ZRS   *

    6.2.  Review of ZRS the novel

    6.3.  Our “P-77,” our Silence Twister  *

7. In Loving Memory

    7.1  USS Macon: Respects Paid 2006   Part 1

     7.2  USS Macon: Respects Paid 2006   Part 2

8. Hollywood and the Airship  *

9. Lessons applied: DARPA Proposal 

indicates a short video is embedded in the page

O.K., after all that, you have read enough of the history, and perhaps even the novel that was inspired by the history. Perhaps you are ready to envision a slight additional / revision to the history, just for fun.  So, let’s design our movie flying carrier airship:

10.1 USS Long Island Theory & Design, Part One

10.2 USS Long Island Theory & Design Part Two

10.3 USS Long Island Theory & Design Part Three

10.4 USS Long Island Theory & Design Part Four

If you are still scrolling down on this list,  you certainly want to see the movie happen. Link me to how to help make it happen.


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