What is ZRS all about?

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

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 rigid airships in particular. We are going to take a couple dozen or so internet pages here to try and relax those preconceived notions and urban myths.

As we clarify what TV and other media usually muddle or leave out, the readerposter-safe will learn that 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 B&W footage into the big-screen, 3-D motion picture theater.  (A small number of films involving LTA have been produced – we complied a list – but very few with good production values.)  So, let’s proceed to learn about ZRS, both real and imagined:

Click on “Download File” in the window below for a one-minute video in which Rowan Partridge will explain his vision.    (Press “play” with sound on.)

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


Visited our site before, and have already read the introduction? 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 recommend following numbered sequence as listed:

  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

       1.4.2. R.101

1.5. The US Navy and the Rigid Airship

      1.5.1. American Zeppelins

1.6. In Loving Memory

1.7.   Hollywood and the Airship


  1. 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


  1. 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


  1. The “Years of Confusion”

4.1. Macon Post-Mortem

4.2. Durand Committee Reports

4.3. Tests of the “Years of Confusion”


  1. The Long Road Back

5.1. The Zeppelin Rebirth: 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


  1. 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.  Lessons applied: DARPA Proposal