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World's Worst Airship Disaster Wasn't the Hindenburg: Remembering the USS Akron

Saturday, April 06, 2013

The USS Akron over Manhattan circa 1931 - 1933 (Photo U.S. Naval Archives - http://wny.cc/Y3c5Bk)

When we think of the future of transportation now, it's cars that talk to each other, bullet trains and BRT. But 80 years ago, it was blimps. The centerpiece of New York City, the Empire State Building, even explored the idea of docking dirigibles atop it's soaring spire.

But then came the crashes. WABE in Atlanta took the 80th anniversary of the worst airship disaster in history to recall the fiery tragedy that helped end the dreams of blimps as mass transport. And as Jim Buress points out:

"The Hindenburg is easily the most recognized airship disaster.  But it’s far from the worst. The USS Akron, seen here, crashed on April 4, 2013 off the coast of New Jersey. It's considered the world's worst airship disaster. That unfortunate distinction goes to the USS Akron, a navy airship... Seventy-three of the 76 crew members died."

WABE’s Jim Burress interviewed airship historian Dan Grossman of Airships.net.

Give a listen. The conversation starts with Grossman explaining what caused the crash off the coast of New Jersey.

Listen to the interview here.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: How Livery Cabs Set Fares, Obama Administration Looks at Taxing Cars Based on Miles Driven, and Boom Times For Boston Transit

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Illinois got $186 million of Florida's rejected high-speed rail funding. (Chicago Tribune)

The Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive.  (The Hill)

New York's City Council grilled DOT officials over the agency's pedestrian plaza program. (NY1)

Oil prices drop below $110 a barrel; but Marketplace's London correspondent says in his city, gas is "right around $9.00 dollars a gallon. Luckily I take the London Underground everywhere I need to go."

Boston's transit agency had its biggest jump in ridership in two years. (WBUR)

WNYC looks at how livery cabs set fares.

The golden age of airlines' frequent flyer programs is over. (Gannett via Asbury Park Press)

General Motors's quarterly profit tripled; the company also posted its fifth consecutive profitable quarter. (NY Times)

Speaking of GM: the company said (playfully, perhaps?) that it will bring back the El Camino if 100,000 people say they want it; Jalopnik calls their bluff.

1968 Chevrolet El Camino (photo by Useute via Wikimedia Commons)

Can a high-tech bike get kids interested in engineering? (Good)

Blimps rise again! (The Daily Climate)

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

In case you missed it on Transportation Nation:

--Ray LaHood will announce bus safety measures (link)

--NYC Transit is employing a 'station domination' ad strategy (link)

--Gridlock alert: the president is visiting Ground Zero today (link)

--the Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride visited the White House (link)

--airfares rise; NJ has both most and least expensive (link)


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