Undergoing test flights is the new M-1 "super-blimp" of 650,000 cu ft gas capacity. Built by Goodyear Aircraft Corp, it brings to four the number of types now being operated by the Navy.
Although the M-1's 290' length is only some 40' longer than the K-ships now being used on coastal patrol work, it has 50% greater helium capacity, which gives a substantial increase in cruising range and load. While no performance ﬁgures have been released by the Navy, the M-1 is reported to be faster than the K-type blimp.
Principal difference between the two craft is in the operating car. In the M-1 the car is three times as long as that in the older blimp. This new car is built in three connecting units which are integrated by universal joints to allow freedom of motion in coordination with the ﬂexible gas envelope. A blister for machine gun mounting and wider observation is attached to the bottom of the mid-section of the car, on which are also mounted outriggers carrying two Pratt & Whitney Wasps. The M-1 craft is even larger than the Army's semi-rigid RS-1 built in 1924. Its 650,000 cu ft gas capacity compares with other Navy blimps as follows: L-type trainers, 123,000 cu ft; G-type trainers, 196,000 cu ft; and K-type coastal patrol and escort ships, 425,000 cu ft.
This article was originally published in the "Flying Equipment" column of the December, 1943, issue of Aviation magazine, vol 42, no 12, p 230.
The original article includes a photo.
Photo is not credited.