The R-38 catastrophe and the mechanics of rigid airship construction

Herrera, Emilio
June 1922

An airship frame may be regarded as a rigid girder subjected to a number of forces which, according to their nature, may be classified as follows: weight or loads (force of gravity); lifting forces (aero-static); accelerations (dynamic). These forces must be in equilibrium in the three most important cases during flight: 1) when the airship is floating (aerostatic problem); 2) when flying without acceleration (aerodynamic problem). 3) When under the influence of any accelerating force (dynamic problem). This report will briefly discuss each of these cases in regard to the R-38 airship accident.

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