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The Calculated Flight Path of the U.S.S. Macon


Whelan, Thomas Murray (1936) The Calculated Flight Path of the U.S.S. Macon. Master's thesis, California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/PC07-4F03.


These calculations are concerned with the flight path of the Macon after the loss of the upper fin and the deflation of the three after gas cells. Taking into account the actual flight conditions, the question was raised whether the ship would rise to an altitude of 4800 feet. For at this altitude, which the record shows was actually reached, the ship had exceeded pressure height by about 2000'. In going over pressure height, the ship loses approximately 3% of her lift for every 1000 feet. Hence 4800 feet corresponds to a heaviness of nearly 11 tons. It was felt that if this additional heaviness could have been avoided, the ship might have been flown safely in spite of the loss of some 20 tons of lift from the three after cells. The calculations were undertaken to determine whether the aerodynamic and aerostatic forces alone were sufficient to force the ship up to 4800 feet or whether there were external forces acting, i. e. gust forces.

Item Type:Thesis (Master's thesis)
Subject Keywords:Aeronautical Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • von Kármán, Theodore
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1936
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-12222005-112942
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5120
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:22 Dec 2005
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 23:41

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