STRUCTURAL RESPONSE AND GAS DYNAMICS OF AN AIRSHIP EXPOSED TO A NUCLEAR DETONATION
BUREAU OF NAVAL WEAPONS WASHINGTON DC
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Four Model ZSG-3 airships, U. S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics Nos. 40, 46, 77, and 92, participated during Operation Plumbbob to determine the response characteristics of the Model ZSG-3 airship when subjected to a nuclear detonation in order to establish criteria for safe escape distances for airship delivery of antisubmarine warfare special weapons. Restrained response data for 0.40-psi overpressure input were obtained during Shot Franklin with the ZSG-3 No. 77 moored tail to the blast. Unrestrained response data for 0.75-psi overpressure input were obtained during Shot Stokes with the ZSG-3 No. 40 free ballooned, tail to the blast, 300 feet aboveground. The first airship exposed to overpressure experienced a structural failure of the nose cone when it was rammed into the mooring mast, together with a tear of the forward ballonet which necessitated deflation of the envelope. The second airship broke in half and crashed following a circumferential failure of the envelope originating at the bottom of the envelope, forward of the car.
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