Series continues with ‘flying cruisers’

The China Lake Museum Foundation will continue its lecture series, presented in conjunction with the upcoming 75th anniversary of the Navy at China Lake, on Thursday, Oct. 18, at 6:30 p.m. in the Maturango Museum with Brian Siela’s presentation of “America’s Flying Cruisers: Rigid Airships of the United States Navy.”

“The German Zeppelins remain one of the largest and most infamous types of air vehicles ever made. Most commonly remembered for their bombing role in WWI or for the devastating Hindenburg disaster, Zeppelins and similar rigid airships had a big impact on history,” said a spokesperson.

“Germany, however, was not the only nation to use these awe-inspiring vehicles. The United States Navy operated its own rigid airships and, to much amazement, flying aircraft carriers.

“Come learn about one of the Navy’s least known and most astonishing endeavors. This special presentation will delve into the history of these gigantic airships with a focus on the science, engineering and politics surrounding them. Tales of harrowing danger, amusing adventures and tragic heroics will be told.”

Siela, an aerospace engineer with a passion for history, has been researching airships for more than 10 years. His historical area of expertise is in naval and air tactics for the period of history spanning WWI and WWII with an emphasis on Clemson- and Wickes-class destroyers and lighter-than-air ships. He is a graduate of the University of Washington, Seattle, and has worked at China Lake for several years.

He is also a member of the CLMF Board of Directors and helped establish the lecture series.

The public is invited to attend.

Story First Published: 2018-10-05