Junior High School Students Build This Model Dirigible (Aug, 1929)

Wow, I think they got ripped off. That’s $9661 in 2011 dollars.

Junior High School Students Build This Model Dirigible

FLYING on a swivel under its own power, this model dirigible shown above was made by members of a class in aeronautics in Hamilton Junior high school, Long Beach, California.

A vacuum cleaner fan and motor were attached to the model and propel it about in a circle at a rapid rate of speed. It was made of wood and metal at a cost of $750 to the school.

The model demonstrates the newly dis- covered principle of aircraft propulsion invented by F. Slade Dale. The rapidly revolving blades of a centrifugal fan whirl the air away from the bow center. This causes a partial lowering of air pressure at the bow and the atmospheric pressure on the rear portions of the ship drive it forward.

The miniature dirigible was built under the supervision of John Hodgson, former engineer and aviator, now an instructor.

  1. Steve Smith says: April 21, 201110:55 am

    In the heady days of the dirigible craze it was common to find junior high students in their mid-20s.

  2. Alan B. Barley says: April 21, 20111:22 pm

    Yes, the quoted price is astronomical. Restating Steves observation, with a slightly different formula. Ford Motor Co. pay was $5 / day. $1250 yr. By 1929 that was no longer considered high pay, but many families were living on that amount — pre depression.

    I hope somebody would research that Jr-Hi blimp. $750 would pay for 2 new Model T’s F.O.B. with change left over, or would almost pay for 1 Luxury Durant – Touring Car. I have to believe that the $750 should actually have been $7.50, but have nothing to back that up.

  3. John says: April 21, 20112:19 pm

    Steve’s formula? Actually it’s “Charlie”, I think you meant to say.

  4. Charlie says: April 21, 20112:40 pm

    Maybe he meant Stephen Wolfram, I did use Alpha 🙂

  5. John says: April 21, 20112:54 pm

    Charlie: No I think he saw the post by Steve Smith and mistakenly assumed that this was his post in his blog. Credit where its due, I say.

  6. Rick Auricchio says: April 21, 20114:16 pm

    They don’t mention any air-exhaust ports in the rear or sides of the dirigible. If there aren’t any, then the fan simply increases inflation within the craft and no useful work occurs.

  7. Kent says: April 21, 20116:53 pm

    Rick: It appears to be using the Coanda effect for propulsion. High speed air spread radially over the nose would lower the pressure there.

  8. Eamon says: April 21, 201111:40 pm

    The Hamilton Junior High School was largely destroyed in an earthquake in 1933. No news about their dirigible though. Maybe they sold it to fund rebuilding.


  9. Mike says: April 22, 201112:44 am

    Steve Smith, all California students are in their mid-twenties, at least according to all the TV shows.

  10. Don Carey says: July 5, 20111:18 pm

    I think that the price quoted is a misprint. $7.50 would be more like it.

  11. John says: July 5, 20111:48 pm

    Don: So did Alan in post #2 above, but thanks for playing.

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