History Main / PlaneSpotting

7th Sep '15 6:36:02 PM nombretomado
Is there an issue? Send a Message


There are many types of airship, even more than there are types of airplane. Today, there are four main groups. Aerostats are the most common, airships which are moored to the ground with a tether and used for surveillance. These can be small or quite large, and often carry distinctive radomes and have inflatable fins. Blimps are non-rigid steerable balloons which use slight internal pressure to maintain their shape, and are still used, albeit more rarely than aerostats. Zeppelins, airships with external frames and internal cargo spaces, have almost died out completely in the military, but they were used extensively in the past, until Hydrogen gave Zeppelins [[{{Hindenburg}} bad rap.]] The last kind of airship has just been recently invented, the Hybrid Airship, which can be a blimp or a Zeppelin, but is heavier-than-air. This allows them to carry truly gargantuan payloads, with the added safety margins of a plane and the efficiency and scale of an airship.

to:

There are many types of airship, even more than there are types of airplane. Today, there are four main groups. Aerostats are the most common, airships which are moored to the ground with a tether and used for surveillance. These can be small or quite large, and often carry distinctive radomes and have inflatable fins. Blimps are non-rigid steerable balloons which use slight internal pressure to maintain their shape, and are still used, albeit more rarely than aerostats. Zeppelins, airships with external frames and internal cargo spaces, have almost died out completely in the military, but they were used extensively in the past, until Hydrogen gave Zeppelins [[{{Hindenburg}} [[UsefulNotes/TheHindenburg bad rap.]] The last kind of airship has just been recently invented, the Hybrid Airship, which can be a blimp or a Zeppelin, but is heavier-than-air. This allows them to carry truly gargantuan payloads, with the added safety margins of a plane and the efficiency and scale of an airship.
31st Aug '15 1:48:05 AM MAI742
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Sea warfare was a different story, of course. 'Capital ships' including battleships were sunk at Taranto and Pearl Harbor and the most important naval battles were between carrier aircraft. Without aircraft carriers Japan's merchant navy would still have been devastated, but it would have been much more costly to 'island hop' into position to execute ''Operation Downfall'' with the aid of land-based aircraft - which would ultimately have to be launched using aircraft from Okinawa due to the likely inability to hold southern Korea against Japan's Kwantung Army.

to:

Sea warfare was a different story, of course. 'Capital ships' including battleships were sunk at Taranto and Pearl Harbor and the most important naval battles were between carrier aircraft. Without aircraft carriers Japan's merchant navy would still have been devastated, but completely wiped out by submarine warfare, stalling Japan's war industries due to lack of resources. But it would have been much more costly to 'island hop' into position to execute the firebombing campaign against Japanese urban centres, especially if the US had been forced to use Republican China as its main base for doing so (this would have required re-taking Burma to reopen the land supply route). Further island hopping would also have been necessary to execute ''Operation Downfall'' with the aid of air cover from land-based aircraft - aircraft, which would ultimately probably have to be launched using aircraft from make use of Okinawa due to the likely inability to hold difficulty of taking southern Korea from and holding it against Japan's Kwantung Army.
31st Aug '15 1:43:47 AM MAI742
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Planes got faster, stronger, better-armed and more specialised but generally remained biplanes made of canvas and wood until the mid-late 1930s, when a new generation of aircraft started to emerge, spearheaded by Germany's emerging ''Luftwaffe''. Multi-engined monoplane bombers could outpace the best British and French fighters, and the Messerschmitt Bf109 fighter blew everything else away. The British responded ''just'' in time with their Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire, and held off the German attack, while the French, who were still in the process of upgrading their air force and hadn't had the time to deploy their more modern fighters, were over-run.

to:

Planes got faster, stronger, better-armed and more specialised but generally remained biplanes made of canvas and wood until the mid-late 1930s, when a new generation of aircraft started to emerge, spearheaded by Germany's emerging ''Luftwaffe''. Multi-engined monoplane bombers could outpace the best British and French fighters, and the Messerschmitt Bf109 fighter blew everything else away. The British responded ''just'' in time with their Hawker Hurricane and Supermarine Spitfire, and held off but the German attack, while the French, who French were still in the process of upgrading their air force and hadn't had the time to deploy their more modern fighters, fighters when their ground forces were over-run.encircled and eliminated, forcing their surrender. Upon the invasion of the Soviet Union airpower failed to sink the Soviet Black Sea or Baltic fleets at anchor due to lack of tactical suprise and weight of AA fire from the port facilities at Sevastopol and Leningrad and from the ships themselves. Moreover airpower was unable to break the stalemate at Smolensk (July-August) or Kiev (August-September) due to an acute shortage of fuel and munitions caused by the totally insufficient rail network of the occupied territories (adequate only for a ground force half the size of that actually deployed, not including air force requirements).



This indicates what the armies of the world were just starting to realize - Air Power was now all-important. This lesson was shown again and again during the course of UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, as traditional naval Battleships were sunk at Taranto and Pearl Harbor and the most important naval battles were between carrier aircraft. Many small Pacific islands which would otherwise have been bypassed in the fighting took on great importance as air bases.

to:

This indicates what the armies of the world were just starting to realize - Air Power was now all-important. mildly important for more than just reconnaisance purpose, though it was very far from being a war-winning weapon in its own right. This lesson was shown again and again during the course of UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo as traditional naval Battleships countless Soviet and German attacks were harassed or blunted by air support, only to ultimately succeed or fail largely as a result of the actions of ground forces.

Sea warfare was a different story, of course. 'Capital ships' including battleships
were sunk at Taranto and Pearl Harbor and the most important naval battles were between carrier aircraft. Many small Pacific islands Without aircraft carriers Japan's merchant navy would still have been devastated, but it would have been much more costly to 'island hop' into position to execute ''Operation Downfall'' with the aid of land-based aircraft - which would otherwise ultimately have been bypassed in to be launched using aircraft from Okinawa due to the fighting took on great importance as air bases.likely inability to hold southern Korea against Japan's Kwantung Army.
31st Aug '15 1:08:38 AM MAI742
Is there an issue? Send a Message


The armies initially found little use for aircraft. The infantry still didn't move very fast and units were generally very easy to spot when moving, which made air reconnaissance less important to land warfare. Until the invention of the tank, infantry didn't really present any hard targets needing special attention either, except for bunkers which were invulnerable to early aircraft-carried weaponry. Aircraft ''were'' useful for artillery spotting, but until radio equipment light enough to be carried by aircraft had been developed (around 1915), communications between ground and air were crude and tedious. As military aircraft became more efficient through use in other branches, they eventually became crucial to the army too. Ground attack planes could be used for supply interdiction, and could attack enemy formations, fortifications, and armored vehicles in coordination with army units -- these activities were later developed into Close Air Support tactics.

to:

There was very little place for aircraft at the tactical level of warfare, as the role of 'spotting' for artillery was more effectively performed by observation balloons. In the first half of the war balloons and observation posts were generally adequate for the observing the entire tactical defenses, which were at most only 6km deep in 1914-1916 [[note]] This was quite deliberately twice the range of light artillery on both sides. The furious back-and-forth seesaw battles dictated by the range of artillery on both sides was responsible for tactical stalemate in 1914-15 and the high casualties of 1916 (Verdun, Somme) [[/note]]. However, with the shift to 'elastic defense' doctrine in mid-1916 tactical defenses became up to 20km deep. Air reconnaisance (by balloon and fixed-wing aircraft) therefore became essential at the tactical level.

At the ''operational'' level of warfare aircraft were invaluable from the outset. During the manoeuvre warfare of August-September 1914 there was no quicker way to directly deliver messages from one higher-level headquarters to another than by air. Telegraph lines simply couldn't be laid out to
armies initially found little in the field, telephone lines were even more expensive and had poor range to boot, and even Germany's cutting-edge horse-drawn wireless 'radio transmitters'(at least four horses and two carts) had absolutely woeful range. Air couriers were even more essential in the east, where there were half as many telegraph lines and there was up to thrice as much distance to cover. Aircraft were also totally indispensible for identifying enemy reserves in the operational depths (20-200km behind the front lines) in the east, though in France and Italy this wasn't useful. Enemy air observation capabilities, the density of rail infrastructure, and difficulty in overcoming the tactical defenses meant there was no way to use for aircraft. this information to concentrate one's forces at 'unexpected points' - though it should be noted that it the enemy's own air observation which made this impossible.

The infantry still didn't move very fast and units were generally very easy to spot when moving, which made air reconnaissance less important to land warfare. Until the invention of the tank, infantry didn't really present any hard targets needing special attention either, except for bunkers which were invulnerable to early aircraft-carried weaponry. Aircraft ''were'' useful for artillery spotting, but until radio equipment light enough to be carried by aircraft had been developed (around 1915), communications between ground and air were crude and tedious. As military aircraft became more efficient through use in other branches, they eventually became crucial to the army too. Ground attack planes could be used for supply interdiction, and could attack enemy formations, fortifications, and armored vehicles in coordination with army units -- these activities were later developed into Close Air Support tactics.
9th May '14 8:26:17 AM StevieC
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:

* Special Purpose Superheavy Airlifter - Considered by some to merely be a subcategory of the Strategic Heavy Airlifter, this category is primarily the realm of extensively-modified Strategic Heavy Airlifters like the two C-5 Galaxy aircraft modified by NASA to aid in transporting heavy rocket parts, and of "one-off" planes built as derivatives of existing types (such as the Myaschischev VM-T "Atlant" (never given a NATO ReportingName) or its eventual replacement, the truly massive six-engined Antonov An-225 Mriya (known to NATO as the "Cossack"). These planes are built to hoist aloft freight that even a Strategic Heavy Airlifter would struggle to carry. Due to how unusual such missions are, these planes are never built in large numbers.
9th May '14 8:16:09 AM StevieC
Is there an issue? Send a Message


Extending the range and endurance of other aircraft is very practical and these are very valuable "force multipliers". The US has by far the biggest fleet of these, although some other nations have a few. Converted from airliners, generally, they refuel other aircraft in-flight. This is not a 100% successful activity (one reason why this was never adopted for commercial aviation, despite some experiments). Examples include the KC-135 Stratotanker (a modified Boeing 707) and the Russian Il-78 "Midas". There are a number of methods of doing this.

to:

Extending the range and endurance of other aircraft is very practical and these are very valuable "force multipliers". The US has by far the biggest fleet of these, although some other nations have a few. Converted from airliners, generally, they refuel other aircraft in-flight. This is not a 100% successful activity (one reason why this was never adopted for commercial aviation, despite some experiments). Examples include the KC-135 Stratotanker [=StratoTanker=] (a modified Boeing 707) 707), the KC-10 Extender (a modified Douglas DC-10) and the Russian Il-78 "Midas". There are a number of methods of doing this.
9th May '14 8:12:11 AM StevieC
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Rudimentary Trainer - This is often similar or even identical to the bog-standard general-aviation light aircraft sold on the civilian market like a twin-seat Cessna 150. In fact, until 1993, the mainstay for novice US Air Force flight students was an aircraft called the T-41 which was quite literally an off-the-shelf Cessna 172, the classic single-engine high-wing four-seat fixed-tricycle gear plane that pilots around the world have known and loved for years. The Air Force keeps 4 T-41s flight-ready at the Air Force Academy to this day.
* Aerobatic Trainer

to:

* Rudimentary Trainer - This is often similar or even identical to the bog-standard single-engine general-aviation light aircraft sold on the civilian market like a twin-seat Cessna 150. 150 or other high-wing piston engined plane In fact, until 1993, the mainstay for novice US Air Force flight students was an aircraft called the T-41 which was quite literally an off-the-shelf Cessna 172, the classic single-engine high-wing four-seat fixed-tricycle gear plane that pilots around the world have known and loved for years. The Air Force keeps 4 T-41s flight-ready at the Air Force Academy to this day.
day. Many trainers of this type are piston-engined. A few of the really high-end ones use a turboprop instead.
* Aerobatic TrainerTrainer - A few of these are still piston powered. The now-retired T-34 Mentor was a long-serving mainstay in this role, aerobatic trainers are usually low-wing single-engine propeller aircraft, capable of aerobatic maneuvers that most high-wing Cessnas would not be able to do for long. Today, the bulk of these are single-engine turboprop aircraft like the Beechcraft T-6A Texan (not to be confused with the AT-6 Texan used as a trainer by the 'States in WW2, though it too was an aerobatic trainer) that now serves as the mainstay of this type in the US Air Force
* Subsonic Jet Trainer - Two-seat jet aircraft with one or two engines. For the latter half of the Cold War, most US Air Force pilots' first time piloting a jet was sitting at the controls of the Cessna T-37 Tweet. This straight-winged, twin-engined jet had a cockpit which seated student and instructor side-by-side. To the north, many RCAF pilots had their first taste of controlling a jet in the cockpit of the similarly configured but single-engined CT-114 Tudor aircraft, which to this day remains the plane flown by Canada's aerobatic team, the Snowbirds. Faster subsonic jet trainers include the swept-wing, tandem seat British Aerospace Hawk, which the RAF's aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, use as their plane of choice. An increasing number of planes in this role are abandoning the side-by-side seating arrangement in favor of tandem seating, however, and they are gradually vanishing and/or merging into the next type:
* Supersonic Trainer - Two-seat jet aircraft with one or two engines, almost always seating student and teacher in tandem, these planes often look like fighters without the weapon mounting hardpoints, and frequently are used by aerobatic teams. The US Air Force's long-running supersonic trainer is the Northrop T-38 Talon, which was the plane used by the Thunderbirds team until the late '80s when the F-16 supplanted it in that glamorous role.
9th May '14 7:56:19 AM StevieC
Is there an issue? Send a Message

Added DiffLines:


!!Trainers

Of course, an aircraft's capabilities are all a moot point without people who know how to fly it, so you need aircraft that the rookies can learn to fly in. These generally don't need to do much more than fly, so payload is less important. That said, they do come in multiple subcategories to account for different 'stages' of flight-training.

* Rudimentary Trainer - This is often similar or even identical to the bog-standard general-aviation light aircraft sold on the civilian market like a twin-seat Cessna 150. In fact, until 1993, the mainstay for novice US Air Force flight students was an aircraft called the T-41 which was quite literally an off-the-shelf Cessna 172, the classic single-engine high-wing four-seat fixed-tricycle gear plane that pilots around the world have known and loved for years. The Air Force keeps 4 T-41s flight-ready at the Air Force Academy to this day.
* Aerobatic Trainer
9th May '14 7:37:15 AM StevieC
Is there an issue? Send a Message


* Tactical Heavy Airlifter - Despite the name, a class with freight capacity roughly equal to the Medium Freighter, but can travel a longer distance before needing to refuel. The C-17 could be considered an example of this, or the now-retired Lockheed C-141 StarLifter. Sometimes used to transport a LOT of personnel at once. In the road vehicle weight comparison, one of these for personnel transport is the aviation version of a Greyhound bus.

to:

* Tactical Heavy Airlifter - Despite the name, a class with freight capacity roughly equal to the Medium Freighter, but can travel a longer distance before needing to refuel. The C-17 could be considered an example of this, or the now-retired Lockheed C-141 StarLifter.[=StarLifter=]. Sometimes used to transport a LOT of personnel at once. In the road vehicle weight comparison, one of these for personnel transport is the aviation version of a Greyhound bus.
18th Jan '14 6:03:17 AM LongLiveHumour
Is there an issue? Send a Message


They soon picked up another role, the [[DeathFromAbove air strike]]. Even the smaller aircraft could carry flechettes, light bombs, or rockets, which made them essentially self-spotting long range artillery. The first recorded bomb dropped from an aeroplane was during the Italo-Turkish war of 1911-1912, but naval aviation developed this role a lot during WorldWarOne. Special carrier ships could deliver air strikes against land and sea targets, and torpedo-carrying aircraft and dive bombers were soon able to threaten even capital ships. Come WorldWarTwo, naval aviation quickly showed that air superiority was essential to naval operations, offensively and defensively.

to:

They soon picked up another role, the [[DeathFromAbove air strike]]. Even the smaller aircraft could carry flechettes, light bombs, or rockets, which made them essentially self-spotting long range artillery. The first recorded bomb dropped from an aeroplane was during the Italo-Turkish war of 1911-1912, but naval aviation developed this role a lot during WorldWarOne.UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne. Special carrier ships could deliver air strikes against land and sea targets, and torpedo-carrying aircraft and dive bombers were soon able to threaten even capital ships. Come WorldWarTwo, UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, naval aviation quickly showed that air superiority was essential to naval operations, offensively and defensively.



Turning the airstrike UpToEleven, very soon several countries were building [[BiggerIsBetter very large aircraft]] carrying bomb loads of several hundred kilogrammes to strategically bomb targets in the enemy's homeland. Until WorldWarTwo, many military theorists believed that fleets of bomber aircraft were going to be ''the'' decisive weapon in future wars (thanks to the development of interceptor aircraft and radar warning systems, these expectations weren't quite fulfilled). The most common type of bomber during WWII was the twin-engined medium bomber; only the British and Americans used heavy bombers.

to:

Turning the airstrike UpToEleven, very soon several countries were building [[BiggerIsBetter very large aircraft]] carrying bomb loads of several hundred kilogrammes to strategically bomb targets in the enemy's homeland. Until WorldWarTwo, UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, many military theorists believed that fleets of bomber aircraft were going to be ''the'' decisive weapon in future wars (thanks to the development of interceptor aircraft and radar warning systems, these expectations weren't quite fulfilled). The most common type of bomber during WWII was the twin-engined medium bomber; only the British and Americans used heavy bombers.



In the inter-war era, transport aircraft gained sufficient capacity to allow [[ItsRainingMen deployment and supply of troops]], and airborne infantry units were set up in Italy, the Soviet Union, Germany, Japan, France, and Poland. During WorldWarTwo the assault on Crete by German paratroops was so impressive to the British and Americans that they created airborne infantry divisions of their own. Ironically, the heavy losses during the same operation caused Hitler to cancel further airborne operations by Germany.

to:

In the inter-war era, transport aircraft gained sufficient capacity to allow [[ItsRainingMen deployment and supply of troops]], and airborne infantry units were set up in Italy, the Soviet Union, Germany, Japan, France, and Poland. During WorldWarTwo UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo the assault on Crete by German paratroops was so impressive to the British and Americans that they created airborne infantry divisions of their own. Ironically, the heavy losses during the same operation caused Hitler to cancel further airborne operations by Germany.



This indicates what the armies of the world were just starting to realize - Air Power was now all-important. This lesson was shown again and again during the course of WorldWarTwo, as traditional naval Battleships were sunk at Taranto and Pearl Harbor and the most important naval battles were between carrier aircraft. Many small Pacific islands which would otherwise have been bypassed in the fighting took on great importance as air bases.

to:

This indicates what the armies of the world were just starting to realize - Air Power was now all-important. This lesson was shown again and again during the course of WorldWarTwo, UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, as traditional naval Battleships were sunk at Taranto and Pearl Harbor and the most important naval battles were between carrier aircraft. Many small Pacific islands which would otherwise have been bypassed in the fighting took on great importance as air bases.



Towards the end of the war, jet engines were developed, with the German and British air forces being the first to put jet aircraft into action. During the KoreanWar, jets fought each other for the first time, but it wasn't until shortly afterwards that the next major development in air combat took place: The Guided Missile.

to:

Towards the end of the war, jet engines were developed, with the German and British air forces being the first to put jet aircraft into action. During the KoreanWar, UsefulNotes/KoreanWar, jets fought each other for the first time, but it wasn't until shortly afterwards that the next major development in air combat took place: The Guided Missile.



TheVietnamWar was one of the first major wars to use guided missiles, but guns often ended up being used, as the early missiles were unreliable and US rules of engagement required visual identification before firing. The US had actually taken guns off its fighters, then realised their mistake and stuck them back on. It was also the first war that proved the deadliness of the surface-to-air missile: Vietnamese [[ReportingNames SA-2]] batteries made life hell for bomber crews. The US countered by developing air-to-surface tactics in {{Wild Weasel mission}}s.

to:

TheVietnamWar UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar was one of the first major wars to use guided missiles, but guns often ended up being used, as the early missiles were unreliable and US rules of engagement required visual identification before firing. The US had actually taken guns off its fighters, then realised their mistake and stuck them back on. It was also the first war that proved the deadliness of the surface-to-air missile: Vietnamese [[ReportingNames SA-2]] batteries made life hell for bomber crews. The US countered by developing air-to-surface tactics in {{Wild Weasel mission}}s.



The most glamorous and high-profile aircraft in any given air force. There are numerous sub-types depending on their precise tactical role (interceptors, air superiority fighters etc.) but as a general rule they're fast, agile and armed to shoot down enemy aircraft. Known originally as "scout" or "pursuit" aircraft. Armed generally with one or two machine-guns during WorldWarOne, progressing to six or eight during WorldWarTwo (sometimes with the addition of explosive-shell-firing cannon). Missile armament is standard these days, though a cannon of some sort is usually included for close-in fighting and for when you run out of missiles.

to:

The most glamorous and high-profile aircraft in any given air force. There are numerous sub-types depending on their precise tactical role (interceptors, air superiority fighters etc.) but as a general rule they're fast, agile and armed to shoot down enemy aircraft. Known originally as "scout" or "pursuit" aircraft. Armed generally with one or two machine-guns during WorldWarOne, UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne, progressing to six or eight during WorldWarTwo UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo (sometimes with the addition of explosive-shell-firing cannon). Missile armament is standard these days, though a cannon of some sort is usually included for close-in fighting and for when you run out of missiles.



Dedicated bombers appeared during the final stages of WorldWarOne - big, lumbering, multi-engined beasts with multiple machine-gun mounts for self-defence and many, many, many bombs in their bellies. Before that, the most heavily armed aircraft to ever exist(sporting as many as ''twenty-five guns!''), [[CoolAirship Zeppelins,]] carried obscene payloads of bombs and sometimes even [[AirborneAircraftCarrier other aircraft,]] and were used for strategic bombing. However, they were used mostly for naval patrols instead of being dedicated bombers. Between the wars, the idea that "the bomber will always get through" led Britain and France to neglect their fighter forces with near-disastrous results. With the advent of the ColdWar, bombers gained a new role - they were the main delivery system for nuclear weapons and were designed to fly very low or very high to avoid detection. With the advent of ballistic missiles for nukes and guided missiles for conventional arms, the traditional bomber faded from service. They're still useful for some things - they can carry a lot of bombs a long way, so the US keeps some B-52s around in case saturation bombing is needed.

to:

Dedicated bombers appeared during the final stages of WorldWarOne UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne - big, lumbering, multi-engined beasts with multiple machine-gun mounts for self-defence and many, many, many bombs in their bellies. Before that, the most heavily armed aircraft to ever exist(sporting as many as ''twenty-five guns!''), [[CoolAirship Zeppelins,]] carried obscene payloads of bombs and sometimes even [[AirborneAircraftCarrier other aircraft,]] and were used for strategic bombing. However, they were used mostly for naval patrols instead of being dedicated bombers. Between the wars, the idea that "the bomber will always get through" led Britain and France to neglect their fighter forces with near-disastrous results. With the advent of the ColdWar, UsefulNotes/ColdWar, bombers gained a new role - they were the main delivery system for nuclear weapons and were designed to fly very low or very high to avoid detection. With the advent of ballistic missiles for nukes and guided missiles for conventional arms, the traditional bomber faded from service. They're still useful for some things - they can carry a lot of bombs a long way, so the US keeps some B-52s around in case saturation bombing is needed.



Yeah, yeah. Not exactly glamorous, but stuff needs moving, and transport aircraft can move it quicker than boats. Just not as much of it at once. First used on a large scale during WorldWarTwo, notably for dropping paratroops and then resupplying them, and you'll often see them in footage from disaster areas where they fly in aid. Modern transport aircraft are often designed to be able to land on short and rough fields, allowing them to fly in aid (or troops if need be) to anywhere, not just somewhere with an airport.

to:

Yeah, yeah. Not exactly glamorous, but stuff needs moving, and transport aircraft can move it quicker than boats. Just not as much of it at once. First used on a large scale during WorldWarTwo, UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo, notably for dropping paratroops and then resupplying them, and you'll often see them in footage from disaster areas where they fly in aid. Modern transport aircraft are often designed to be able to land on short and rough fields, allowing them to fly in aid (or troops if need be) to anywhere, not just somewhere with an airport.



In fiction, airships in the military are often portrayed as AwesomeButImpractical. However, their actual military role has been more BoringButPractical. This wasn't necessarily true in the early days of WorldWarOne, because Zeppelins and airships were pressed into sometimes spectacular roles due to the simple nonexistence of alternative aircraft. They were used as heavy bombers, flying out in armadas to bomb cities. Even more spectacularly, they are the only aircraft capable of being a true AirborneAircraftCarrier. But their more common usage was to escort shipping, hunt submarines and conduct long naval patrols. Eventually their Hydrogen weakness was exploited by the invention of the incendiary bullet, and airships' true value as a defensive rather than offensive weapon was developed, in conjunction with the use of non-flammable Helium. By WW2, airships were used to great effect, and continued to due so well into the cold war.

to:

In fiction, airships in the military are often portrayed as AwesomeButImpractical. However, their actual military role has been more BoringButPractical. This wasn't necessarily true in the early days of WorldWarOne, UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne, because Zeppelins and airships were pressed into sometimes spectacular roles due to the simple nonexistence of alternative aircraft. They were used as heavy bombers, flying out in armadas to bomb cities. Even more spectacularly, they are the only aircraft capable of being a true AirborneAircraftCarrier. But their more common usage was to escort shipping, hunt submarines and conduct long naval patrols. Eventually their Hydrogen weakness was exploited by the invention of the incendiary bullet, and airships' true value as a defensive rather than offensive weapon was developed, in conjunction with the use of non-flammable Helium. By WW2, airships were used to great effect, and continued to due so well into the cold war.
This list shows the last 10 events of 62. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.PlaneSpotting