National Geographic : 1943 Jul
The National Geographic Magazine Sailors on Ladders Lace a Blimp's Nose Strain on the mooring ring, which must withstand tremeni tug, is distributed to all sides. Radiating lines from the bow ar to finger patches cemented on the envelope. These were name resemblance to outstretched strips or fingers fastened to the sic style balloons. So as not to tear the skin, ladder tops are pad 6:00. The landing party isdrawnupinaV.We are driving into its open mouth. Prominent is a sailor bearing a white flag. The traditional token of surrender is here a weather vane to show wind direc tion (page 87). Now, with everything in order, the skipper gives the controls to an understudy. We glide earthward, where a landing officer shouts, "Meet the ship!" Some seize the lines to hold us against the wind. Others human ballast-hurl their weight on the cabin railing. A sailor rushes a ladder to the door. Out steps the smiling ap prentice pilot, expecting plaudits for his 4.0 landing (that's perfect in the Navy). But his balloon ing ego deflates as the ground officer inquires, dryly, "What is the idea of gunning your motors, Mis ter? Do you know you came in at 15 knots? Did you ever grab a line at that speed?" The ship, moored to her mast, is walked toward her hangar. Out come pipes and cigarettes. The Navy surrounds us, asking ques tions. Did we have airsickness? You can get more on a merry-go-round. Any sway ing, lurching, or yawing? You get more on a subway train. Cold? We didn't need our heating system, exhaust-operated. Danger? Yes, if you open a door and jump. But hold on-our log has neglected a casualty. Mr. Culver, backing away to snap a scene amidships, has Rudy Arnold rammed the percolator, for tunately not head on. He dous wind not only made contact with e anchored hot metal; he turned the d for their les of old- spigot. Boiling coffee ran ded. down a leg.