Sunday, July 8, 2012

L-8 blueprints - actually the Enterprise...

I realized I hadn't posted the L-8 blueprints I found at the national Archives.
With the 70th anniversary coming up I thought it a nice memento. I had a digital copy made by the NARA staff. The original is too big to unfold and showing its age.

Be aware that the file is big.

See NARA site for rules surrounding proper citation. Otherwise gratis.

As far as the story goes, I'm working on it and it never fails to add twists and turns.
There are two solutions possible, one simple - one man fell out of the bouncing balloon when the door was left unsecured when the mechanic, Riley Hill, was ordered off. His testimony says he did not secure the door. A simple mistake.
 The second man fell when, suddenly one person lighter, the balloon jutted at and odd angle and springing up tossed the second man out of the open door.

But let me just say that Occam's Razor aside, the simple surface story often covers deeper secrets.
The L-8 is one of those stories. Nothing is quite what it seems.

I was hoping to hear from the many lurkers out there. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

One update. I just was looking at the blueprints and saw that they used the Enterprise blueprints for the inquest. A copy of this sits on the wall of my writing desk and I can't tell you how many times I've sat and stared at them and never noticed.

The lightened blimp without the weight of the crew had a valve that automatically opened at 2500 feet to prevent a fatal failure of the balloonets. This is what caused the air bag to defalte and finally fall into Daly City.