JACK McKILLOP COLLECTION
No. 7537. Waco UBF XJW-1 (9522) US Navy
Photograph from USN, taken ca. 1934-1935

Goodyear-Zeppelin Rigid Airship

03/31/2008. Remarks by Jack McKillop: "The most famous aircraft associated with the USN lighter-than-air (LTA) program was the Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk but there were at least three other aircraft associated with this program, the Consolidated N2Y-1, the Vought UO-1 and this aircraft.

Since 1929, the Navy had used Consolidated N2Y-1s as trainers for hooking up to an airship trapeze but by 1933, it was evident that a better aircraft was required. The Navy went to the general aviation industry for a civilian aircraft with better performance than the N2Y-1 and small enough to fit through the hangar doors of the airship.

In January 1934, a contract was signed with the Waco Aircraft Company for two modified UBF three-seat open-cockpit biplanes to be designated XJW-1; this was the second aircraft on the order and was designated number 6 of the rigid scout airship USS Macon's (ZRS-5) Heavier-Than-Air detachment. The rear cockpit was covered over and the aircraft served as trainers for hooking up to the Macon's trapeze and for mail shuttle to the airship.

Neither of these aircraft was aboard USS Macon when it crashed off the California coast on February 12, 1935. After the crash, their skyhooks were removed and they were assigned to Naval Air Station (NAS) Lakehurst, New Jersey and NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C. as land-based utility aircraft. The one at NAS Lakehurst was scrapped in March 1938 and the one at NAS Anacostia was scrapped in June 1942."

Created March 31, 2008