glenn239 wrote: ↑
09 Mar 2023 18:25
Orwell1984 wrote: ↑
07 Mar 2023 18:58
Until reliable and consistent weather reporting is available to them, this plan is a non-starter.
All good points, provided that civilian zeppelin safety standards were no different than wartime military standards, that the Atlantic Ocean never had extended periods of good weather, that the German weather service was non-existent, and that a 70kt Zeppelin cannot outrun a 15kt storm front.
Lots of big assumptions and dice rolling here.
Given that zeppelins are even more affected by weather than regular aircraft, it's not just safety that is a concern but the actual ability to operate
that is also important.
A brief survey of the transatlantic service the Germans did run shows the North Atlantic trips were fraught with weather issues, damage to the vessels themselves, etc. [source Airships.net history of zeppelin operations detailed throughout the site]
This was the case with as complete weather reporting as was available at the time.
This scenario posits success with a fraction of the access to weather information.
This is why the South Atlantic route was prefered.
The North Atlantic may have great periods of weather. But without accurate weather reporting, how are you going to know? Roll the dice each time?
The existence of the German weather service is important but that's one half of the weather reporting equation. You need timely reports from both sides. In the northern hemispherse, weather systems mostly move from west to east. The Germans understood this. That's why they used the reports from the US weather service (on the west side of the Atlantic) during their peace time Zeppelin operations which they got in real time
through radio communication. Without this source and without any real time
substitute, again, this is a huge risk with an expensive, irreplaceable piece of equipment.
The Germans knew they needed weather reports from the Western side of the Atlantic for accurate forecasting. Hence the weather stations they set up in Canada ( Weather Station Kurt, Labrador, 1943, operational length - one month)
Allied weather reporting was always more accurate than German during WW2 precisely because they could rely on a wider and bigger reporting system having stations in North America, Iceland and Greenland.
The best history of German weather reporting is Wekusta by John Kingston which outlines the constant challenge the Germans had getting accurate weather reports in WW2. Another of his books Even the Birds Were Walking does a good job of covering the issue of weather reporting from the British side, illustrating the advantages the Allies held.
Just a general note on weather in the North Atlantic.
Tropical storms have one-minute maximum sustained winds of at least 39 mph (34 knots, 17 m/s, 63 km/h), while hurricanes have one-minute maximum sustained winds exceeding 74 mph (64 knots, 33 m/s, 119 km/h). Most North Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes form between June 1 and November 30.
Some historical data on storms in the NA (it needs to be understood that this information is available due to as near as complete access to weather information was available, something our Zeppelin crew would not have access to)
http://tropical.atmos.colostate.edu/Rea ... thatlantic
Of course the above is all possibilities and historical averages. Nothing that definitely will happen.
But with weather reporting, you can take into account these situations if they occur. And mitigate them.
Without the reports you'd be flying blind.
As our poor Zeppelin crew would be in the scenario outlined.