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USS Shenandoah airship moored to its tender the newly-converted USS Patoka during tests in 1924. The Shenandoah was the first rigid airship used by the US Navy. It was built from 1922 to 1923, and operated until 1925. It first flew in September 1923, undertaking several missions before it was torn apart in a storm and crashed in September 1925. The USS Shenandoah (also called the ZR-1) was 207 metres long, built from duraluminium with a cloth cotton cover. The gas used for lift was helium, rather than hydrogen. Propelled by petrol engines, it carried a crew of 25, had a range of 8000 kilometres, and was armed with machine guns and bombs.
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