THE FLYING AIRCRAFT CARRIER
Author: Robert Wortmann, Marc Brasse
Length: 50' Format: HD/16:9
This is the untold story of one of the biggest Zeppelins ever built: the USS Macon, a flying aircraft carrier. In the late 1920´s a group of German engineers went over to the USA to set up a joint venture with the 'Goodyear Rubber and Tire Company'. In the next years they would be responsible for the construction of a project commissioned by the US Navy - the USS Macon. Completed in 1933 it started its first trial flights. On board, the USS Macon carried 4 Sparrowhawk planes, stored in bays inside the hull. These planes could be launched and retrieved during flight using a trapeze.
Only two years after its maiden flight in a dramatic incident the USS Macon went down in a storm off the coast of California in 1935.
In 1991 Chris Grech, Deputy Director MBARI together with the US NAVY found the wreckage about 450 meters below sea level.
In 2006 he returned with a group of scientist. Over 40 hours of HD underwater footage document the lost heritage showing parts of the scelleton of the airship, the well conserved Sparrowhawk planes and the massive Maybach engines lying at the bottom of the ocean.
This documentary contains interviews with scientists, historians and the last survivor of the Macon, rare high quality archive footage of the construction and breathtaking air to air footage of the Sparrohawk planes taking off the airship. Together with brilliant HD underwater material and high class re-enactments this film tells the story of the long forgotten flying aircraft carrier and the brave aviation pioneers of the 1930´s.
year of production: 2009