USN ZPK sqns weren't dirigibles, neither. zeps/dirs had a rigid frame, ZPKs were blimps from 'Type B, limp'. just a gas-bag w/ no interior frame, 'cept for some in the tail & its control surfaces.
USN dirigibles were ZR or ZRS - Z=lighter-than-air (as oppposed to A, later V, for heavier-than-air), R=rigid, S=scouting. some of the USN dirs were named, commissioned warships (USS Shenandoah, for example), USS Akron & Macon had internal hangars for 5 scout-planes, which rtb'd by hooking on to a dangling trapeze. these 'carrier' airships had potential, but Macon was wrecked a month before a fleet-ex in March 1935 - they had plans for a night attack against Lexington!
ZF was the designation for Free balloons, ZK for Kite balloons. ZPK would be Z=LTA, P=Patrol, K=type-K airship.
i kinda like the ZPK rons for ASW, they have both radar & MAD. can i assume that their extraordinary endurance gives them an advantage when attempting to detect enemy SS? in combo w/ SC-type ASW TFs, they can help protect WC USA. the build-rate is glacial, but blimps were used on the Atlantic coast & in the Med, so there's that Europe-first strategy getting in my way again.
< Message edited by jmalter -- 7/31/2012 3:53:06 AM >