May 3, 1932. Lt Howard L. Young flying the XF9C-1 prototype is seen here on its way to catch the Akron‘s trapeze. The first day that Akron operated aircraft with its trapeze.
The XF9C-1 Sparrowhawk was originally conceived as a conventional small carrier aircraft. First flown in 1930, it failed in its original purpose -it was a sound design, but the upper wing interfered in the pilot’s visibility and its landing speed was too high to Navy’s taste. Gladly, it happened to be small enough to pass through the Akron’s hangar hatch. So they turned this failure into “good enough” airship carrier-operated scout-fighter. The US. Navy’s very question-ed/able “Zeppelin” program at its very worst….