Monthly Archives: December 2010

Season Greatings

Airships: a new section added

The Italian also experimented with airships.  Unlike most of the other countries who were flying airships, the Italians preferred to make use of semi-rigid designs.  During World War I, they had operated seven larger ships, and 12 smaller designs.  After the war the surviving airships were redesigned for passenger service.  Experiments using mooring masts were carried out, and several small and medium-sized models were built for foreign customers, including Japan.  As part of the compensation for war reparations from Germany, Italy received two rigid airships.  These ships, were used by the military, and also pulled some passenger duty before being scrapped.  After this, the Italian interest returned to the semi-rigids.

Umberto Nobile,an Italian  aeronautical engineer was a developer and promoter of semi-rigid airships during the Golden Age between the two World Wars. He is primarily remembered for designing and piloting the airship Norge, which may have been the first aircraft to reach the North Pole, and which was indisputably the first to fly across the polar ice cap from Europe to America.

Airship N1 Norge

Nobile also designed and flew the Italia, a second polar airship; this second expedition ended in a deadly crash and provoked an international rescue effort.

Airship N4 Italia

The Italian Naval Jack

Jacks are additional national flags flown by warships (and certain other vessels) at the head of the ship. These are usually flown while not under way and when the ship is dressed on special occasions.

On the Naval Jack of  Italy there are four quarters referring to the four Medieval Italian Thaloaasocracies or Maritime Republics (Repubbliche Marinare on Italian)

1st quarter: on red, the golden winged lion of S. Marco wielding a sword while is closed the book normally showing the phrase “Pax Tibi Marce evangelista meus” (Republic of Venice)

2nd quarter: on white field, the red cross of S. Giorgio (Republic of Genova)

3rd quarter: on blue field, the white cross from which came later the Malta cross (Republic of Amalfi)

4th quarter: on red field, the white cross with 12 balls reminding the Twelve Apostles (Republic of Pisa)

The jack shown above is flying on an Italian Submarine during a visit on board with a  group of seamen: a special thanks to the Captain who kindly hosted us.