Wednesday, December 14

The flight of the Polar Express
Have you seen the 2004 moving picture, The Polar Express? While I like the 1985 book better, what's not to like about a movie that has both a train AND an airship?

Can you guess who was piloting that airship over Santa's square?

It wasn't the first time either.

Polar explorers have been interested in airships from the beginning. American airship pioneer Walter Wellman flew a dirigible inside the Arctic Circle in 1907 and made two more attempts in 1909 and 1910.

The Graf Zeppelin’s 1931 Arctic Flight was both a scientific expedition and a dramatic display of the airship’s ability under extreme conditions.

The five-stage flight covered 8270.45 miles in 136:26 hours between July 24–31, 1931, and literally changed the map of the Arctic region with the information obtained during the flight.

The major costs of the expedition were met largely by sale of special postage stamps issued by both Germany and the Soviet Union. About 50,000 cards and letters were collected from around the world weighing a total of about 661 pounds. The rendezvous ship carried another 265 pounds of mail to exchange.

Who were those letters for? Santa?


1 comment:

  1. My three little guys (who are growing like weeds) really enjoy the Polar Express movie. On the last day of school before Winter Break, their school holds a Polar Express Day which includes PJs, classroom holiday parties and crafts, and a read-a-thon. My guys are still young enough to believe in Santa, but I don't think they will for much longer. I guess I should enjoy it while I can.