I have passed the Air Museum many times traveling the coast.
Today I visited with Mark, Charlie, Jane, Diana, and Adrienne
Stationed at NAS Tillamook was Squadron ZP-33 with a complement of eight K-Class airships. The K-ships were 252 feet long, 80 feet in diameter, and filled with 425,000 cu. ft. of Helium. With a range of 2,000 miles and an ability to stay aloft for three days, they were well suited for coastal patrol and convoy escort.
Last April we headed west following the Lewis and Clark Trail It has been a wonderful and informative journey. We have finally reached Fort Clatsop where the mighty Columbia River meets the Pacific. It took the Corps of Discovery 18.5 months to reach the Pacific.
The Corps toiled three weeks constructing Fort Clatsop where they spent 106 wet miserable days preparing for their return trip.
There were 94 rainy days, 12 dry days, of which 6 were sunny.
One of three enlisted mens quarters
Lewis and Clarks quarters
William Clark's journal tells that when they encountered Native Americans he would demonstrate his air rifle. I wondered how that was impressive. I found out. A replica was demonstrated at Fort Clapsop.
The gun's air supply is stored in the stock.
Unscrew the stock
Attach a handle and pump 1,500 times.
I doubt that Clark pumped up his gun. As they say, "rank has its privilege". All that labor created a 600 - 700 psi reservoir.
22 lead ball go into the magazine on the right side of the barrel
This is a repeating rifle. One pushed the bar on the left over and a new lead ball dropped in. Releasing the bar then aligned the ball with the barrel. A fired lead ball exited the barrel at 1,000 ft/sec.
Push the bar again for repeated shots. The gun's air supply can fire 70 balls before having to be recharged.
Loading another ball into the breach
This is a fascinating rifle and I now understand why it was so impressive. One could silently emptying the entire 22 shot magazine in 30 seconds. It could fire lead balls clean through a 1 inch pine board at 100 yards.
William Clark's original rifle now resides in Dr. Robert Beeman's air gun collection.