Polar expeditions were often unlucky, but Walter Wellman’s seemed cursed. He took his French-built airship to an aerodrome in Dane’s Island, some 600 miles from the North Pole. During pre-expedition testing in 1906 his engines self-destructed. Repeated attempts were made in 1907, 1909, 1910, and 1911, the last of which ended in the death of the whole crew. (Popular Mechanics, July 1906, pp. 701-703).
In November 1907, Popular Mechanics reported a delay in the first expedition due to adverse weather conditions that slowed the construction of the Dane’s Island aerodrome: