Category: Airships

Inside view of the U.S.S. Macon, Akron, Ohio

USS Macon – ZRS-5

In this Picture Postcard view of the USS Macon, a member of the crew checks one of the ships many gasoline tanks prior to a test flight from the Goodyear-Zeppelin dock in Akron. This is the starboard lateral gangway. Narrow catwalks like this one stretched throughout the interior of the ships hull. The Macon ZRS-5, The Macon, was…

Akron Municipal Airport, Akron, Ohio

Akron Municipal Airport

As the US Navy’s newly built USS Akron flys overhead, the Akron Municipal Airport and its distinctive architecture stand proudly below in this vintage Akron Postcard. Opening in 1929, the Akron Municipal Airport at one point was a U.S. naval air station, known as Naval Air Station Akron. Today the airport is known as the…

Construction of U.S.S. Akron, Navy Airship

Inside USS Akron – ZRS-4

Men at work on duralumin framework of U.S.S. Akron – ZRS-4, the world’s largest airship. From Framework to Flight On October 31, 1929 construction of the Akron began inside the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation dock at Akron, Ohio. On November 2, 1931, she left the dock on her maiden voyage as a commissioned “ship” of the U.S. Navy.…

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Plant

USS Akron flys proudly over the Goodyear plant. She was the world’s first purpose-built flying aircraft carrier, carrying F9C Sparrowhawk fighter planes which could be launched and recovered while she was in flight. The Goodyear company is named after American Charles Goodyear, inventor of vulcanized rubber. The first Goodyear factory opened in Akron, Ohio, in…

Goodyear-Zeppelin Co. Factory, Akron, Ohio

Goodyear-Zeppelin Corp’s. Factory

“Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation’s Factory and Dock located on the grounds of Akron’s Municipal Airport (Akron Fulton International). This building is 1,196 feet in length, 325 feet in width and 211 feet high, equal to a 22 story building. There are 3,600,000 pounds of steel used in the doors and 5,350 tons of structural steel in the…

U.S.S. Macon in Goodyear-Zeppelin Dock, Akron, Ohio

USS Macon ZRS-5 – Goodyear-Zeppelin Dock

The USS Macon was built at the Goodyear Airdock in Springfield Township (Akron) by the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation. This was by far the biggest airship ever to be built in America.  A team of experienced German airship engineers—led by Chief Designer Karl Arnstein—instructed and supported design and construction of both the U.S. Navy airships Macon and Akron.

USS Akron over Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Plant, Akron, Ohio

USS Akron over Goodyear Factory

First Flying Aircraft Carrier Between September 1931 and April 1933 the Navy’s USS Akron (ZRS-4) sailed the skies. She was the world’s first purpose-built flying aircraft carrier. Tucked neatly inside her massive body were F9C Sparrowhawk fighter planes which could be launched and recovered while the airship was in flight. Largest Flying Object With an overall length of 785 ft (239 m), the Akron and her…

Framework for the U.S.S. Akron, inside the Goodyear-Zeppelin Air Dock, Akron Ohio

USS Akron – ZRS-4

Building Airship ZRS-4 Construction of Airship ZRS-4 began on October 31, 1929 at the Goodyear-Zeppelin Airdock. wish was a purpose-built hanger for the construction of these massive airships. On November 7 that year, Rear Admiral William A. Moffett, the Chief of the U.S. Navy’s Bureau of Aeronautics, drove the “golden rivet” in the ship’s first main ring. Erection of the hull sections began…

Zeppelin Air Dock, Akron, Ohio

Zeppelin Air Dock

The Goodyear-Zeppelin Airdock was a purpose-built facility for the construction of large airships. The $2.2 million building is over 200 feet tall and more than 1,000 feet long. Most remarkable, the entire length of the building is free of interior supports like pillars or struts. At the time of its construction in 1929, the air dock was the…

Airship – Aerial View With Dirigible

ZRS-4 Built in Akron, Ohio, The United States Navy airships U.S.S. Akron – ZRS-4 and U.S.S. Macon – ZRS-5 were among the largest airships ever built. Each ship was designed as a long-range scouting platform for use in Naval fleet operation. The helium-filled airships each carried F9C-2 Curtiss Sparrowhawk biplanes which could be launched and…

airship los angeles over Akron air dock

USS Los Angeles – ZR-3 in Akron

The USS Los Angeles was decommissioned in 1932, but was recommissioned for a period after the USS Akron crashed in April 1933. The airship was struck off the Navy list in 1939 and dismantled in its hangar, thus ending the career of the Navy’s longest-serving rigid airship.

Airport Terminal, Akron, Ohio

Municipal Airport

Akron’s Air Terminal Depot at the Akron Municipal Airport was, at one time, the only port of entry in Ohio for air passengers. The building housed customs offices, a complete meteorological office, an emergency hospital a restaurant and included observation decks to watch the air traffic.

U.S.S. Akron in flight at Akron, Ohio

Airship USS Akron – ZRS-4

Mistaken Identity The airship featured on this vintage Akron postcard was not the USS Akron ZRS-4. Pictured here is most likely the USS Los Angeles. Misidentifying these airships was not a one time an artist made this ][mistake. On another popular postcard of the day, the USS Los Angeles is shown flying over Washington D.C., but she was…

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