USS Akron (ZRS-4)

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USS Akron (ZRS-4) was a helium-filled rigid airship of the United States Navy that was lost in a weather-related accident off the New Jersey coast early on April 4, 1933, killing 73 of the 76 crew and passengers on board. During its accident-prone 18-month term of service, the airship also served as a flying aircraft carrier for launching F9C "Sparrowhawk" biplanes.

At 785 feet (239 m) long, 20 ft (6 m) shorter than the German commercial airship LZ 129 Hindenburg, the Akron and sister airship, the USS Macon (ZRS-5), were amongst the largest flying objects in the world. Although the Hindenburg was longer, it was filled with hydrogen, so the two airships still hold the world record for helium-filled airships.


Construction and commissioning

Construction of the ZRS-4 commenced on October 31, 1929, at the Goodyear Airdock in Springfield Township near Akron, Ohio by the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation.[1] For 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 US Navy airships USS Akron and USS Macon.[2]

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