U.S.S. Akron

USS Akron (ZRS-4) was a helium-filled rigid airship of the U.S. Navy which operated between September 1931 and April 1933. 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. With an overall length of 785 ft (239 m), Akron and her sister ship Macon were among the largest flying objects ever built. Although LZ 129 Hindenburg and LZ 130 Graf Zeppelin II were some 18 ft (5.5 m) longer and slightly more voluminous, the two German airships were filled with hydrogen, so the US Navy craft still hold the world record for helium-filled airships.

Akron was destroyed in a thunderstorm off the coast of New Jersey on the morning of 4 April 1933, killing 73 of the 76 crewmen and passengers. This accident involved the greatest loss of life in any airship crash up until that date.

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32738. Close View, from within Framework, of Supporting Girders of ZRS-4 (U.S.S. Akron). Without Stereoscopic Effect.

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32738. Close View, from within Framework, of Supporting Girders of ZRS-4 (U.S.S. Akron). With Stereoscopic Effect.

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32739. Nose of Framework of ZRS-4 (U.S.S. Akron) from inside the Hangar.

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32740. Inside the Framework of ZRS-4 (U.S.S. Akron), during Construction, Akron, Ohio.

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32744. Bow of ZRS-4, the Akron, through Dock Door, Akron, Ohio.

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32745. A Bow view of the Zeppelin Akron Showing the Outer Covering, Akron, Ohio.

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32763. As our Photographer saw the Akron, the ZRS-4 on July 29, just Eleven Days before it will be Launched.

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32766. Mrs. Hoover Christens the Akron, the Largest Airship in the World, at Akron, Ohio, Aug. 8, 1931.

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32766. Mrs. Hoover Christens the Akron, the Largest Airship in the World, at Akron, Ohio, Aug. 8, 1931.

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32771. The Maiden Flight of the Largest Dirigible Ever Built, the U.S.S. Akron, Sept. 23, 1931.

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6. Close View Applying the Outer Cover.

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