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Well - since Aerica decided to take us sight seeing Saturday night to see the dirigible hanger, Ive been rather interested in some more details on said property and the term "dirigible." What I've found so far is quoted below from both ohiohistorycentral.org and wired.com

here is some of the saablink gang @ the former dirigible hanger;







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"Construction of the USS Akron, the first rigid, lighter than air ship (dirigible) built in Ohio. The airship's first flight was on September 23, 1931. It crashed into the Atlantic Ocean during a storm off the coast of New Jersey on April 4, 1933. "
Some facts/history from ohiohistorycentral;
"In 1916, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company purchased land near Akron, Ohio, to build a plant that could produce zeppelin aircraft. In 1917, the main Goodyear Company created a subsidiary known as the Goodyear Zeppelin Company to manufacture the zeppelins. That same year, the firm received a contract from the federal government to manufacture nine zeppelins for the United States military during World War I. Unfortunately for the company, its manufacturing facilities were not complete in 1917, so Goodyear completed the first airships inside of a large amusement park building in Chicago, Illinois. The military used these airships to bomb and to spy upon enemy positions.

Upon World War I's conclusion, the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company continued to manufacture zeppelins. The firm used most of these ships to advertise its products. By the late 1920s and the early 1930s, among the firm's completed zeppelins were the Pony, Pilgrim, Puritan, Volunteer, Mayflower, Vigilant, Defender, Reliance, Resolute, Enterprise, Ranger, and Columbia. Most of these ships utilized helium to become airborne, while zeppelins originally used heated air or hydrogen. During this period, other companies, especially European ones, were constructing airships to transport passengers, including across the Atlantic Ocean. Goodyear also manufactured two airships, the Akron and the Macon, for the United States military during the early 1930s. During World War II, the company manufactured 104 airships for the military at its Akron facility.

Following World War II, the Goodyear Zeppelin Company continued to manufacture airships, but it also expanded into producing other types of aircraft and aircraft parts. The main thrust of the company, however, remained the airships. The company now used the zeppelins almost exclusively for advertising purposes. In 1966, the firm created the "Skytacular," a four-color sign that could be flown from blimps and read especially at night by people on the ground. Beginning in the 1950s, the Goodyear airships commonly appeared at major sporting events. The firm manufactured over three hundred zeppelins between 1917 and 1995, but it currently only operates three airships, the Spirit of America, the Spirit of Goodyear, and the Stars & Stripes, in the United States."
http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=1638

more history about the "grim future" of the dirigible's;
http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/tag/dirigible/



 

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Yeah, it really is too bad their main achievement seems to have been crashing. Those would have been neat to keep around in some form or another.

They don't go all that fast, I think DeLorean was saying he read the Hindenburg's top speed was 85 mph. But I remember reading an essay years ago by someone who was in the frequent flight path of the lighter-than-air ships. He said they were amazing to see floating around in the sky.
 

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A bit of pretty cool engineering trivia: Navy basically used the dirigibles as flying aircraft carriers -- kid you not. Fighter biplanes, F9C Sparrowhawks, were equipped with an arrester hook above the top wing and would hook onto a gantry underneath the Akron which then retracted into the airship -- all while flying.

(Aircraft and all things related is another hobby of mine...)

Here's a shot from inside the belly of the Akron of the Sparrowhawk "landing":

 

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That's pretty damn cool. Unfortunately, that era has passed, too. They just don't make many of these kind of signs anymore.

 
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