A brief history of the USS Akron


The USS Akron (ZRS-4) was launched on 8 August 1931was a helium-filled rigid airship of the U.S. Navy 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), the Akron and her sister ship the Macon were among the largest flying objects ever built.

Akron and Macon (which was then still under construction) were regarded as potential "flying aircraft carriers", carrying parasite fighters for reconnaissance. On May 3, 1932, Akron cruised over the coast of New Jersey with Rear Admiral George C. Day-President of the Board of Inspection and Survey-on board, and for the first time tested the "trapeze" installation for in-flight handling of aircraft. The aviators who carried out those historic "landings"-first with a Consolidated N2Y trainer and then with the prototype Curtiss XF9C-1 Sparrowhawk-were Lieutenant Daniel W. Harrigan and Lieutenant Howard L. Young.

The 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.

Westland Gazelle Low Level Flying



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