1911 Akron Airship Lifeboat, Donated to the Smithsonian

Goodyear's very first airship envelope, the 1911 Akron D-1, will get its place in history after the tire maker announced it will donate the lifeboat on the airship to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on Wednesday.

The company will donate the lifeboat, which has been in Goodyear's storage since 1912, because it the only piece of the Akron that has been recovered after the airship crashed during a transatlantic crossing.

"The National Air and Space Museum is delighted to add this survivor of the very first Goodyear airship to its collection of historic air and spacecraft," said Tom Crouch, Senior Curator of Aeronautics, National Air and Space Museum.

"It will have a place of honor in a section of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center housing the Double Eagle II, the first balloon to fly the Atlantic, and the Concorde, which whisked travelers across the Atlantic at supersonic speeds."

The lifeboat, made of wood, has been built by S.E. Saunders in 1910. It measures 27 feet long with a 6 foot beam and weighs over 500 pounds. It is important to the communications and aeronautic industries as its radio was the first to transmit wirelessly from the air.

Goodyear has since become an usual presence in the skies, as it uses it so called blimps since 1925. The blimps have somewhat become Goodyear's corporate icons.

Only this week, Goodyear announced it will be using its airship fleet (Spirit of America, Spirit of Goodyear and Spirit of Innovation) to remind US motorists that June 6-12 is National Tire Safety Week.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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