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Vaniman Akron
5 November 1911

The original Akron was specifically built for the Sieberling-Vaniman trans-Atlantic expedition, undergoing trials at Atlantic City, New Jersey on November 5, 1911. Identified by its semi-rigid keel design, box-tail rudder and placement of the four, 2-bladed propellers.
After making changes and repairs to the airship, it was once again tried on June 1, 1912 with results less than satisfactory due to an accident with the drag rope in which Calvin Vaniman, the younger brother of expedition leader and commander Melvin Vaniman, had to climb out on the propeller struts to save the airship from wrecking.
The final test of the Akron on July 2nd ended in an explosion of the over-pressurized hull 500 feet above Absecon Bay, resulting in the deaths of all five crewmen aboard, including Melvin Vaniman and his brother Calvin.

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