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Goodyear Akron

After visiting Europe to see the latest airships flying at the time, P. W. Litchfield returned to America to start the construction of the company's first envelope, which was completed in July 1911. With a total capacity of 375,000 cu ft, it was made for Melvin Vaniman's ill-fated airship "Akron" which attempted to fly across the Atlantic in July 1912. Vaniman was one-time engineer to Walter Wellman, whose airship "America" had attempted a similar crossing in 1910. "Akron" was assembled in Wellman's old airship shed at Atlantic City and test flown towards the end of the year. On July 2, 1912, the airship took off with Vaniman and four crew on board to cross the Atlantic. Only fifteen minutes later the ship was seen to burst into flames and fall into the sea, killing all on board.

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