Goodyear and the ZRCV Airship

The ZRS-class USS Akron and USS Macon, both fabricated by Goodyear Aircraft Co. in Akron, served as part of a massive experiment. Their purpose as proof of concept models for a skeptic Navy was masked by the vast complexity and performance of the two ships.

Cross section of the USS Akron, Circa 1931
The ZRS designation stood for 'Lighter Than Air (The 'Z' likely being an homage to Zeppelin) Rigid Scout'. The ship's F9C Sparrowhawk fighters were designed to serve as both protective 'parasite' fighters, dispatched to eliminate threats to the larger mothership, as well as reconnaissance vehicles, their range vastly expanded by the ultra-long distance capabilities of the airship.

The next generation airship would represent a great step in naval aviation. The ZRCV designation belied their true role, CV was the navy abbreviation for Carrier Vehicle, as flying aircraft carriers.
This advertisement offers a tantalizing glimpse at the ZRCV airship. The illustration, made by Goodyear Aircraft Co., is very similar to descriptions of the ZRCV class and, if it does not indeed depict the CV-type airship, was certainly inspired by the designs Goodyear commissioned. 


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