Art News

Historic Akron Airship Lifeboat Donated to the National Air and Space Museum

WASHINGTON, DC.- The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is donating an important piece of U.S. aeronautical heritage to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum: the historic lifeboat used on two early attempted crossings of the Atlantic by airships. The earliest attempt was made by the airship America in 1910, and the first wireless message from a powered aircraft was sent from the radio position in the lifeboat. The second attempt was the flight of the Akron, the first Goodyear airship, in 1912. The lifeboat is 27 feet long with a 6-foot beam and is constructed of three thicknesses of mahogany veneer. “We are delighted to have acquired this forgotten piece of early aviation history,” said Tom Crouch, senior curator of aeronautics. “After a period of clean-up and a conservation assessment, it will be displayed at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, close to two other historic trans-Atlantic aircraft—the Do