Flying Aircraft Carrier
of the United States Navy, ZRS 4, the USS Akron
was the first of two ships of this type built by the Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation in Akron, Ohio in the USA. Her first flight was on 25 September April 1931.
This is the main body of the ship, comprising nose, mid-hull with hangar, and tail sections to be assembled together.
It is designed for printing in Whte Strong & Flexible plastic, although Frosted Ultra Detail is an option. To complete the model you will need to order the Akron Hull Fitments
model which comprises the Control Gondola, a set of eight Propeller/Gearbox outrigger assemblies with the propellers in the straight ahead position, and a second optional set of eight with the propellers turned through 90°
. The airship commander was able to use each engine pair with the propellers in either configuration. for examle engines 1 & 2 and 5 & 6 might be in the straight ahead position whilst he had 3 & 4 and 7 & 8 straight down to use their thrust to offset heaviness or help with landing in difficult wind conditions. So, the Akron Hull Fitments model provides enough propeller/gearbox parts for Akron to be completed in any of the possible configurations that were available to the commander.
For the aeroplanes she carried, you will need to order the Akron/Macon HTA Unit
model to have a choice of 11 planes to mount on the 'Trapeze", on the"Perch", in the hangar or wherever you like, off-ship. HTA
stood for "heavier than air" whilst Akron was an LTA
, "lighter than air", carrier. There are five positions in the hangar including one in each corner to which an aircraft could be moved via an overhead monorail system for parking. Planes were brought up into the hanger on the "Trapeze", a swinging crane jib that was swung down out of the hangar door to present a "hook-on" rail below the belly of the airship for a pilot to attach his aircraft to. Each plane was equipped with an overhead snap-on hook at the top of a boom that was both a hook-positioning guide and a propeller guard. The Akron would fly into the wind and the airplane pilot flew in from below to make his hook-on before being swung up into the hanger. On the Curtiss F9c Sparrowhawks, once in the hangar , the airframe fitters would remove the undercarriage and replace it with a long-range fuel tank; there was no use for wheels once you were out on patrol over the Pacific! The Akron/Macon HTA Unit model gives you a choice of F9s, with or without undercarriage. Just aft of the main hangar door there was a separate fixed trapeze (the "Perch") for a plane making a quick stop-over or for holding an operation-ready F9C - this is represented by a separate mounting hole on the model. So you are able to place an F9 here or alternatively, fix a Consolidated N2Y two-seater that was used as a ship's "running boat”. Again, a couple of these are included in the Akron/Macon HTA Unit model.
There is a hole for a 2mm diameter mounting rod, in the base of the mid section of the hull.
to go to our model of Akron's sister ship ZRS5, the USS Macon
ASSEMBLY NOTES for the model - please click here.