Goodyear Airship "Pilgrim" - keel area (scan - 1997)

In the Mid-20s, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Akron OH built fleet of small airships to demonstrate lighter-than-air flight and train future airship pilots. Among these was first ever designed to be inflated with helium, Pilgrim. Was completed May 25 and made first flight with Jack Yolton as pilot; wife of president of Goodyear, Mrs. P. W. Litchfield, christened it Jul 18. Pilgrim constructed of magnesium-coated steel-tube framework covered with 2-ply, rubberized, aluminum-coated fabric. Original envelope (D-94 type) had capacity of 47,400 cu ft; was later replaced by envelope (D-122 type) with capacity of 55,000 cu ft. Power provided by 3- cylinder Lawrence air-cooled engine with 4-bladed Reed prop. 40-gal fuel capacity gave range of 525 miles at speed of 40 mph, endurance of 13 hrs at half speed, and useful load of 921 lb. Gondola, which was attached snugly to envelope, could accommodate 1 pilot and 2 passengers in comfortable seats upholstered in blue mohair velvet with mahogany finished veneer. (In earlier hydrogen-filled airships, gondola was suspended below internal structure. Use of non-flammable helium allowed cabin to be rigged flush with envelope.) By time Pilgrim retired 30 Dec 31, had made 4,765 flights, carried 5,355 passengers, flown 2880 hrs, and covered 94,974 mi.

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