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Dated: 09 June 2010

Goodyear Lifeboat Donated To Smithsonian

 

Goodyear has announced that it is going to donate to the Smithsonian one of the original lifeboats that was stored onboard the very first airship that the tyre manufacturer built back in 1910.

The world’s largest museum complex and research organization - composed of 19 museums, 9 research centres and the National Zoo – is set to receive the century-old lifeboat, which is made up of mainly wood, in the next coming days when it leaves the Goodyear’s blimp hangar in Suffield.

When the airship took off on its maiden voyage all the way back in 1911, the lifeboat was equipped on the ship for use in emergencies. One year later the lifeboat actually saw service as the Goodyear blimp made an unsuccessful attempt to traverse the skies between the US and the UK. When the crash site was found the life boat was the only significant item to be recovered.

Tom Crouch, senior curator of Aeronautics, National Air and Space Museum said, “The National Air and Space Museum is delighted to add this survivor of the very first Goodyear airship to its collection of historic air and spacecraft.

 “It will have a place of honour in a section of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center housing the Double Eagle II, the first balloon to fly the Atlantic, and the Concorde, which whisked travelers across the Atlantic at supersonic speeds.”

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