In the aviation context, post-Boomers probably know Goodyear best for their blimps non-rigid (to distinguish them from the original dirigible) airships that were used extensively for antisubmarine patrols during the war but mostly for aerial advertising and hanging around over outdoor sporting events in later times.. Their contribution to the war effort, even just the aviation part of the war effort, went far beyond that. Goodyear was the original developer of the self-sealing ("bulletproof") fuel tank, which was absolutely critical to America's success in the air. They also produced wheel and brake sets to complement the tires they manufactured, mostly in synthetic rubber that was developed by Goodyear.
From our perspective, though, the notable contributions were their production of subassemblies for prime manufacturers Consolidated, Grumman, Lockheed, Martin and Northrop and their licensed production of the Chance Vought Corsair. Goodyear manufactured the FG-1 and FG-2 Corsairs and went on to build the F2G-1 Super Corsair, designed around the Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major 28-cylinder 4-row engine.
Air News did a Corporate Portrait [ HTML ] article on Goodyear at the end of 1945. The article focuses on the organization, key personnel and accomplishments of the Goodyear Aircraft Corporation division of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.
- FG Corsair
- F2G Super Corsair
both types are covered with Chance Vought F4U Corsair
- "Blimps" [ HTML ] gives a capsule history of prewar Goodyear blimps.
- "Blimps for Uncle Sam" [ HTML ] describes and discusses the design and use of barrage balloons.
- "Blimps Return To The War" [ HTML ] describes use of the blimp, primarily in its anti-submarine role, and has some data on the K-class airships.
- "Lighter-Than-Air" [ HTML ], from the "Naval Aviation At War" Special Issue, February, 1943, talks about the history and early-war deployment of blimps and mentions the historical use of moored balloons and the current use of barrage balloons in Europe.
- "Maintaining Sub Killers" [ HTML ], describing operations at NAS Richmond in Florida, also gives a lot of information on construction and operation of K-type blimps.
- "Goodyear M-1 Blimp Begins Test Flights" [ HTML ] introduces the M-class blimp.
- "Lighter-Than-Air" [ HTML ] tells several stories of blimp activities, featuring both anti-submarine and search-and-rescue actions.
- "Blimps" [ HTML ] includes 5 photos:
[ photo page ]
- Photo of Resolute, NC-15A, in flight, seen from 8 o'clock
- Front part of gondola, looking forward from third row of seats
- Crewman on ladder inspecting Neon sign character
- Officer typing on paper-tape perforator
- Instrument panel, seen from above copilot's seat
- "Blimps Return To The War" [ HTML ] includes photos:
- G-1 blimp in flight, seen from 8 o'clock high
- Submarine running on surface; conning tower marked 134 (possibly S-29); seen from starboard aft and above
- K-3 blimp moored, seen from 9 o'clock
- A Pratt & Whitney ad, "Safe Passage," is a front-cover color painting of a blimp flying above a convoy. Blimp is K-class, seen from 9 o'clock.
- A color Gallery photo, "Cows," shows several K-class blimps in the hangar at Lakehurst, NJ.
- "Lighter-Than-Air" [ HTML ] includes 3 photos:
- Blimps have saved may lives by speeding to the scene of sinkings, locating survivors and dropping supplies. [ photo ]
- Blimps have been found ideal in training of Marine paratroops. Slow cruising speed provides excellent "springboard." [ photo ]
- Three K-type blimps at Lakehurst lighter-than-air base. Other operating bases along coastal areas now are maintained for this branch, so vital in anti-submarine patrol.[ photo ]
- A Gallery photo shows a K-class blimp in hangar, seen from 7 o'clock low.
- A New Departure ball bearings ad, "Poison
and antidote," shows SS-201 Triton running on the surface, seen from a blimp probably a G-class from the engine.
- "Maintaining Sub Killers" [ HTML ] has a number of photos, including
- [Photo of K-type blimp in flight over shoreline; view is from 2 o'clock low] [ photo ]
- An Atlantic Fleet "K" ship, moored without protection from tropical sun, is "wet down" by a hose arrangement attached to portable mooring mast. [ photo ]
- For first time repair crews at Richmond changed blimp engines out in open, with blimp attached to portable mooring mast. Note well-constructed work platform slung from engine nacelle and attached to car. Mechanic (extreme right) is standing on platform which swings out from side of car for servicing engine while in flight. [ photo ]
- A & R members effect emergency repairs on damaged nose of a blimp car. [ photo ]
- A blimp's car, detached from bag, undergoes a complete overhaul along with ship's engines. [ photo ]
- This remarkable photograph shows a completely inflated and rigged airship bag with car attached, a partially deflated one on deck and, under nose of airship, a wood box into which (believe it or not) deflated bag is stowed. [ photo ]
- "Goodyear M-1 Blimp Begins Test Flights" [ HTML ] includes a photo of the M-1 blimp, first of the M-class:
M-1. newest and largest non-rigid airship built for Navy by Goodyear Aircraft Corp, begins test flight at Akron, OH. Half again as large as present anti-submarine patrol blimps, M-1 has greater cruising range and bomb-carrying capacity as well as additional gun mountings. [ photo ]
- A News clip with photo, "A size for every purpose," features a composite photo showing the four classes of blimps.
- "Lighter-Than-Air" [ HTML ] includes a photo of blimps in the Lakehurst hangar:
- Semi-rigids, for coastal patrol and training, are shown in their hangar at the Navy's Lakehurst, NJ, air station. [ photo ]