Goodyear’s Luxury Dirigible of the Future – circa 1945

Goodyear president Paul Litchfield dreamed of building luxury passenger airships beginning in the 1920s, and Goodyear was involved in almost every proposal for airship transportation including the International Zeppelin Transport Company of 1929, the Pacific Zeppelin Transport Corporation, and American Zeppelin Transport, Inc.

Litchfield maintained his enthusiasm even after World War II and offered his vision of a lighter-than-air future in a 1945 book co-authored with Goodyear publicist Hugh Allen that asked the question, WHY? Why has America no Rigid Airships?

Sleeping cabin on Goodyear's proposed luxury airship. ( collection)


Goodyear began promoting luxury airship travel as early as 1931, when the construction of the Goodyear-Zeppelin airship Akron for the U.S. Navy suggested the possibility of a passenger version:

Possible passenger airship based on the design of U.S.S. Akron ( collection)

Possible passenger airship based on the design of U.S.S. Akron ( collection)

These drawings from Hugh Allen’s The Story of the Airship (1931) imagined an Art Deco dining salon, promenade, and even a lounge with a fireplace.




For more dirigibles that never came to be, visit Airships and Futurism.



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Vesper Rising Co-Founder

Great detail! Thank you for sharing. We believe that today’s hybrid airships have the appropriate technology in place to make luxury airship voyages a reality. Which is exactly what we are working to create with our Vesper Rising voyages.


Just looking at the plans from the 1930s for the passenger version of the Akron and Macon just wondering if the cabins are supposed to be doubble or single berth.

Grace Gardner
Grace Gardner

very cool!

Design Lover

Thanks for this post. Helps me out with some problems i’ve been trying to solve for some time now. I’m totally into design, and follow eductation for it here in Arnhem (Holland). Keep up the good work!

Cheers from Holland