USS Macon airship display model. USS Macon (ZRS-5) was a rigid airship built and operated by the United States Navy for scouting. It served as a flying aircraft carrier, launching Sparrowhawk biplanes. In service for less than two years, in 1935 Macon was damaged in a storm and lost off California's Big Sur coast, though most of her crew were saved.
At less than 20ft (ca. 7m) shorter than Hindenburg, she and her sister, Akron, were among the largest flying objects in the world in terms of length and volume. Although Hindenburg was longer, the two sisters still hold the world record for helium-filled airships.