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Tustin hangar roof collapse damages prototype airship

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  • Tustin hangar roof collapse damages prototype airship

    Thought this might be of interest to some. Really enjoyed my time there after returning from sunny beaches of South Vietnam.

    S/F Gary Alls
    HMM-263 '66-'67


    Tustin hangar roof collapse damages prototype airship


    By Salvador Hernandez and Kelly Zhou Orange County Register

    TUSTIN Part of the roof of one of two historic Marine Corps Air Station hangars collapsed Monday, damaging a $35 million zeppelin inside and causing a helium leak.
    The partial collapse opened a 25-foot-by-25-foot hole in the roof, about 17 stories above the ground, authorities said, with some debris falling on the aircraft.
    Officials said this was the second time in about a week that debris from the wooden roof fell from the massive structure, and county officials question the safety of the structure and future plans to build a public park around it.
    “This raises major issues about whether the county can accept the maintenance and the liability,” said Todd Spitzer, 3rd District supervisor for the county's Board of Supervisors.
    The partial roof collapse was reported about 7:45 a.m. Monday at the former base, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said.
    Hazardous-material crews were called to stop the helium leak, he said.
    City officials have been called to assess damage to the hangar. The cause of the collapse is not known; no injuries from the collapse were reported, Concialdi said.
    Stored inside the World War II-era hangar is a 254-foot-long airship being developed by Worldwide Aeros, a company hoping to make the vessel capable of carrying 66 tons of cargo – more than a C-130 cargo plane.
    The large hangars at the base, sitting near Red Hill and Edinger avenues, were used during World War II to house aircraft, including airships and planes that patrolled the West Coast.
    The area also was used as a base for operations during the Korean and Vietnam wars.
    More recently, the former base has been the possible site of a regional park.
    Spitzer said the county is reviewing with the Navy whether it can afford to take on the hangar.
    “We know this building is not in good working order,” he said.
    OC Parks held two public meetings in the northern hangar earlier this year to discuss plans for its future, with about 500 people attending, said Stacy Blackwood, director of OC Parks.
    The damaged airship is estimated to have a cost of $35 million to $40 million. The extent of the damage to the craft is not known.
    Crews began assembling the Worldwide Aeros craft inside the north hangar in 2011 and finished construction in December.
    Unlike blimps, the Aeroscraft has a rigid, lightweight aluminum and carbon-fiber frame under its silvery Mylar exterior.
    John Kiehle, communications director for Worldwide Aeros, said a piece of wood fell from the hangar in a separate incident last week, and structural engineers had been called to assess the structure.
    Visits at the hangar were stopped, he said, and people inside were required to wear hard hats.
    The two hangars are owned by the Department of the Navy but are in the process of being conveyed separately to the county and Tustin. The county has plans to incorporate the northern hangar, which had the partial roof collapse, into an 84.5-acre park.
    Tustin has yet to decide what to do with the southern structure.
    Each of the two hangars cover an area of more than 5 acres, and the arched roof peaks at more than 17 stories above the ground.
    The hangars are more than 1,000 feet long and are believed to be two of the largest wooden structures in the world. The ceiling is supported by 52 wooden trusses.

  • #2
    Re: Tustin hangar roof collapse damages prototype airship

    Originally posted by GARY ALLS View Post
    Thought this might be of interest to some. Really enjoyed my time there after returning from sunny beaches of South Vietnam.

    S/F Gary Alls
    HMM-263 '66-'67


    Tustin hangar roof collapse damages prototype airship


    By Salvador Hernandez and Kelly Zhou Orange County Register

    TUSTIN Part of the roof of one of two historic Marine Corps Air Station hangars collapsed Monday, damaging a $35 million zeppelin inside and causing a helium leak.
    The partial collapse opened a 25-foot-by-25-foot hole in the roof, about 17 stories above the ground, authorities said, with some debris falling on the aircraft.
    Officials said this was the second time in about a week that debris from the wooden roof fell from the massive structure, and county officials question the safety of the structure and future plans to build a public park around it.
    “This raises major issues about whether the county can accept the maintenance and the liability,” said Todd Spitzer, 3rd District supervisor for the county's Board of Supervisors.
    The partial roof collapse was reported about 7:45 a.m. Monday at the former base, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said.
    Hazardous-material crews were called to stop the helium leak, he said.
    City officials have been called to assess damage to the hangar. The cause of the collapse is not known; no injuries from the collapse were reported, Concialdi said.
    Stored inside the World War II-era hangar is a 254-foot-long airship being developed by Worldwide Aeros, a company hoping to make the vessel capable of carrying 66 tons of cargo – more than a C-130 cargo plane.
    The large hangars at the base, sitting near Red Hill and Edinger avenues, were used during World War II to house aircraft, including airships and planes that patrolled the West Coast.
    The area also was used as a base for operations during the Korean and Vietnam wars.
    More recently, the former base has been the possible site of a regional park.
    Spitzer said the county is reviewing with the Navy whether it can afford to take on the hangar.
    “We know this building is not in good working order,” he said.
    OC Parks held two public meetings in the northern hangar earlier this year to discuss plans for its future, with about 500 people attending, said Stacy Blackwood, director of OC Parks.
    The damaged airship is estimated to have a cost of $35 million to $40 million. The extent of the damage to the craft is not known.
    Crews began assembling the Worldwide Aeros craft inside the north hangar in 2011 and finished construction in December.
    Unlike blimps, the Aeroscraft has a rigid, lightweight aluminum and carbon-fiber frame under its silvery Mylar exterior.
    John Kiehle, communications director for Worldwide Aeros, said a piece of wood fell from the hangar in a separate incident last week, and structural engineers had been called to assess the structure.
    Visits at the hangar were stopped, he said, and people inside were required to wear hard hats.
    The two hangars are owned by the Department of the Navy but are in the process of being conveyed separately to the county and Tustin. The county has plans to incorporate the northern hangar, which had the partial roof collapse, into an 84.5-acre park.
    Tustin has yet to decide what to do with the southern structure.
    Each of the two hangars cover an area of more than 5 acres, and the arched roof peaks at more than 17 stories above the ground.
    The hangars are more than 1,000 feet long and are believed to be two of the largest wooden structures in the world. The ceiling is supported by 52 wooden trusses.
    Sad news, indeed, Gary, but not unexpected. It's a tribute to the design of those two grand old ladies that they've stood in place for 70+ yrs. without incident.
    I had the pleasure of serving with two squadrons there in the late 60's. Outstanding duty station. Always difficult to get folks to comprehend the immensity of the two hangars even with photos.
    S/F
    Craze
    S/F,Mike
    TAKE NO PRISONERS.,SHOW NO MERCY.
    DEATH SMILES AT EVERYONE...,MARINES SMILE BACK...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Tustin hangar roof collapse damages prototype airship

      This is the hangars gettin' PO'd with the politicos for givin' our landmarks away....Great times there for me, too!
      Semper Fidelis
      Joe


      Phu Bai tower:
      YW-11 for Phu Bai DASC-
      Remember, These are "A" models!
      YW-11 BuNo-151939
      '65 Model CH-46A

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Tustin hangar roof collapse damages prototype airship

        Originally posted by Joe Reed View Post
        This is the hangars gettin' PO'd with the politicos for givin' our landmarks away....Great times there for me, too!
        I can remember Sailors hanging on ropes trying to retrieve the blimps and attach them to a Metal triangle thing in 1952 before I went to Korea. We had one hanger HMR 362 , 361 and 363. I was there in 52 with 362 again in 56 with 361 and again in 63 with 362. Have many good memories of Tustin. Most fun was watching the sailors and the blimps.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Tustin hangar roof collapse damages prototype airship

          Originally posted by Jack Ubel View Post
          I can remember Sailors hanging on ropes trying to retrieve the blimps and attach them to a Metal triangle thing in 1952 before I went to Korea. We had one hanger HMR 362 , 361 and 363. I was there in 52 with 362 again in 56 with 361 and again in 63 with 362. Have many good memories of Tustin. Most fun was watching the sailors and the blimps.
          I recall when they moored one of the Goodyear blimps inside Hangar 1 in '65 for inspection & refit.
          Craze
          S/F,Mike
          TAKE NO PRISONERS.,SHOW NO MERCY.
          DEATH SMILES AT EVERYONE...,MARINES SMILE BACK...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tustin hangar roof collapse damages prototype airship

            I was based at LTA 9/67 to 12/68. During that time the GOODYEAR airship was brought into the North hangar for repairs. When repairs were finished, they GOODYEAR folks took anybody who wanted to go along, for a ride. I rode in the co-pilot seat and actually got 15 minutes "wheel" time, not stick time as all it had was two big wheels like a boat. I logged that time in my log book.

            Comment

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