Navy Nine Blimps inflated in Hanger, NAS Sunnyvale, CA ARC-1943-A91-0261-16
Navy Nine Blimps inflated in Hanger, NAS Sunnyvale, CA
Built in 1931-1932, designed by German airship engineer Dr. Karl Arnstein for the Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation, Hangar One covers 8 acres and can accommodate six American football fields. It measures 1,133 feet (345 m) long and 308 feet (94 m) wide and 198 feet (60 m) high. The hangar's interior is so large that fog sometimes forms near the ceiling. The "orange peel" doors, weighing 200 short tons (180 metric tons) each, are moved by their own 150 horsepower (110 kW) motors. At the time this was built, it was the largest building in the world without interior supports, providing an unusually extensive room for the construction of "lighter-than-air" airships. It was significant for U.S. Navy coastal defense capabilities during the peacetime era between 1932 and 1941 and construction of USS Akron and its sister ship, USS Macon, built in 1931 and 1933. These two airships were 785 feet (239 m) in length. In 1965, Hangar One was nominated as a US Navy Historic Site, and next year was designated as a Naval Historical Monument. In early 2000s plans to convert it to a space and science center were proposed but put on hold with the discovery that the structure was leaking lead paint and other toxic chemicals into the sediment in wetlands bordering San Francisco Bay. In 2011, work to remove the exterior panels began, requiring "the biggest scaffolding job in the history of the West Coast." The work was completed in 2012. Google top executives Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt proposed paying the $33 million cost of revamping Hangar One, in exchange for being able to use up to two-thirds of the floor space to shelter eight of their private jets. In 2014 NASA selected Planetary Ventures (a subsidiary of Google) to manage Hangar One and Moffett airfield and Google paid $1.16 billion over 60 years for the lease. Hangar One can be seen in various episodes of the Discovery Channel TV show MythBusters.