Blimp Hangars in the USA
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Airships were developed and produced primarily for military reasons, as surveillance platforms to defend our naval fleet. They were often used as submarine spotters — large bulbous floating things in the sky looking for large bulbous sinking things in the sea. Though you can land and park a blimp in any large open space, airport, or even on a ship, leaving it outside exposes it to wind, which can have damaging effects on the craft. Dedicated airship hangars and bases were therefore built around the country, starting in the 1920s, but really taking off in WWII. Some hangars were built to construct and house blimps and dirigibles by Goodyear, the main builder of airships in the USA. The majority were made by the US military, at air stations along the nation’s coastline. Though the military controls few of these sites today, these former blimp bases remain active, in one way or another. Their uses have evolved in interesting ways, reflecting prevailing conditions of their milieu. And the few airship hangars that remain are, like the blimps themselves, giant relics of some alternative future, cut short, or yet to emerge.