Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tillamook Air Museum

This afternoon we went to the Air Museum in an old WW2 blimp hanger.

Length: 1,072 feet
Height: 192 feet

(over 15 stories)
Width: 296 feet
Area: Over 7 acres
(enough to play six football games)
Doors: 120 ft. high,
6 sections each weighing 30 tons.
220 ft. wide opening. The sections roll on railroad tracks
Catwalks: 2 catwalks, each 137 ft. above the hangar deck

In 1942, the U.S. Navy began construction of 17 wooden hangars to house the K-class blimps being used for  anti-submarine coast patrol and convoy escort. Two of these hangars were built at the Naval Air Station Tilllamook, commissioned in December 1942 to serve the Oregon-Washington  coastal area.
Construction of the two hangars was rushed to completion. Hangar "B" was the first one built and was completed in August of 1943. Hangar  "A" which was destroyed in a 1992 fire, was completed in only 27 days. Amazingly, there were no serious injuries or deaths on the whole project.
Stationed at NAS  Tillamook was Squadron ZP-33 with a complement of eight K-ships. The K-ships were 252 feet long and filled with 425,000 cu. ft. of helium. With a range of 2,000 miles and an ability  to stay aloft for three days, they were well suited for coast patrol and convoy escort. Naval Air Station Tillamook was decommissioned in 1948.
Since 1994 the remaining hangar  has been home to one of the top five privately owned aircraft collections in the nation.

Some of the sights.


This WW2 airship hanger held Class K Blimps


WW2 photo.



Some of these planes are kept in flying condition at the mouth of this hanger.

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