GOODYEAR AIRSHIP AMERICA
A film by Joe Muscanere
Here is a film from 1973 of the 192' Goodyear Airship America, N10A, which was headquartered in Spring, Texas from 1969 to 1992. At the time it was the largest operating airship in the world.
Located next to I-45 North, the Goodyear facility delighted travelers as they sped by. If the weather was good, and the blimp was not airborne, the crew sometimes had it parked outside of it's hanger shining ever so brightly! In 1982 N10A was retired and replaced with N3A, which retained the name America.
During this period of time, Goodyear was the only company that maintained a fleet of blimps. In 1992, to cut costs, Goodyear decided to close the facility and move it to Pompano Beach, Florida. The blimp was refurbished and renamed for it's new home. The name America was retired, not to be used again. The film documents a typical ride in the airship from take-off to landing.
There is a bit of trivia associated with airship America N10A. On August 16, 1942 US Navy Blimp L-8, made by Goodyear, took off from Moffet Field to patrol the San Francisco Bay area for submarines. There were two Navy soldiers aboard.
After reporting that they had spotted an oil slick, there were no more transmissions from the crew. A few hours later, the blimp drifted onshore at a low altitude eventually landing softly in a busy intersection of Daly City, California. There were no crew members aboard. Local police ripped open the airship's skin thinking the crew was trapped inside the gas bag. No trace was ever found of them. From that point, the airship was referred to as the "Ghost Blimp".
After the war the L-8 gondola was returned to Goodyear. In the late 1960's it was decided to refurbish the cabin and put it on the new airship America to be based in Spring, Texas with the designation N10A. So, the gondola attached to the America in this film came from the US Navy "Ghost Blimp" L-8!
The film was originally shot in 16mm. In 2012 it was transferred to HD by DiJiFi in Brooklyn, New York.