Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Aug. 22, 1969: The Goodyear blimp Columbia seems to be caught in a tangle of house roofs, light poles and electric wiring near Milmore Avenue and Lifford Street in Carson, but it's just an illusion. The 160-foot-long airship is some distance away, rising from its base near the junction of the San Diego and Harbor freeways.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Malmin / Los Angeles Times

Oct. 4, 1946: The Goodyear blimp takes off for its first flight after being returned to the company by the Navy after World War II.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Andrew H. Arnott / Los Angeles Times

March 17, 1964: The nose of the Goodyear blimp Columbia II remains tied to the moorings but the rest of the blimp is wrecked by a freak whirlwind at what was then called Orange County Airport.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mike Brouhard / Los Angeles Times

Nov. 10, 1966: The Goodyear blimp rests alongside Alameda Street north of Wilmington, where it crashed and deflated. One of the two engines failed during its approach to the airship's landing field.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jack Gaunt / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 21, 1972: The Goodyear blimp landing at its field in Carson.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Michael Mally / Los Angeles Times

April 27, 1977: The ground crew drags the Goodyear blimp into Hangar 1 at the Marine Corps Air Station, Tustin, for its annual overhaul.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Loundy / Los Angeles Times

May 3, 1977: The Goodyear blimp sits inside Hangar 1 at the Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin during repainting. The hangar was built in World War II to house Navy airships.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Loundy / Los Angeles Times

May 3, 1977: Workers reinstall light bulbs in the moving sign on the Goodyear blimp after they were removed for the blimp's painting job.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Loundy / Los Angeles Times

Jan. 23, 1980: The Goodyear blimp, visiting Torrey Pines to cover the Andy Williams San Diego Open golf tournament, takes a little side trip, descending behind a cliff to skim low over Blacks Beach -- typically a site of nude sunbathing.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Larry Sharkey / Los Angeles Times

Feb. 24, 1980: The Goodyear airship Columbia is grounded at its terminal in Carson during rain, but it got a thorough washing.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Thomas Kelsey / Los Angeles Times

July 26, 1984: Two blimps share quarters at the Goodyear air base near the San Diego Freeway in Carson. The America, left, was flown in from the Midwest to join the Columbia for the 1984 Olympics.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Jack Gaunt / Los Angeles Times

Dec. 4, 2003: Gilbert Palomino trains his show horse Napolitano as the Goodyear blimp Spirit of America sits at an angle after missing its landing approach and crashing in Carson.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

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Our views of the Goodyear blimp

Here’s a selection of Los Angeles Times staff images from the Goodyear blimp file. Since 1920, there has been a Goodyear blimp in Southern California.

For a good history of the Goodyear blimps, check out this May 18, 2011, article by Times staff writer W.J. Hennigan.

A related Framework photo gallery is here.

In 2010, Times photo intern John W. Adkisson took this great set of aerial photos of Los Angeles from the Goodyear blimp.

1 Comment

  1. August 27, 2011, 4:02 am

    What a low tech wonder! Lighter than air ships still fascinate.

    By: jpl

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