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September 1, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Not since the waning days of World War II have the mammoth wooden blimp hangars at the former military base in Tustin seen as much airship manufacturing work as they do today. Inside the 17-story structures that rise above southern Orange County, Worldwide Aeros Corp. is building a blimp-like airship designed for the military to carry tons of cargo to remote areas around the world. "Nobody has ever tried to do what we're doing here," Chief Executive Igor Pasternak said of the 265-foot skeleton being transformed into the cargo airship.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 8, 2013 | Adolfo Flores
A 266-foot experimental airship that is being constructed inside an enormous World War II-era blimp hangar in Tustin was damaged Monday when a portion of the structure's roof collapsed. Falling wood from the roof struck the $35-million airship, a prototype being built under a government contract, and caused a blast of helium to be released, forcing the evacuation of the area. Officials with Worldwide Aeros Corp. said the damage to the airship is "repairable" but declined to be specific.
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NEWS
March 13, 1992 | DENNIS McLELLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Veteran Orange County newspaper photographer Lee Payne has been interested in lighter-than-air flight since 1961 when the last U.S. Navy blimp visited the Marine Corps Air Station in Tustin on its way to the scrap heap. It was his first blimp ride, and Payne was impressed. As he wryly recalls: "It seemed to me since that blimp was 340 feet long and floated in the air that if the engine stopped, 'Hey, no problem: This thing would just keep floating in the air.'
BUSINESS
September 10, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan
A massive experimental airship briefly lumbered into the skies in front of the former military base in Tustin, where shifting winds kept it from making its first untethered flight. The 266-foot-long Aeroscraft was built by Worldwide Aeros Corp. with more than $50 million in funding from the Pentagon and NASA to demonstrate a novel buoyancy system that enables the airship to carry heavy loads -- and to move vertically with the precision of a helicopter. The helium-filled airship's only cargo Tuesday was two passengers, test pilot Corky Belanger and Aeroscraft inventor Igor Pasternak .  VIDEO: Test pilot tours the Aeroscraft Not long after sunrise, the airship slowly climbed to about 20 feet, kicking up clouds of dust and debris in front of one of the two 17-story wooden blimp hangars in Tustin, where the silver airship was built.
BUSINESS
December 9, 2005 | From Reuters
Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $149-million contract Thursday to build a prototype unmanned airship about 17 times the size of a Goodyear blimp that would hover about 60,000 feet above the Earth. The Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency said the High-Altitude Airship would be untethered, be able to remain in place for one month over a designated place, and be able to carry as many as 500 pounds of sensors that could detect enemy ballistic missiles.
NEWS
April 28, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The Navy plans to send a research submarine to explore the wreckage of an airship that disappeared 56 years ago off the Central California coast with four spy planes aboard. The Navy is trying to find a way to salvage one of the four vintage Sparrowhawk biplanes that went down with the airship Macon on Feb. 12, 1935. Navy officials said they hope to retrieve one of the planes this summer so it can be placed in the Smithsonian Institution.
NEWS
May 7, 1987 | MARK A. STEIN, Times Staff Writer
A British airship-maker used the 50th anniversary of the Hindenburg disaster Wednesday to launch what it claimed to be the first scheduled airship passenger service in the United States since the golden age of transatlantic dirigibles. Before the second voyage left Oakland International Airport for a one-hour excursion over San Francisco Bay, however, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. stepped forward to try to let the air out of the Britishers' blimp.
NEWS
September 17, 1991 | GEORGE FRANK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
From its headquarters in a doctor's office near the towering hangars at Tustin Marine Corps Air Station, a group calling itself Airships International Inc. is urging civic and military leaders to keep the former blimp base for what it sees as the inevitable return of dirigibles. The plea comes at a time when Washington politicians and the Pentagon have already agreed to sell the Tustin air station and move the 3,500 Marines and their helicopters to other bases.
BUSINESS
May 18, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
The 33-acre grassy airfield in Carson doesn't appear much bigger than a postage stamp when pilot Jon Conrad begins steering the 12,840-pound Goodyear blimp in for a landing. "It looks a little different from this vantage point, doesn't it?" he says with a chuckle. "That doesn't seem like much room when you're landing an aircraft that's comparable to a Boeing 747. " The tight squeeze will get a little tighter in the coming years with this month's announcement that Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will once again replace its helium-filled fleet of three silver, blue, and gold blimps with bigger, faster ones.
NEWS
January 22, 1997 | MARY WILLIAMS WALSH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Imagine a slow, scenic glide through the skies in an aircraft that burns little fuel, barely pollutes, affords a good view for all on board and makes no bothersome noise or vibrations. Sixty years ago, before the advent of the jet engine, the rich did travel in this grand style, aboard the giant "silver cigars" developed by turn-of-the-century German aristocrat and army officer Count Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich von Zeppelin.
BUSINESS
September 1, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Not since the waning days of World War II have the mammoth wooden blimp hangars at the former military base in Tustin seen as much airship manufacturing work as they do today. Inside the 17-story structures that rise above southern Orange County, Worldwide Aeros Corp. is building a blimp-like airship designed for the military to carry tons of cargo to remote areas around the world. "Nobody has ever tried to do what we're doing here," Chief Executive Igor Pasternak said of the 265-foot skeleton being transformed into the cargo airship.
BUSINESS
March 16, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Worldwide Aeros Corp., the Montebello developer and maker of blimps used for surveillance, advertising and transport, opened a 45,000-square-foot engineering facility to house work underway on a mammoth 66-ton rigid airship. The company is expanding in part to build the blimp-like aircraft, which would travel at about 120 mph and could take off and land vertically. The idea is that the airship will ferry multi-ton cargo loads back and forth for the military. The new facility, adjacent to Aeros' headquarters and dubbed the Center of Innovation, opened Tuesday in a ceremony attended by state politicians.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 6, 2011 | By Maria L. La Ganga, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from San Francisco -- For an organization that wants us all to live more lightly on Mother Earth, Greenpeace sure has a lot of stuff. Cases of humpback whale costumes and a forest-green ambulance marked "Climate Emergency Response. " Inflatable boats and a two-man airship. Handcuffs, 70 purple umbrellas and a climbing wall where protesters train before rappelling down the headquarters of corporate America. Decades worth of props are housed in a fading yellow warehouse half the size of a football field in San Francisco's Dogpatch, an industrial neighborhood squeezed between a freeway and a shipyard.
BUSINESS
May 18, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
The 33-acre grassy airfield in Carson doesn't appear much bigger than a postage stamp when pilot Jon Conrad begins steering the 12,840-pound Goodyear blimp in for a landing. "It looks a little different from this vantage point, doesn't it?" he says with a chuckle. "That doesn't seem like much room when you're landing an aircraft that's comparable to a Boeing 747. " The tight squeeze will get a little tighter in the coming years with this month's announcement that Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will once again replace its helium-filled fleet of three silver, blue, and gold blimps with bigger, faster ones.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 24, 2009 | By Bob Pool
The last time something like this was seen in Los Angeles was 1929, when the Graf Zeppelin dropped in on Westchester's Mines Air Field before starting its nonstop Pacific crossing during its record-setting around-the-world flight. The era of the rigid-framed zeppelin came crashing to an end in 1937, when the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg exploded as it attempted to land at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey. Thirty-six people were killed. But now the zeppelin is back and filled with non-explosive helium.
BUSINESS
November 8, 2009 | W.J. Hennigan
The gig: Igor Pasternak, 45, is the founder and chief executive of Worldwide Aeros Corp., a Montebello-based developer and maker of blimps used for surveillance, advertising and transport. Childhood: Pasternak grew up in Lviv, a Ukrainian city of 700,000 near the Polish border in the former Soviet Union. It was his childhood dream to become an airship designer after he saw pictures of blimps in a magazine. "It was something that I fell in love with right away," he said.
BUSINESS
November 11, 2002 | Peter Pae, Times Staff Writer
It has been 65 years since the ill-fated Hindenburg burst into flames and deflated the chances that lighter-than-air ships would become anything more than a curious footnote in aviation history. Except for the limited use of the Goodyear blimp as a flying billboard, dozens of efforts to revive the glory of dirigibles have fallen flat. But now, Pentagon officials believe that airships could play a crucial role in protecting the United States from attack.
NEWS
May 17, 1986 | Associated Press
Navy Secretary John F. Lehman Jr. has authorized construction of a prototype blimp for tests to determine whether the giant airships return to service, officials said Friday. The officials, who agreed to discuss the matter only if they were not identified, said the Pentagon would probably announce Lehman's decision next week. They said Lehman had accepted the findings of an evaluation board that concluded that modern blimps could enhance the fleet's radar and communications capabilities.
NATIONAL
September 27, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
A blimp crashed in a wooded area in Manchester-by-the-Sea when the pilot lost rudder control shortly after takeoff and tried to make an emergency landing on a beach, authorities said. The 90-foot-long blimp, which advertises dairy products, became ensnared atop trees about 30 feet off the ground near an elementary school. Pilot Leigh Bradbury was alone and was not injured, authorities said. Rescuers used a harness to lower him to the ground.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2006 | Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writer
When the Macon was launched in 1933, the giant dirigible was more than just the biggest object ever to sail through the skies. To a nation laid low by the Depression, it was a symbol of hope. "Floating majestically in the sky, the Macon is a sight thrilling to every American and an impressive symbol of our Navy's airpower," crackled a newsreel of the day. Newspapers called the Macon "the queen of the airways."
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