Dec. 7, 1999
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA
(Phone: 650/604-3937, 650/604-9000) firstname.lastname@example.org
Airship Operations, Inc.
(Phone) 407/973-9112) email@example.com
HUGE AIRSHIP ARRIVES AT MOFFETT FIELD FOR MAINTENANCE
On Wednesday, Dec. 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., (PST) news media are invited to tour, film and photograph a Skyship 600B, the first airship to visit historic Moffett Field for an extended period since 1947.
Owned and operated by Airship Operations, Inc., of Orlando, FL and leased by Tommy Hilfiger USA, the airship will be housed in Hangar 2 at Moffett Field through Dec. 20 to undergo routine maintenance. The project includes washing its massive 200-foot long, 67-foot high envelope, and changing some of its 8,200 lights. The airship's shape is maintained entirely by the internal pressure of its helium lifting gas. The pilot's instrument panel features high tech navigational and communications equipment, including radar and a Global Positioning System (GPS). A 21-member ground crew, including four pilots, travels with the airship.
Although the Skyship 600B is the largest certified airship in operation today, stretching two-thirds the length of a football field and as tall as a 747 jumbo jet, it is a fraction of the size of the airships which flew 50 years ago. The giant dirgibles, USS Macon and USS Akron, both visited the Sunnyvale Naval Air Station, as it was then known. The 785-foot long USS Macon was based at Moffett Field in historic Hangar 1 and provided long-range reconnaissance for the Pacific Fleet. In 1942, two more hangars, Hangars 2 and 3, were built at Moffett Field to accommodate the need for blimp storage, maintenance and training. In January 1944, the last airship arrived at the former Sunnyvale Naval Air Station at Moffett Field for assembly and in 1947, the last blimp was flown at Moffett Field.
To get to Ames, take the Moffett Field exit off Highway 101. At the Moffett Federal Airfield main gate, turn right into a small parking lot and enter the Visitor Badging Office to obtain your entry badges. You must bring your press credentials and photo ID to gain admittance. News media will be escorted to the hangar by airship personnel. Call Suzanne Pelisson at (407) 973-9112 for an escort to the hangar.
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