Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hangar 161 Adieu

Today was the final day of existence for Mojave's Hangar 161, the third-oldest currently on the airport. The building was constructed during World War II by the U.S. Marine Corps, when the Mojave Airport was better known as Marine Corps Air Station Mojave.

For the last couple of decades, 161 has housed the offices of Flight Research, Inc., the commercial "sister" of the National Test Pilots School. The wooden building long outlived its usefulness, and was demolished to make way for a larger building that will house FRI and NTPS aircraft. Hangar 161 also was a movie star of sorts, and appeared in the last few moments of the Jodie Foster movie Flightplan, as it stood in for a hangar supposedly in Gander, Newfoundland.

In the late-50s photo on the right, Hangar 161 is the closest to the camera, the other four hangars being the original USMC hangars (of these, only two still stand, one housing XCOR Aerospace and the other Mercy Air Service).

Left - On a rare winter day in the 1970s when snow can still be seen on the ground, two C-133s and two Boeing 377s sit on a flightline that's dramatically different than today. Hangar 161 is the farthest from the camera in this image.

They just don't build them like this anymore! In an era when steel was desperately needed for other war effort projects, complex wooded trusses were used.

Below - it took less than four hours for the demolition crew to reduce the building to kindling.


Anonymous said...

Just imagine how many Pietenpol Air Campers that would have stored!

Princess said...