Goodyear Ranger Blimp at BAP, 1947

Goodyear built the first “Ranger” blimp, NC-10A, in 1940 as an upgrade to the previous advertising blimps, but it soon became a part of a fleet of airships for the U.S. Navy’s L-Class airship division, used during World War II. The Ranger measures 150 feet in length, is 51 feet high while resting on its landing wheel, and holds 123,000 cubic feet of helium. Two 145 hp Warner Scarab engines mounted on outriggers, one on each side of the 22-foot long car, provide a top speed of 62 mph. The blimp has a 600-mile range at a cruising speed of 50 mph. A preferred altitude is between two and three thousand feet, but blimps have a service ceiling limit of 10,000 ft.

The Ranger I’s first test flight was on August 13, 1940, and the U.S. Navy received delivery on February 1, 1941, reclassified as the U.S. Navy L-2. Unfortunately, this blimp is destroyed in a mid-air collision in 1942.

As U.S. Navy blimp L-2, the ship collided with Navy blimp G-1 (formerly Defender) on June 8, 1942 during night operations near Manasquan Inlet, New Jersey. Both blimps were destroyed.

During World War II, Goodyear ceased the operations of all advertising blimps.

The Goodyear Ranger II (NC-1A) at Buffalo Airpark, June 13, 1947.

Goodyear built two other versions of the Ranger series blimps, the Ranger II (NC-1A) and the Ranger III (N1A). After World War II, the first flight of the declassified U.S. Navy L-18, now know as the Ranger II (NC-1A) is on May 28, 1946.

If you look closely, you can see the Quonset hangar in the background towards the picture center. The single-story Operations building is on the left.
Goodyear set up their mobile station in the grassy field North of the Operations building next to the taxiway. You can see the concrete pad from Tony’s first hangar in the right foreground.
Tony is seen on the far left standing under the blimp and looking up while his wife Maxine looks towards the camera, third from the left.
Tony, on the left, shaking hands with the Goodyear airship pilot, June 13, 1947.
Back side of the above photo.

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