Goodyear Ranger Blimp at BAP, 1947

The four sizes in proportionate scale of the Goodyear blimp for the U.S. Navy.

Goodyear built the first “Ranger I” 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) blimp docked to it's mobile station at Buffalo Airpark on June 13, 1947.
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.

The Goodyear Ranger II (NC-1A) blimp docked to it's mobile station on June 13, 1947 at Buffalo Airpark. The Quonset hangar and operations building is seen in the background.
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.
The Goodyear Ranger II (NC-1A) blimp docked to it's mobile station in a field on the property of Buffalo Airpark on June 13, 1947.
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.
The Goodyear Ranger II (NC-1A) blimp being controlled by a group of unknown people at Buffalo Airpark on June 13, 1947. Tony Riccio and his wife Maxine can be seen under the blimp to the left of the cabin car.
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. (Notice the neon light panels under the Goodyear logo.)

Tony Riccio shaking the Goodyear blimp's pilot's hand with one unknown person standing next to the staircase. Two unknown people are inside the blimp's cabin car.
Tony, on the left, shaking hands with the Goodyear airship pilot, June 13, 1947.
The back side of the above photo dating the picture to June 13, 1947.
Back side of the above photo.

The cover of Goodyear's booklet "Airships Over America".

Click the “Download” button to access this booklet and please feel free to save a copy for yourself, print, or share!