Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:
Texas: Northwestern Houston area
© 2014 by Paul Freeman. Revised 2/22/14.
Goodyear Blimp Airfield, Spring, TX
30.06 North / 95.43 West (Northwest of Houston, TX)
A 1973 aerial view depicted the Goodyear Blimp Airfield as having a blimp hangar at the northwest corner, and 2 blimp mooring circles.
This blimp airfield was evidently established at some point between 1964-69,
as no airfield was yet depicted at this location on the 1964 San Antonio Sectional Chart,
and nothing related to an airfield was yet recognizable on a 1964 aerial photo (courtesy of David Owens).
Starting in 1969, the Goodyear airship America was based at this facility in Spring, TX.
During its travels the blimp's night signs were used to display advertising messages,
and its TV camera filmed many sporting & public events.
The earliest depiction of the airfield which has been located was a 1973 aerial view.
It depicted the Goodyear Blimp Airfield as having a blimp hangar at the northwest corner, and 2 blimp mooring circles.
Inexplicably, no airfield was yet depicted at this location
on the March 1973 Houston Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).
The 1976 USGS topo map labeled the airfield as “Goodyear Blimp”.
The earliest aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of the Goodyear Blimp Airfield
was on the September 1977 Houston Terminal Area Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted “Good Year Blimp” as a private airfield with a 1,700' unpaved runway.
The earliest photo which has been located showing a blimp at the Goodyear Spring facility
was a 1979 photo by Rick Oleson of a Goodyear Blimp moored at the field.
Rick recalled, “I lived in Houston from 1978-82 & visited the base a number of times.
They built a new blimp in Spring - I think it was to be based in Atlanta -
and when it was finished it flew alongside the Houston blimp around the city for trials before being delivered.”
The August 1981 Houston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Steve Cruse)
depicted “Goodyear Blimp” as a private airfield.
The 1982 USGS topo map depicted the “Landing Field (Blimp)” as having 2 blimp mooring circles,
along with a single hangar on the northwest side of the field.
The August 1985 Houston Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy)
depicted “Goodyear Blimp” as a private airfield.
A November 28, 1987 aerial view of the Goodyear Blimp field (courtesy of David Owens)
showed the blimp hangar in the northwest corner,
two paved blimp mooring circles in the center of the field,
and a viewing area at the northeast corner of the property.
Eric Bauer reported, “I work about 1 mile from the Goodyear Blimp site in Spring,
and used to routinely watch the blimp fly over my office at low altitude as it was preparing to land.”
An undated photo looking west at the Goodyear Blimp America moored at the Spring Blimp Base.
A circa 1991-93 photo by David Handley (courtesy of Brian Handley) of a Goodyear Blimp taking off from the Spring Blimp Field.
Brian recalled, “My Dad was taking these photos because the blimp base was scheduled to be closed.
There was a viewing stand on the east side of the interstate (west side of the grounds).
In most of the shots you can see the netting of lights on the side of the balloon that was used to show advertising at night.
As a kid, I used to run outside at night to see the blimp flying in the sky with the light-up scrolling banners.”
A circa 1991-93 photo by David Handley (courtesy of Brian Handley) of the Goodyear Blimp hangar at the Spring Blimp Field.
The January 1992 Houston Terminal Area Chart depicted “Goodyear Airship Operations” as a private airfield.
In 1992, the home base of the Goodyear airship America was moved to Akron, OH.
However, the February 1993 Houston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Steve Cruse)
continued to depict “Goodyear Airship Operations” as a private airfield.
According to Greg Havens, “The old blimp base... was closed around 1993.
One of the last occupants was Genesis tuning up & preparing for a tour.
We could hear them whenever we drove by.”
The 1995 USGS aerial photo depicted that a Home Depot & its parking lot had been built over the location
of the blimp mooring circle on the southern part of the field.
It also appears as if the blimp hangar on the northwest corner of the field had been removed.
Other portions of the blimp field still remained intact though,
including the blimp mooring circle in the center of the field.
In the 2002 USGS aerial photo, the remaining traces of the former Goodyear Blimp airfield had been built over,
and the site was no longer recognizable as ever having been an airfield.
Greg Havens reported in 2006 that the site of the former blimp base “is now a Home Depot & a Lowe's hardware store.”
The site of the Goodyear Blimp Airfield is located southwest of the intersection of Interstate 45 & Meadow Edge Lane.
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