Hangar One, Moffett Field
Driving south of San Francisco on Highway 101 it's hard to miss the enormous Hangar One at Moffett Field. One of the largest unsupported structures in the world, its interior can hold 10 football fields and it is so tall that fog sometimes forms near the ceiling. Hangar One was built to accommodate the lighter-than-air blimps and dirigibles of the 1930s and it became the home of the world's largest airship, the 785-foot USS Macon.

Filled with helium, rather than the hydrogen that caused the Hindenburg to explode, the Macon carried a crew of 100 as well as five Sparrowhawk fighter planes in its belly. In 1935 during its 45th flight the airship ran into a storm off Carmel and was driven into the ocean killing two of its crewmen. Its submerged wreckage was not discovered until 1991.

After the Macon crash the lighter-than-air program ended and Moffett Field became a training center for the Army Air Corps. After WWII the airfield became a NASA station and in 1994, home for the NASA/Ames Research Center. Today, Hangar One is closed but the Moffett Field Museum next to the giant structure is open for the public to visit. One private company at Moffett Field offers airborne tours of the Bay Area via the blimp shown above.
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