The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company‘s blimp hangar at Wingfoot Lake in Suffield, Ohio, was officially recognized as an historic landmark with the unveiling of an Ohio Historical Marker on Aug. 16, 2018.
The Wingfoot Lake facility, which has operated since 1917 and is the oldest airship hangar in the United States, joins more than 1,600 unique historical markers across the state of Ohio, according to company officials.
“The Wingfoot Lake Hangar has a rich history of contributions to aviation in Ohio and our nation,” said Paul Fitzhenry, Goodyear senior vice president and chief communications officer. “From training the first class of United States Navy pilots in lighter-than-air to building of airships for the defense of the nation during World War I and World War II and serving as the home base of our current airship fleet, this facility is an Ohio and American treasure.”
The property on which the hangar sits, and an adjacent lake, was purchased by Goodyear in 1916 to provide water for tire manufacturing in nearby Akron and for airship construction for the United States Army and Navy. The lake is now part of Ohio State Parks and is open to the public.
The hangar and surrounding property are still owned by the company, which has used the facility in recent years to assemble and test its three new state-of-the-art airships. The newest addition to the fleet — Wingfoot Three — will be formally christened during a ceremony on Aug. 30.