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Aviation Manufactuers In Los Angeles  
User currently offlinetridum From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 49 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3769 times:

I am planning a trip to Los Angeles in March and would like to see where some of the old Aviation Factories were located. The places I have found are:
Long Beach Airport-Former Douglas Aviation factory (DC-8-MD-11 manufactured here)
Bob Hope Airport (Burbank)-Lockheed factory
Santa Monica Airport-1st Douglas factory
Hughes Aircraft (near LAX on Jefferson Blvd)-hangar were HK-1 built still stands

The only major manufacturer I am not sure of is North American. I know their plant was at Mines Field (now LAX) but I am not sure of exactly where. Thanks for any info!

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinemrskyguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1214 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3726 times:

You can also head just down the hill (just a few blocks north of LAX) and see Howard Hughes' old hangar built for the Hercules (Spruce Goose).


"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee." -- Gunter's 2nd Law of Air
User currently offlineStudeDave From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 486 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3553 times:

Don't forget that Northrop's facilities are/were on the south side of Hawthorne Airport.
I don't know how much (if anything) is left these days though, sorry...


StudeDave



Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
User currently offlineFlyingsottsman From Australia, joined Oct 2010, 559 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3432 times:

How far is Palmdale from LA? I think that where the Lockheed tristars were built.

User currently offlinefalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6159 posts, RR: 29
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3346 times:
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Quoting tridum (Thread starter):
Long Beach Airport-Former Douglas Aviation factory (DC-8-MD-11 manufactured here)

Is the "Fly DC Jets" sign still there?



My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26028 posts, RR: 50
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3287 times:

You can also see several other still active manufacturing sites - Northrop (F18 fuselage/F-35 materials & process) and Boeing (Satellite Development Center) adjacent to LAX on Aviation Blvd. Also Northrop factory at Hawthorne airport(aka Jack Northrop Field)

Quoting Flyingsottsman (Reply 3):
How far is Palmdale from LA? I think that where the Lockheed tristars were built.

About 50-60 miles North. Lots of aircraft have built in Palmdale over the years including military types such as B-1 and B-2, SpaceShuttle etc..

There is a very active aviation industry still at the airport, not the least being Boeing with its current 787/748 testing.

Quoting falstaff (Reply 4):
Is the "Fly DC Jets" sign still there?

Yes it is.




From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinetridum From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3240 times:

Can you actually see the Northrop facility in Palmdale, or is it behind a gate several miles off of a main road? (FYI this facility was seen in the James Bond movie Moonraker in 1979 as Drax industries).

User currently offlineremcor From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3230 times:

Don't forget there's also the C-17 assembly plant adjacent to Long Beach airport. Got to tour that one a while ago as a student, pretty impressive.

User currently offlineicebird757 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 666 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3157 times:

You could also head to SAN where Convair was


LGB....where you can watch the grass grow because the traffic is so slow.
User currently offlinetimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6896 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3152 times:

North American (Inglewood) and Douglas (El Segundo) were next to each other, weren't they? Both on the south side of Imperial Highway, across from LAX?

(On second look, one of them was north of the Imperial Hwy-- they're both on the west side of Aviation Blvd? Probably it was North American that was north of Imperial Hwy?)

[Edited 2010-12-24 16:54:17]

[Edited 2010-12-24 16:54:43]

User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3736 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3112 times:

Growing up in the Los Angeles area, I got to see brand new MD-11s in JAL, EVA and other airlines colors, that I can not remember right now. Also when I still lived in California, and I drive by Long Beach, I would see a brand new C-17. With all it's aviation manufacturers and all it's airports, Los Angeles useed to be a great place for an aviation lovers to grow up. It still is because of the many airports in LA, but it not the same as when we had a ton of aviation manufactacturers.

User currently offlinetridum From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3076 times:

Where exactly is that "FLY DC JETS" sign located? Looks cool. Thanks too to everyone for their help. I look forward to more insight!

User currently offlineN49WA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3076 times:

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 2):
Don't forget that Northrop's facilities are/were on the south side of Hawthorne Airport.
I don't know how much (if anything) is left these days though, sorry...

My company (www.wolfeair.com) bought the entire Northrop Grumman complex at Hawthorne last year and we are in the process of remodeling. One of the first things I did in a new section was to create a photo gallery of pictures of the old NG facility, aircraft along with current shots of what we do. The hangar is filled with aircraft and we are re-doing the rest of the place in phases.

Tridum, PM me when you are going to be here and I will try to schedule a tour for you. It's an amazing place and you can feel the history. Right next to us is the Vought facility and you can see new 747 fuselage panels being loaded onto rail cars for transport. There are also areas that we have not yet touched, so they are in their original state, and I can tell you what was built in each building, including the original Northrop Flying Wing!

Plenty of SoCal aviation history here.

[Edited 2010-12-24 18:53:44]

User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4491 posts, RR: 21
Reply 13, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3009 times:

Quoting tridum (Thread starter):
The only major manufacturer I am not sure of is North American. I know their plant was at Mines Field (now LAX) but I am not sure of exactly where. Thanks for any info!

Don't know if it's your cup of tea or not but if you're interested, North American's former spaceflight assembly facility is located in Downey and is now Downey Studios (www.downeystudios.com). Might be worth trying to talk to someone to get a peek inside the place. The Apollo capsules were built here as well as major assemblies of the Space Shuttle (things like the crew modules, forward fuselages, and tails)--those components were then shipped to AF Plant 42 (PMD) for final assembly.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2978 times:

Almost all the actual factories have been torn down. The North American and Douglas plants at LAX are gone as are most of the Lockheed buildings in Burbank. The Northrup plant in Hawthorn (now Vought) is still there as is the Boeing/McD C-17 plant in Long Beach, but the remainder of the Long Beach facilities are gone. Douglas had plants in Torrance and Santa Monica but they have been torn down for years. There are still some Hughes building close to LAX but just look like office buildings.

Plamdale actually has nine (9) plants. Lockheed has the largest facility and unlike the other eight (8) facilities (called sites) it is owned by Lockheed. The remaining sites are on USAF property and leased to the different companies. Currently there are Boeing, Northrup and Lockheed using these sites. Get off the 14 Freeway at Ave P and head east. After you go over the rail road tracks Lockheed will be the first plant you come to. You can turn north on 5th Street East and get a better view of the plant, turn east at the Lockheed Credit Union and follow the road to 10th Street and then south back to Ave P. Go east on Ave P you will pass the Palmdale Heritage Park and the Blackbird Park, stop and check them out. The FAA control center is next. Behind the FAA is where the B-2 bombers and TR-1 (U-2) spy planes were built. At 40th Street turn north and follow the road around the main runway at 60th Street turn north to Ave M . A left on M will take you past the the factories where the B-2's were assembled next is the plant where A-4's were built and a little further you will pass the plant where Lockheed assembled the SR-71 after they were trucked up from Burbank and the last site on Ave M is where the Space Shuttles were built. Just as a personal not over the years I worked at Lockheed Plant 10 and Sites 2, 3 and 7.

This web site shows the location of all the plants at Palmdale and what was built at each site over the years:

http://www.mar-prod.com/plantsafp42/afp42.htm

If you continue on north on the 14 Freeway you will end up in Mojave, which is always worth a look.

If you are real adventurous you can head east out of Palmdale to El Mirage and see the General Aeronautics plant where the build the Predator drones. Just a few mile east of El Mirage is Victorville no plants but they do have a bone yard.


User currently offlineN505FX From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2947 times:

Most of the facilities are listed by everyone here. There are some original Hughes engineering buildings still off of Jefferson by the old Spruce Goose hangar - pretty much in their original state. There are lots of famous subcontractors spread throughout the South Bay as well...but is just isn't like it used to be when California used to be the cradle of aviation prior to the liberals and wacko environmentalists driving the high paying, large companies out of here with over regulation.

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25871 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2818 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 14):
This web site shows the location of all the plants at Palmdale and what was built at each site over the years:

http://www.mar-prod.com/plantsafp42/...2.htm

Where is "Lockheed Plant 10" (where the L-1011 was built)? It's not indicated on the map.


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2780 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 16):

Where is "Lockheed Plant 10" (where the L-1011 was built)? It's not indicated on the map.


Lower right hand corner, now called "Lockheed Martin Skunk Works". The three blue buildings on the left were there during the L-1011 production days the other blue buildings on the right were added later. The first (largest building was Building 601, where the fuselage was assembled, the wings mated and final assembly completed. The next building north was the paint shop. The third building was Building 602 the flight test building, it also contained the static and fatigue test area.


User currently offlineFedExFlyerPHL From United States of America, joined May 2008, 199 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2769 times:

There is a new C-17 that is being readied for delivery at LGB, so you might catch a glimpse of it. I've seen it on test flights over the past week. You might even catch the DC-2 or DC-3 that flies daily to Catalina. As for the Fly DC Jets sign, if you are in the passenger terminal looking aross the airfield, it's to the right. There is an observation deck next to the restaurant you can go to as well.

Jeff



ABE ATL AUA AUS BHM BOS BUR BWI CLT DFW EWR HOU IAD JAN JAX LAX LGB MEM MCI MCO MDW MGW MSP MSY ORD PHL PIT SJU SNA STL
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25871 posts, RR: 22
Reply 19, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2763 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 17):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 16):

Where is "Lockheed Plant 10" (where the L-1011 was built)? It's not indicated on the map.


Lower right hand corner, now called "Lockheed Martin Skunk Works".

Thanks. Assume you meant "lower left hand corner".


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 20, posted (3 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2716 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 19):
Thanks. Assume you meant "lower left hand corner".


Sorry; I meant "lower left hand corner"


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