Superfly
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Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:44 am

http://www.airfields-freeman.com/CA/Airfields_CA_LA_W.htm

Hughes Airport near Culver City?
It was on Centinela Bl. near the 405 freeway. I remember years ago (1978) seeing a L-188 or Convair 340 sitting there along with a free private planes.
Are there any photos in the database from this airport?
Anyone here know what the airport code for this airport was?



http://www.airfields-freeman.com/CA/Hughes_CA_ne_78.jpg
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ILOVEA340
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:48 am

It´s funny but I was just yesterday wondering what happened to the airfield. That site you gave answers a number of questions.
cheers,
and hows life in the city?
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:09 am

Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
Anyone here know what the airport code for this airport was?

According to verbage from a yahoo search: ... Culver City Hughes - Airport code: CVR ...

Thanks for providing the link to the historical website. That was some interesting reading.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Superfly
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:08 am

Quoting ILOVEA340 (Reply 1):
hows life in the city?

Great!
Thanks for asking.  Smile
How is life in Switzerland?
If you see Cfalk, slap him around a few times.  Silly



Tom:
Did you ever go by that airport when you lived in SoCal?
Bring back the Concorde
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Tue Aug 16, 2005 5:56 am

As I recall, you could see a bit of it while traveling down the 405 towards LAX. It was backed up against that hillside and fronted onto Jefferson Blvd. I remember driving north on Lincoln and down the hill to Jefferson a couple of times years ago (perhaps when the 405 was tied up), but nothing about the place really stood out to me.

Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Superfly
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Tue Aug 16, 2005 8:49 am

The only thing down there now is a Ford dealership and a tall glass Wang building.
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irelayer
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Tue Aug 16, 2005 9:20 am

Quoting Superfly (Reply 5):
tall glass Wang building

:P

-IR
 
Halophila
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:57 pm

What a fascinating story! For years I had driven past there on the PCH between LAX and Venice and always wondered why there was such a lot of 'vacant' land to the East. Thanks for sharing!
Flown on 707, 717, 727, 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 741 742 743 744 74SP 757 753 762 763 772 773 77W D10 DC9 M11 M80 M87
 
FlyingTexan
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:09 pm

Houston Hobby was originally called Hughes Airport.

Howard Hughes was a Houstonian by birth.
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
ikramerica
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:25 pm

This land is now being developed into housing. All sorts of condos and townhomes, with nice facilities, etc. It is across the street from a Home Depot, a Costco, a major Post Office station, and lots of office buildings. Sony Studios Costume and Props is also across from it.

Up the hill is Loyala Marymount University.

Before the housing projects (called Playa Vista, since it is inland from Playa del Rey, and you can "see" it from some points), this land was still up for grabs. It was owned by a Hughes heir, some sort of niece or cousin or something, and this woman still owns a couple houses in Playa del Rey, IIRC.

http://www.playavista.com/

http://www.wlaxmdrchamber.com/history/pv.html

Very upscale. Of course, since this was "wetlands" of some kind, despite a severe lack of water, there was massive opposition to doing anything here at all. Same groups oppose any expansion at LAX, BTW.

http://www.saveballona.org/

In the early days of Dreamworks SKG, they were considering building their own studio lot, and this property was the front runner. Then, when Dreamworks decided to stay at Universal and not have a dedicated sound stage facility, there was still talk of an independent film studio and backlot here, but it never materialized. Would have been a great place for it, though. But I think people in Hollywood backed down so as not to look like they didn't care about the wetlands (even though they really don't).

The Spruce Goose was also built here. Then it was brought to the water in Mariana del Rey, assembled further and towed to Long Beach (could be confused on the exact details, but I think that's how it went down).

And now you know.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
Halophila
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:50 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 9):
Of course, since this was "wetlands" of some kind, despite a severe lack of water, there was massive opposition to doing anything here at all.

Sounds to me from their website (saveballona.org) like there are some major bioremediation issues at work here too (although the hydrogen sulfide buildup they mention occurs naturally in all swamp / wetland areas with large organic matter deposition). Incidentally, I think one of the LAX oppositions was due to the close proximity of the airport to a rare butterfly habitat on the sand dunes opposite the ends of the runways. You can see the signs for this along the road running from El Segundo to Playa del Rey.
Flown on 707, 717, 727, 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 741 742 743 744 74SP 757 753 762 763 772 773 77W D10 DC9 M11 M80 M87
 
ikramerica
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:59 pm

Quoting Halophila (Reply 10):
Incidentally, I think one of the LAX oppositions was due to the close proximity of the airport to a rare butterfly habitat on the sand dunes opposite the ends of the runways. You can see the signs for this along the road running from El Segundo to Playa del Rey.

Yes, and some sort of rock shrimp of some kind, IIRC. Both do not naturally live there, but live there now because of the altered landscape created by the original LAX project. But we still must protect these species who are now living in a place they don't belong. At least that's how I understand the issue. But anytime you are talking environmental issues, the truth is NOWHERE to be found, as both sides will argue the opposite extremes, since the goal of most environmental groups is to stop any and all development at any cost, and the goal of most developers is to use as much land as cheaply as possible.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
Superfly
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Wed Aug 17, 2005 1:30 am

Glad to see so many people here still knows about this airport. Very interesting replys.
I figured there had to have been some legal hold up to the development of this area. Considering LA has hardly no more land to develope.
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Superfly
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:47 am

When looking at maps of LA circa 1970s, there seemed to be a lot more general aviation airports than today.
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HT
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:03 pm

Quoting Superfly (Thread starter):
http://www.airfields-freeman.com/CA/Airfields_CA_LA_W.htm

A very interesting site !

Related: Does anybody have a link for such a site for the U.K. ?

-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
JHSfan
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:38 pm

Quoting HT (Reply 14):
Related: Does anybody have a link for such a site for the U.K. ?

http://www.controltowers.co.uk/ and http://www.danhamblin.btinternet.co.uk/pages/bob.htm

Yours in realtime
JHSfan
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Superfly
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:16 am

HT & JHSfan:
How ironic.
I started a thread in the Aviation Photography forums on cheap camera photos in the database and someone posted this photo at an airport in the UK that's now abandon.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Paul Dopson - AirTeamImages


I must say, for a 110 camera, that's a good picture.
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efohdee
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Fri Aug 19, 2005 1:25 am

I grew up in Westchester immediately south of the airfield. I do remember seeing quite a few different aircraft coming and going from the facility. Once I was on a school bus I was like 6 or 7 we drove right in front of the west end and there was this huge propellor plane that must have just landed, it had underwing tanks but I thought they were bombs. It was probably a C-130. Also seen a few small biz type aircraft like Kingairs and bizjets. But by far I remember all the helicopter traffic, it was Hughes Helicopters during that time. Lots of recip Hughes 269 and Hughes 500/OH-6 buzzing around. Quite a few UH-1 Hueys also. After McDonnell Douglas bought out Hughes in the late 80's activity decreased there rapidly. The last aicraft I can remember seen flying out of there was in the late 80's.
The Hughes property included the bluffs to the south. As I was growing up they were my old stomping ground. Security guards used to come chase us around in white pickup trucks. We used to fly model rockets on the property and the would wind up landing on the old runway.
Most of the property has been developed. Whats left is the two large HK-1 hangars, the small hangar to the west, and the old corporate buildings on the east end. A couple years ago I was biking in the area and saw an old, torn tattered windsock still blowing there on what was one of the helipads, like an old ghost of a bygone era. Also some of the buildings under the final approach path still had the red obstruction lights on. I did see in a pile of rubble some old concrete barriers with the red and white obstruction paint faded.
 
Superfly
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:37 am

Efohdee:
Awesome to hear that!
SOunds like the property just slowly died.
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efohdee
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Fri Aug 19, 2005 2:29 pm

Also I just finished reading a book titled Howard Hughes-Aviator, written by George J. Marrett. Marrett was a test pilot for Hughes Aircraft and the book basically covers Hughes entire flying career. A very interesting book!! Lots of stories about Hughes and his flying habits, all the different aircraft he designed and flew, his peculiar and sometimes dangerous flying behaviors, and stuff that went on at the Hughes Airport in Culver City. Many times it is written that Hughes always parked on the North end of the field under a shed next to a large clump of ecalyptus trees. Then he would drive away in an old beat up Chevy. Thing is I remember those trees and the shed! Up until the last few years the shed was there and it was totally covered with branches and the roof was sagging under the weight. I tried to bike by but the droppings from the trees punctured my tires and I had to walk it home. I drove by again earlier this summer and its gone, all gone! Gobbled up by urban sprawl. Oh well.
Anyways read the book, it's good for any aviation buff.
 
Superfly
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Sat Aug 20, 2005 12:07 am

Quoting Efohdee (Reply 19):
I drove by again earlier this summer and its gone, all gone! Gobbled up by urban sprawl. Oh well.
Anyways read the book, it's good for any aviation buff.

That's SoCal for you.  Sad

Thanks for the tip on that book.
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timz
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Tue Aug 30, 2005 7:21 am

Another pic-- let's see you guess the date.

http://jpg1.lapl.org/pics25/00032299.jpg
 
efohdee
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Sun Sep 04, 2005 1:36 am

WOW were did you find that one? The runway looks paved so I'd say it was taken mid 1950's. Go there now, things have really changed.
 
efohdee
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Sun Sep 04, 2005 1:41 am

Check out this one of LAX back in the day. The original control tower.

 
toering
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Sun Sep 04, 2005 2:16 am

I found this web site that I thought would add to this thread. It's about Howard Hughe's XF-11 crash. I thought it was intresting anyways.

http://www.check-six.com/Crash_Sites/XF-11_crash_site.htm
 
N62NA
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:06 am

One thing to add to the discussion, re: the site where the Hughes operation used to be in the Ballona wetlands.

Apparently, the local gas company (as in natural gas) has a huge underground storage facility beneath Ballona and there is also some debate about whether the gas that is bubbling up (or in the case of the land where the condos are built - the gas is building up) is of natural origin or is from the storage facility.

The alarming thing (regardless of whether the gas bubbling up is natural or from the storage facility) is that it can be a very dangerous situation for anything built on top of it.

There was a shopping center in Los Angeles that blew up a few years ago due to just such a phenomena.

Showing my "environmentalist" stripes here --- the Ballona wetlands were once a very beautiful place - most of which survived intact up until Marina del Rey was built on a huge portion of the wetlands back in the late 1950s.
 
airlinelover
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RE: Hughes Airport; Abandoned Los Angeles Airport

Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:57 pm

Quoting Superfly (Reply 16):

I must say, for a 110 camera, that's a good picture.

That's Superfly alright.. He knows OLD equipment..


What's sad is a lot of these airports that were once so active are or have been torn down for development.. GA fields as well..

Thanks for an interesting link!

Chris
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