At Moffett Field in Mountain View, California, Hangar One looms as one of the world’s biggest freestanding buildings.
Built in the 1930s, it sprawls over eight acres, giving it, like the Goodyear Airdock, a distinct weather that sometimes includes hovering fog.
As a naval hangar, it housed the USS Macon — constructed at the Goodyear Airdock — but later became part of the NASA Ames Research Center.
However, it underwent a massive restoration recently due to hazardous substances that necessitated cleaning, and is now being being leased to Google’s Planetary Ventures.
Their plans include aviation projects along with robotic and space technology, potentially revitalizing the hangar for the next age of flight.
Construction of Hangar One in the 1930s (via NASA/Ames Research Center)
View of the USS Macon from Hangar One in 1934 (via US Navy)
by Lorenzo Montezemolo
San Francisco genuinely is really foggy. It’s not a joke.
The fog rolls in from the Pacific and floats up against the beach, stacking up above Twin Peaks until it drops like an ephemeral avalanche onto the city below … blasting through the Golden Gate as if sprayed from a fire extinguisher, erasing the Bridge, obscuring Alcatraz, turning Berkeley into an overcast Pacific Northwest knockoff even as it leaves Oakland in bright, shining California sunlight.
Lorenzo Montezemolo’s favorite place to experience it is from Mount Tamalpais, which provides a commanding view from just north of the city.
Seen from the summit at 2,576 feet, the fog rolls through in waves to envelop the region like a shroud.
“I think there’s a little bit of Sleepy Hollow to it,” he says.
Montezemolo grew enamored by the city’s ubiquitous fog after moving the Bay Area 18 years ago to work as a network engineer. The fog was particularly thick this August, and he developed something of an obsession.
Each day after work, Montezemolo drove an hour north from San Mateo to Mount Tamalpais State Park to photograph it.
He snapped hundreds of photos, but none quite like this one, made on August 17 during the full moon.
He and a few friends hiked a steep gravel trail to a point about 1,000 feet above the fog.
Montezemolo put his Nikon D810 on tripod and set to work. He used an F8 aperture and a low ISO of 31, together with a six-stop neutral density filter that let him stretch the exposure to three minutes.
Montezemolo’s stunning image shows one of the Bay Area’s most enchanting features, one that rivals that iconic orange bridge for its beauty.
A Guardian photographic highlight:
On 21 May 1932, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
She had meant to fly to Paris but bad weather and mechanical problems forced her to land in a field near Londonderry, Ireland. “After scaring most of the cows in the neighborhood,” she said, “I pulled up in a farmer’s back yard.”
American aviator Amelia Earhart is surrounded by a crowd of wellwishers and pressmen while being congratulated on her solo flight in a Lockeed Vega by Andrew Mellon, United States ambassador to Britain.
Image Credit: Photograph by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.
Here’s a gallery of beautiful air vehicles of the past
Pax, a colorful airship, constructed by a Brazilian inventor named Augusto Severo. The inventor was killed in Paris in 1902 when the airship rose steeply and exploded. (Photo by Henry Guttmann/Getty Images)
USS Los Angeles, upside down after a turbulent wind from the Atlantic, Lakehurst, New Jersey, 1926 (AP)
R101, a British airship completed in 1929, crashed on 5 October 1930 in France during its very first overseas voyage. 48 of the 54 people were died on board.
When the Boeing 314 flying boat made its appearance, it was the largest civil aircraft in service.
The Yankee Clipper project dates back to 1935, with the start of a series of negotiations between Pan American World Airways and Boeing for the production of a flying-boat capable of guaranteeing transatlantic passenger flights with a high degree of safety, comfort and speed.
On July 21, 1936, Pan American signed a contract for six Model 314s, the first of which made its initial sea run on Puget Sound on May 31, 1938, and made its inaugural flight on June 7, 1938.
It outstripped all rivals in size, with twice the size of the Sikorsky S-42 and outweighed the Martin M-130 China Clipper by 15 tons. The 14-cylinder double-row Wright Cyclones were the first to use 100-octane fuel.
The Boeing 314 weighed 40 tons and the first block ordered cost $550,000 per aircraft.