Bartolomeu de Gusmão Airport

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For Bartolomeu de Gusmão Airport in Araraquara, see Araraquara Airport.
Bartolomeu de Gusmão Airport
Aeroporto Bartolomeu de Gusmão
Hangar de Zeppelins.jpg
South door of the Zeppelin Hangar
IATA: SNZICAO: SBSC
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner/Operator Luftschiffbau Zeppelin
Serves Rio de Janeiro
Elevation AMSL 3 m / 10 ft
Coordinates 22°55′56″S 043°43′09″W / 22.93222°S 43.71917°W / -22.93222; -43.71917Coordinates: 22°55′56″S 043°43′09″W / 22.93222°S 43.71917°W / -22.93222; -43.71917
Map
SNZ is located in Rio de Janeiro
SNZ
SNZ
Location within greater Rio de Janeiro
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
05/23 2,739 8,986 Asphalt
Sources: World Aero Data[1]

Bartolomeu de Gusmão Airport (IATA: SNZICAO: SBSC) was an airport built to handle the operations with the rigid airships Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg. The airport was named after Bartolomeu Lourenço de Gusmão (1685–1724), a Portuguese priest born in Brazil who did research about transportation with balloons.

In 1942 it became an Air Force Base of the Brazilian Air Force and therefore with exclusive military use. The following year its name was changed to Santa Cruz Air Force Base. It is located in the neighborhood of Santa Cruz in the western region of Rio de Janeiro.

History[edit]

Between 1931 and 1937, Deutsche Luft Hansa had regular flights between Germany and Brazil, which were operated by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin using its rigid airships Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg.[2] Rio de Janeiro was the final stop, where passengers could connect with aircraft services to Southern Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia operated by Syndicato Condor, the Brazilian subsidiary of Deutsche Luft Hansa.[3] During its five years of regular scheduled summer season intercontinental commercial airship service between Germany and South America, the hangar was used only nine times: four by the LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin and five by the LZ-129 Hindenburg.[4] Designed and assembled with parts brought from Germany, the construction was subsidized by the Brazilian government.[5]

Zeppelin Hangar, Bartolomeu de Gusmão Airport, Santa Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

The airport was inaugurated on December 26, 1936 by President Getúlio Vargas, with the presence of the German Ambassador Schmidt Elskop. Before this day the rigid airships were docked at Campo dos Afonsos.

Tank for manufacture and storage of hydrogen to supply Zeppelins.

The new airport consisted of an airfield, a hangar, a customs house, an office building, a radio-operations building, 5 bedrooms for workers, crew-lodgings, a work and storage house, a hydrogen factory, a plant to mix hydrogen with butane and a branch-line connecting the complex to the main railway line to downtown Rio de Janeiro 54 km away. The whole complex was built by the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin and are partially still in use by the Brazilian Air Force, which occupies the site.[6]

The hangar is an original surviving example of a structure[7] built to accommodate rigid airships and the only Zeppelin airship hangar of all those built which remains a hangar[8][9][10][11] . Because of its historical importance, it was listed as a National Heritage Site on March 14, 1999.

As a consequence to the Hindenburg disaster on May 6, 1937 at Lakehurst Air Naval Station in New Jersey, USA, the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin requested to the Brazilian Government on June 17, 1937 the suspension of services. Since then no more civil operations were handled at this facility.

On February 12, 1942, six months before Brazil declared war against the Axis, the airport was taken over by the Brazilian Air Force Ministry and became a base of the Brazilian Air Force. The name of the facility was changed to Santa Cruz Air Force Base on January 16, 1943.[12] The new Air Force Base became and remains one of the most important bases of the Brazilian Air Force.

Access[edit]

The airport is located 54 km (34 mi) from Rio de Janeiro downtown.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Santa Cruz Air Force Base Information". World Aero Data. 
  2. ^ Instituto Histórico-Cultural da Aeronáutica (1990). História Geral da Aeronáutica Brasileira: de 1921 às vésperas da criação do Ministério da Aeronáutica (in Portuguese) 2. Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro: Itatiaia and Instituto Histórico-Cultural da Aeronáutica. pp. 164–166. 
  3. ^ Instituto Histórico-Cultural da Aeronáutica (1990). História Geral da Aeronáutica Brasileira: de 1921 às vésperas da criação do Ministério da Aeronáutica (in Portuguese) 2. Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro: Itatiaia and Instituto Histórico-Cultural da Aeronáutica. pp. 384–388. 
  4. ^ Brooks 1992, p. 167.
  5. ^ Dick and Robinson 1985, p. 41.
  6. ^ Instituto Histórico-Cultural da Aeronáutica (1990). História Geral da Aeronáutica Brasileira: de 1921 às vésperas da criação do Ministério da Aeronáutica (in Portuguese) 2. Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro: Itatiaia and Instituto Histórico-Cultural da Aeronáutica. pp. 388–392. 
  7. ^ Moffett Federal Airfield
  8. ^ Zeppelin Hangar
  9. ^ Riga Central Market, Latvia
  10. ^ Riga central market, Latvia
  11. ^ Dirigible hangar, Augusta, Sicily
  12. ^ Instituto Histórico-Cultural da Aeronáutica (1991). História Geral da Aeronáutica Brasileira: da criação do Ministério da Aeronáutica ao final da Segunda Guerra Mundial (in Portuguese) 3. Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro: Villa Rica Editoras Reunidas. p. 272. 

External links[edit]