Northrop plant closure ends aviation era in Dominguez Hills

dominguez.jpgSorry to hear that Northrop Grumman will be closing its Carson facility as part of a cost-cutting effort. The facility employs about 800 workers, many of whom will relocate to other Northrop locations over the next couple of years. Northrop referred to the operation as its Dominguez Hills campus, and for aviation buffs, Dominguez Hills is a very big deal. In 1910, it was the site of the nation's first air show, what the LAT called "one of the greatest public events in the history of the West." Over 10 days, more than 226,000 people turned out (many had never seen an airplane before), and while no one could have realized it at the time, it signaled the beginning of L.A.'s aerospace industry. By the way, Southern Pacific steam trains were a popular way of getting to the air meet - Aviation Field was about 13 miles from what had been the center of Los Angeles. Trains left Fifth and Central six times a day (35 cents round trip). Folks also came by Pacific Electric trolley, automobile, and horse. From Cal State Dominguez Hills:

Over the course of the air meet, spectators were thrilled by the performances of aviators Louis Paulhan, Glenn Curtiss, Charles Willard, and others. Paulhan was the "star attraction" at the air meet. Invited by the organizers to participate, Paulhan brought with him to the event two Bleriot Monoplanes, two Farman Biplanes, and an entourage which included his wife and black poodle. At the air meet, he set a new altitude record (4164 ft.), endurance record (64 miles 1 hr. 49 mins. 40 secs.), and won $14,000 in prize money. Glenn Curtiss won two events - fastest speed with a passenger (55 mph) and quickest start (6 2/5 secs., covering 98 ft.). Curtiss took home $6500 in prize money. Charlie Willard was credited with the most accurate take off and landing skills for which he received a prize totaling $250.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
Recent Aerospace stories:
Why they keep flying into Santa Monica airport
Morley Builders says CEO and son were in SMO crash
Deaths in jet crash at Santa Monica airport
Boeing to end C-17 production in Long Beach
How much longer can C-17 production last in Long Beach?

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook