From The Story of
In the early part of 1928 an attorney, by the name of Kenneth Humphries, confided to
Burbank Chamber of Commerce Secretary C. C. Richards that the company he
Air Transport Corporation of
Boeing executives had spent a year investigating a number
of possible locations for the airfield in
the Los Angeles area, to find the one most favorable from the standpoint of
weather conditions, availability to a metropolitan district, and &her
important requirements for a major air terminal. Weather experts had spent days
and nights testing air conditions here under all possible circumstances.
A total of 240 acres of land made up the original purchase.
Asking price for this land, which ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, was paid in cash, although most of the property owners would have preferred to have had their money in deferred payments.
Burbank City Council was then requested to donate a section
First group of buildings to make up the new Boeing Air Field included
a pretentious structure that housed the executive offices as well as two hangars.
A few years later, what was considered “the world's largest airplane hangar under one roof”
was also constructed on the grounds. Still later, two industrial plants
were added to the group – one for the
In the meantime, name of the airfield had been changed to
Hailed then as "one of the finest airports in the world," the $1 ½ million United Airport was readied in seven months for United Airports Company of California, Ltd., a subsidiary of United Aircraft and Transportation Corporation.
The field was still a sandy loam vineyard dotted with giant oak and eucalyptus trees. It had a dry river bed running through its center.
Up until this time Pacific Air Transport was the only commercial line using the field. The company operated one flight a day on the Seattle-San Diego run, using a single-engine Boeing 40B biplane that carried four passengers and a pilot.
The 40-acre tract now occupied by Lockheed’s A-1 plant was
In 1934 the field became known as Union Air Terminal. It was in 1941 that it was re-named Lockheed Air Terminal when it was purchased by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.
Since then it has grown from its original 240 acres to 500 acres, and from a valuation of less than $2 million to a replacement value of $40 million. With its two 6000-foot runways, Lockheed Air Terminal is today the largest privately-owned commercial airport in the world!