THE ABANDONED MILITARY SITE IN GERMANY
‘Flugplatz Brand’ has a rich military history. It was built in 1938 as ‘Fliegerhorst Briesen‘ a military airport for the Luftwaffe, part of the German Wehrmacht.
The airfield was built by the Luftwaffe during the expansion of the army by Nazi Germany, between 1938 and 1939. Originally there was a grass runway with a length of one kilometer. Also several barracks and a train station were built. In fact there were no active planes stationed at the site, but it was used as a training school for pilots. In January 1951, work began on expanding the former Luftwaffe airbase for the Soviet armed forces.
The Soviet forces extended the small airfield by a 2,5 kilometer long concrete main runway. In 1958 they built another, 2 kilometer long runway. At the end of the main runway there is an aircraft parking area with shelters and ammunition bunkers. Also they built hardened aircraft shelter for the planes in the years 1970 until 1983. The Russian radio call sign for the airfield was ZWEROBOJ or ЗВЕРОБОЙ.
In 1992 the Red Army left Germany, as a result the site was back in German control. Eventually in 1996 it was sold to Cargolifter, a German company founded in 1996. Cargolifter offered logistical services through point-to point transport of heavy and outsized loads. This service was in general based on the development of a heavy lift airship, the CL160, a vessel designed to carry a 160-tons payload. The hangar for production and operation of the CL160 and engineering team facilities was built in 1998. The hangar is 360 meter long, 220 meter wide and 106 meter high. It’s a technological marvel in itself, the freestanding steel-dome “barrel-bowl” construction is large enough to fit the Eiffel Tower on its side. However the airship was never built and the company went bankrupt in 2002. After the company went bankrupt a tropical theme park was opened in the hangar.