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After an original idea by Paul Freeman.
First published 7 Nov 2010. This collection of airfields is © 2010 - 2018 RonaldV





52°02'00"N 013°45'00"E
Runway 09R/27L - 2500x50m - concrete (CLOSED)
Runway 09L/27R - 2500x50m - concrete (wartime emergency use only - CLOSED)
Runway 16/34 - 2000x30m - concrete (wartime emergency use only - CLOSED)

Airfield Brand-Briesen (german: flugplatz Brand-Briesen) was an airfield 60 kilometer southeast of Berlin.
It was constructed between 1938 and 1939 as a Feldflugplatz (fielded airfield) of the Luftwaffe. At the time it had a single 1,000meters runway.

When the Soviet forces took over the airfield it was steadily expanded to house a fighter-bomber regiment. In 1951 the runway was lenghtened to 2,500meters, followed by an expansion with a 2000meters emergency runway and a dispersal area.

In 1970 10 HASs were built and two years later the parallel emeregncy runway was constructed. Gradually 24 more HASs were built in the late 1970s, and a nuclear alert shelter was built in the early 1980s.

airfield Brand-Briesen in 1991 (via Vimudeap)

Two An-22 airlifters during the Russian withdrawal at airfield Brand-Briesen in 1992 (Panoramio).

After the end of the Cold War in 1989 the two Germanies were united in 1990, leaving no room for the post World War II Allied "occupying forces". An agreement was struck with the Soviet Union on the gradual withdrawal of their forces from eastern Germany. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russians ('heirs' of the Soviets) left the base in 1992 and transferred control of the airfield to Germany.
In 1996 the CargoLifter company was founded in Wiesbaden. They announced they would develop and build airships in East Germany. While the northern of the main runways was being torn up, CargoLlifter began building the largest freebearing hall in the world just north of that position, where they intended to set up production of airships. Construction of the 360x210m hall was complete in November 2000, at a cost of 78 million Euro.

Airfield Brand-Briesen in 2000 (Google Earth)

Cargolifter Skyship on the former parallel (then main) runway at airfield Brand-Briesen 2000 (Google Earth)

Cargolifter CL75 prototype at airfield Brand-Briesen and Skyship moored on the runway in 2001 (Panoramio)

They actually managed to build prototypes, but a year and a half later the company went bankrupt. The hall and 500 hectares of ground surrounding it were sold to a Malaysian company in June 2003 who converted it into a leasure park called "My Tropical Islands".

The inside of the hangar was converted into a tropical leasure park in 2004 (Tropical Islands)

The remaining runway in 2017 (RonaldV)

The platform in 2017. The platform is being used as a parking when the park runs out of parking space close to the former hangar on the main runway (RonaldV)

You have to stand close to it, to get an understanding of the massive size of the hangar. Even when standing on the runway (as the crow flies: 330meter from where this photo was taken to the center arch), the building dominates everything (2017 - RonaldV)

There are still many Hardened Aircraft Shelters at the former airbase. Some are closed and nearly overgrown (2017 - RonaldV)...

... others are wide open and empty (2017 - RonaldV)...

And some are under conversion for reuse. During my brief visit to the site, I saw one being used as a restaurant (2017 - RonaldV)

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