Old Goodyear blimps make way for the newer models - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Old Goodyear blimps make way for the newer models

Posted: Updated:

AKRON, Ohio  – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company's Akron-based blimp, the Spirit of Goodyear, is headed for retirement in the sunshine and warmth of Florida.

The blimp, which has been based at the company's Wingfoot Lake Hangar since its christening 13 years ago, will join The Spirit of Innovation and operate from the company's Pompano Beach, Fla. airship base this winter before being decommissioned in the spring of 2014.

Beginning next year, the company will begin replacing the current fleet of blimps with new state-of-the-art Goodyear NT airships, the first of which is under construction at the Wingfoot Lake Hangar.

"The Spirit of Goodyear gave up its hangar space for the construction of the new Goodyear NT airship and has been moored outside the past months," said Nancy Ray, director of Goodyear's global airship program. "With winter on the way and the blimp's retirement coming up, it's time for the Spirit of Goodyear to move south."

The Spirit of Goodyear will departed Akron on Friday morning, traveling to State College, Pa., to cover the Penn State-Michigan football game for ESPN. Afterwards, the airship will work its way south to the company's Florida blimp base.

Christened on March 15, 2000 by America's first woman in space, NASA astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, the Spirit of Goodyear was named to honor the company's worldwide associates. It is the oldest of the tire maker's three U.S.-based blimps and the first to be replaced by the new Goodyear NT.

During its years of service, the Spirit of Goodyear has flown over countless marquee sporting events including Kentucky Derby horse races, top college football matchups and Major League Baseball and NBA playoffs. In 2004, the airship delivered the first-ever, high-definition images from a camera mounted in a blimp during a Monday Night Football contest.

Ray said the company is on schedule with the construction of the new NT airship and it should be ready for test flights in the spring of 2014.

Everything about the new Goodyear NT airship design is larger and more advanced than the current fleet. The current blimp design is 192 ft (58.5 m) long with an envelope volume of 202,700 cu ft (5,735 cu m), while the NT is 246.5 ft (75 m) long with an envelope volume of 297,527 cu ft (8,425 cu m).

During its long operational history, Goodyear has built and operated more than 300 lighter-than-air vehicles since 1917, including two large rigid airships – the U.S.S. Macon and U.S.S. Akron. The Goodyear NT is the first semi-rigid airship to be built in the 95-year history of the Wingfoot Lake Hangar.

Goodyear owns and operates three airships in the United States. They are based in Akron, Pompano Beach, and Carson, Calif.

  • Ohio/Pennsylvania NewsMore>>

  • Officials beg pastor, strip club owner to end feud

    Officials beg pastor, strip club owner to end feud

    Sunday, September 14 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-09-14 20:43:11 GMT
    COSHOCTON, Ohio (AP) - Officials are pleading for a pastor and an Ohio strip club owner to stop weekly protesting of each other's establishments over a years-long feud. The Coshocton Tribune reports the letter to New Beginnings Ministries Pastor Bill Dunfee and strip club owner Thomas George was signed by the city law director, the county prosecutor and the sheriff. Dunfee and men from the Warsaw church have protested outside the Foxhole North strip club in New Castle. The business has respo...More >>
    COSHOCTON, Ohio (AP) - Officials are pleading for a pastor and an Ohio strip club owner to stop weekly protesting of each other's establishments over a years-long feud. The Coshocton Tribune reports the letter to New Beginnings Ministries Pastor Bill Dunfee and strip club owner Thomas George was signed by the city law director, the county prosecutor and the sheriff. Dunfee and men from the Warsaw church have protested outside the Foxhole North strip club in New Castle. The business has respo...More >>
  • Ohio Supreme Court heads to northeastern Ohio

    Ohio Supreme Court heads to northeastern Ohio

    Sunday, September 14 2014 4:40 PM EDT2014-09-14 20:40:56 GMT
    The state Supreme Court will hear a set of cases in a northeastern Ohio high school as justices conduct one of their biannual off-site sessions.More >>
    The state Supreme Court will hear a set of cases in a northeastern Ohio high school as justices conduct one of their biannual off-site sessions.
    More >>
  • Pregnant woman fatally shot; newborn critical

    Pregnant woman fatally shot; newborn critical

    Sunday, September 14 2014 4:35 PM EDT2014-09-14 20:35:12 GMT
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Authorities in Philadelphia say a pregnant woman died after being hit by gunfire, and her newborn is in critical condition. Police say doctors were able to deliver the woman's full-term baby by cesarean section on Sunday. The mother did not survive. Police say the woman was shot in the face Sunday morning in the Frankford section of the city. Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.More >>
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Authorities in Philadelphia say a pregnant woman died after being hit by gunfire, and her newborn is in critical condition. Police say doctors were able to deliver the woman's full-term baby by cesarean section on Sunday. The mother did not survive. Police say the woman was shot in the face Sunday morning in the Frankford section of the city. Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms