AKRON, Ohio, March 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today unveiled an all-new, state-of-the-art version of its world-famous icon, the Goodyear Blimp. The new airship is larger, faster, and more maneuverable and builds on the company's legacy as the world's leading builder and operator of airships.
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The new blimp was introduced to media, Goodyear associates and dealers at an event held at Goodyear's Wingfoot Lake hangar in Suffield, Ohio. The blimp is scheduled to begin test flights over Northeast Ohio later this month before going into service in the summer.
"The completion of the new blimp marks the beginning of a new era for our airship program and reflects Goodyear's commitment to remaining at the forefront of aerial broadcast coverage and support," said Paul Fitzhenry, senior vice president, global communications. "This airship will offer enhanced aerial television coverage capabilities, increased flight range to cover more events and an unparalleled passenger experience."In conjunction with the unveiling, Goodyear announced the launch of a nationwide contest to name the new blimp. Construction of the new airship Assembly of the new blimp began in March 2013 at Goodyear's Wingfoot Lake hangar. An international team of engineers and technicians from Goodyear and Germany's ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik worked side by side to complete the build project. Parts such as the tail fins and gondola were built in Germany and shipped to the U.S. for assembly. The balloon-like body of the airship – the "envelope" – is made of polyester with an innovative film from DuPont™ called Tedlar®, surrounding a semi-rigid internal structure, which differentiates this airship from previous Goodyear blimps. New appearance honors tradition This airship is the first of a new generation of Goodyear blimps that will be different in construction, appearance, and operation than the current fleet of blimps. The new helium-filled airship is 246 feet long, more than 50 feet longer than the previous blimps and just 18 yards shorter than an American football field. The blimp features a new paint scheme while retaining Goodyear's logo and traditional blue and yellow branding on a silver envelope.