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Saturday, 29 August 2015 12:18

New Goodyear Blimp Bigger and Better Featured

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The iconoclastic Goodyear Blimp will soon be retired.

While it's true Goodyear is grounding the famed "Blimp" for good, the famed flying football shaped airship will still be see over the big game. And it will still have the blue and gold Goodyear logo emblazoned on it.

Though it won't appear much different from the Spirit of America, the new airship will be larger and semi-rigid, replacing the three older, obsolete fleet of blimps so familiar to Americans.

"It's a brand new design. It is a much larger airship. It's a semi-rigid dirigible," Goodyear's Priscilla Tasker said describing the replacement, and added, "the new airships will have a fixed form to hold the gas balloon in place whereas the old dirigibles go flat when the helium gas is let out.

"But the most impressive features are the glass cockpit that is all fly-by-wire, the most state-of-the-art avionics in airships today," Tasker said.

Wingfoot One, based in the founding home of Goodyear, Akron, Ohio made its debut appearance last year taking the spot formerly filled by the Spirit of Goodyear. The remaining old Blimp - Spirit of Innovation - flies to California in October to replace Spirit of America while construction is completed on its new counterpart. When the new one is finished, Spirit of Innovation will be retired.

Three engines, instead of the two currently used, will power the semi-rigid airships to speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour. They will also be quieter, more maneuverable but still carried into the sky by helium.

Goodyear's 90th anniversary flying dirigibles is right around the corner and the new craft are meant to commemorate the date. But Goodyear officials are quick to point out that the airships are also practically used filming the major sports events and entertainment shows like the Academy Awards where they are frequently seen.

And seen they will be as the new dirigibles are over 245 feet long; nearly the length of a football field and a full 50 foot longer than the retired soft dirigibles.

Measurements and engineering aside, the iconic ships will remain a "sight to be seen," thrilling future generations of Americans.

Read 3372 times Last modified on Saturday, 29 August 2015 12:23

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