Construction starts on Goodyear Zeppelin
Goodyear has announced that construction work on the first of its new generation of airships has begun. The Zeppelin LZ N07-101 airship is being built by Germany’s ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik and will be assembled at Goodyear’s Wingfoot Lake Hangar near Akron, Ohio. LZ N07-101 and other craft built by Zeppelin will ultimately replace Goodyear’s fleet of blimps.
“The start of this construction project marks the beginning of a new era for the Goodyear blimp, one of the world’s most recognizable brand icons,” said Nancy Ray, Goodyear’s director of Global Airship Operations. “With this investment, we are renewing Goodyear’s commitment to our airship program and our continued leadership role in providing aerial coverage and support to the most watched news, sports and entertainment events around the world.”
Construction of the new airship will take approximately six to seven months, including the structural build and the installation of advanced on-board avionics and flight control systems. Certification of the new airship and training of flight personnel will follow during the first half of 2014. Goodyear says the new airship will be larger, faster and more manoeuvrable than the current generation of blimps and capable of carrying more passengers.
Since 1917, Goodyear has built and operated more than 300 lighter-than-air vehicles since, including two large rigid airships – the U.S.S. Macon and U.S.S. Akron.