This is certainly Italy’s week, and not just on the football pitch. A fortnight after taking in London and Southern England, the Goodyear Blimp is cruising towards Milan and will arrive there on Thursday. In addition to flying over the city, it will provide motorsport fans with aerial coverage of the WEC 6 Hours of Monza on 18 July.
Bad news for Blimpees – Goodyear called off the Blimp’s flight to the UK yesterday due to unfavourable weather over the English Channel. Tweeting the safety-related decision, Goodyear UK offered a glimmer of hope: “Keep your eyes on the skies later this week when the weather improves, and the Goodyear Blimp will hopefully be seen over London and the surrounding areas.
For the first time in nearly a decade, the Goodyear Blimp will take flight over Europe. The Goodyear Blimp operating in Europe will be a Goodyear-branded, Zeppelin NT airship, operated by Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei GmbH of Friedrichshafen, Germany. This marks the latest chapter in a nearly 100-year relationship between Goodyear and Zeppelin.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber has selected Shaesta Waiz, the youngest woman to fly solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft, to christen Wingfoot Three. The ceremony for this latest addition to the Goodyear blimp fleet will be held on 30 August at Goodyear’s Wingfoot Lake Hangar.
The Carson airship base, which Goodyear opened in 1968 to house members of its blimp fleet, is to receive major upgrades in order to accommodate the arrival of a new-generation Goodyear blimp at the site later this year. At the centre of this upgrade programme is a new hangar, the first in Carson. The inflatable hangar will be built out of 73 miles of partially translucent polyester fabric and will be almost nine-stories tall and longer than a football field.
A crowd of more than 2,000 spectators looked on last Friday as a ceremonial bottle of champagne was broken over the nose of Goodyear Tire & Rubber’s newest blimp and it was officially given the name Wingfoot Two. The 246 foot airship was built in the USA by German firm Zeppelin NT and is the second of the new-generation ‘blimp’ fleet to enter service. It and its older sibling the Wingfoot One, which took to the air in 2014, are 50 feet longer than the previous generation of blimps and, at 73 mph, can travel more than 20 mph faster.
If you haven’t paid much attention to Goodyear Tire & Rubber’s corporate logo in the past, you may be surprised to find it resembles a basketball shoe that has sprouted wings. Goodyear calls its logo the Wingfoot and it will – in name at least – now take to the skies. On 21 July, Goodyear Tire & Rubber announced that the name Wingfoot One has been selected for its newest airship.
After receiving nearly 15,000 unique submissions for its ‘Name the Blimp’ contest, Goodyear has published its shortlist of names for its newest blimp, which took its first flight in mid-March. The ten finalist names are:
Despite being built by ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik and having a semi-rigid construction, Goodyear is steadfastly referring to its newest airship a blimp – but whatever you call it, the new craft has taken to the skies. The new ‘blimp’ undertook its maiden flight on 17 March, the US flag proudly flying from the German-registered airship’s tail. Aided by a tail wind, the as-yet unnamed craft exceeded 80 miles per hour.
With the first of its new Zeppelin airships scheduled to enter service later this year, Goodyear Tire & Rubber has retired its blimp Spirit of Goodyear after 14 years in the air. The company’s longest continuous operated airship had its last day out providing aerial coverage at last weekend’s Daytona 500 race. It was joined by the Spirit of Innovation blimp over the Daytona International Speedway, a rare appearance of two Goodyear airships at the same event. Upon its decommissioning, the Spirit of Goodyear will gain a Guinness World Record for length of continuous operation.
In his 1993 song ‘It Was a Good Day’, rapper Ice Cube described the highlights of a particularly enjoyable day he spent in South Central Los Angeles, including seeing his name in lights on the Goodyear Blimp. It’s taken more than 20 years, but Ice Cube can finally cross this experience off his to-do list; on 20 January – 22 years to the day since Ice Cube’s ‘good day’ is said to have taken place – Goodyear Tire & Rubber teamed up with the hip-hop artist and actor in his “Good Day” campaign to raise money for a Los Angeles-based children’s charity.
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 Goodyear blimp will be present over London during the Olympics later this month and in August thanks to Goodyear’s selection as provider of aerial images by the US-based NBC network. Goodyear will lend its aerial presence to NBC Olympics’ coverage of the Olympic Games for the tenth time; the company most recently worked for NBC Olympics during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Goodyear’s three North American blimps are currently assisting the US Department of Homeland Security/FEMA in its efforts to collect donations to aid those devastated by recent tornados in the United States. The airships, Spirit of Goodyear in Ohio, Spirit of Innovation in Florida and Spirit of America in California, are using their electronic signs to display disaster relief messages directing people to donate by text via The Salvation Army or The American Red Cross. A third message provides details of the nvoad.org disaster relief website.