- Carson, Calif.-based GZ-20A Goodyear Blimp “Spirit of America” to retire in August 2015
- Twin sister ship “Spirit of Innovation” coming to Los Angeles in September 2015
- New fleet build continues, updated model airship expected in Southern California by 2017
Goodyear Airship Operations is retiring its Los Angeles-based Goodyear blimp “Spirit of America.” The GZ-20A model airship will be decommissioned in mid-August 2015. The blimp will be replaced in the Los Angeles market by its twin ship “Spirit of Innovation” in late September 2015. The transition is taking place as Goodyear celebrates 90 years of lighter-than-air publicity and introduces a new fleet of high-tech, next generation NT Zeppelin model airships.
Goodyear invites the community to get a final up-close look at the blimp during a retirement celebration, which will be held on Friday, August 7 and Saturday, August 8 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. The event will be free to the public. RSVP at http://goodyearblimp.eventbrite.com.
“Spirit of America” has continued to provide aerial coverage to a series of final events in July including the ESPYS, Crossfit Games and Special Olympics World Games LA 2015 Opening Ceremony. Its final months have involved a 29-day West Coast Tour from Los Angeles to Olympia, Washington for the U.S. Open in June; an honorary flight with NFL Arizona Cardinals 2015 draft pick Gerald Christian for Irrelevant Week on July 9; and an exclusive ground tour for more than 110 Special Olympics World Games athletes representing five countries at the Carson blimp base on July 23.
“Spirit of America”
Christened on Sept. 5, 2002
Retiring August 10, 2015
Fast Flight Facts 2002-2015
Number of Flights: 8,005
Flight Hours: 13,436
About The Goodyear Blimp “Spirit of America”
“Spirit of America” was christened on September 5, 2002. The airship’s name was chosen as a tribute to the patriotic spirit of the United States following September 11, 2001. Today, the blimp is one of only two GZ-20A classified airships that still exist in the world.
As an aerial ambassador for Goodyear, the “Spirit of America” Goodyear blimp has made noteworthy appearances above the annual Rose Parade, Academy Awards, Super Bowl Week activities, X-Games and hundreds of NCAA, NBA, MLB and NHL games. The airship has appeared on television shows such as Hell’s Kitchen and The Apprentice. It is also the Goodyear Blimp that was rebranded in 2011 to promote the world premiere of the adored Disney/Pixar film “Cars 2.”
“Spirit of America” recently wrapped up its final long-distance tour of the West Coast. During the 29-day journey, the airship traveled more than 2,800 miles roundtrip to the Pacific Northwest for the U.S. Open and to Sacramento for U.S. Senior Open, returning to Los Angeles on June 30. The blimp will be decommissioned in August 2015.
About The Goodyear Airship Fleet
In 2015, Goodyear celebrates 90 years of its iconic brand ambassador, the Goodyear Blimp, and 60 years of aerial broadcasting. Since its first aerial broadcast over the 1955 Rose Bowl, the Goodyear Blimp has become synonymous with the largest, most-watched sporting events in the world. Today, the fleet consists of three North American airships — “Spirit of America” in Carson, Calif.; “Wingfoot One” in Akron, Ohio; and “Spirit of Innovation” in Pompano Beach, Florida. Complementing its milestone year, Goodyear continues construction on the second airship in its all-new fleet of NT Zeppelin models. For more information about the Goodyear Blimp, visit www.goodyearblimp.com.
Source: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. – goodyearblimp.com