On Sunday afternoon history will be made in Daytona. It will be the first time that the legendary race will be covered by two blimps. Both the Spirit of Goodyear and the Spirit of Innovation will be providing aerial TV coverage of the race. It will also be the last sporting event covered by the Spirit of Goodyear. After 41,000 flight hours and almost 14 years of service the airship will be retiring later this year. The airship which entered service March 15, 2000 will have been the longest serving Goodyear blimp when it is deflated and dismantled.
Originally based at Wingfoot Lake, near Akron, Ohio, the N3A left for the Goodyear Base at Pompano Beach, Florida on October 11, 2013. The move was prompted by the construction of the new Goodyear Blimp-NT which is taking up most of the available space inside the hangar at Wingfoot Lake
In the background of this photo is the 18-wheeler which accompanies each blimp when it travels away from its base. The trailer not only contains a powerful generator to provide electricity in remote locations, it also houses a maintenance shop where electronic technicians, mechanics and riggers maintain the blimp’s systems in top condition while traveling across the country. It stores spare parts and all the necessary equipment for remote setup and operation..