Making way for new NT fleet, Goodyear to retire GZ-20A airship in August 2015
Carson, CA, May 13, 2015 – After nearly 13 years of soaring high above Southern California, the Goodyear blimp "Spirit of America" will be retired in August 2015—but not before it takes its final expedition. "Spirit of America" will embark on its farewell tour of the West Coast this summer, beginning June 2.
The month-long journey will mark the airship's first tour up the Pacific Coast in nearly a decade. Goodyear has planned six stops throughout California, Oregon and Washington. On the northbound route, the company will host a series of nine customer-focused passenger ride events for tire dealers, trucking fleets and original equipment customers. The trip will culminate in four days of aerial broadcast coverage provided to Fox Sports for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. June 18-21. The appearance at the premier U.S.G.A. event will be swiftly followed by another four days of aerial broadcasting with Fox Sports at the U.S. Senior Open at Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento, Calif. June 25-28.
Key cities on the Goodyear blimp's tour route include:
- Santa Maria, CA – June 2-June 5
- Livermore, CA – June 5-June 9
- Arcata, CA – June 9-June 10
- Eugene, OR – June 10-June 14
- Shelton, WA – June 14-June 22
- Sacramento, CA – June 24-June 28
Opportunities for media flights will be available in select locations on the northbound trip. As the blimp flies overhead, a crew of more than 20 men and women will follow on the ground with a caravan of six vehicles traversing about 2,636 miles roundtrip on Goodyear tires.
"Spirit of America" was christened on September 5, 2002 by Letitia Driscoll, mother of New York Police Officer Steven Driscoll, who perished in the South Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The airship's name was chosen as a tribute to the patriotic spirit of the United States. 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 airship has traveled thousands of miles across the U.S., providing aerial coverage to the nation's most-watched sporting and entertainment events. The "Spirit of America" Goodyear blimp has made noteworthy appearances above the annual Rose Parade, Academy Awards, ESPY 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 American Ninja Warrior, 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" will be decommissioned in August 2015. Goodyear plans to donate the gondola and tailfins of the airship to a museum, which will be identified later this year. The blimp will be replaced in the Los Angeles market by its sister ship, "Spirit of Innovation," which is currently based in Pompano Beach, Florida. "Wingfoot One" will be transported to Goodyear's Florida operation.
Goodyear continues construction on the second airship in its all-new fleet of NT Zeppelin models. The state-of-the-art update to Goodyear's airship program complements the company's 90-year celebration of its promotional airship operations and its 60-year anniversary in aerial broadcasting—both milestones reached in 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. Goodyear's blimps have adorned the skies since 1925 and are among the most recognizable brand icons, representing the largest tire company in North America. 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.
About The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. It employs about 67,000 people and manufactures its products in 50 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.