Sunday, June 03, 2007

Goodyear blimp coming to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2007

One of the world's most recognizable flying machines, the Goodyear blimp, will be visible up-close and in the sky this summer at EAA AirVenture 2007, "The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration." The 55th annual edition of the EAA fly-in convention will be held July 23-29 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.

The "Spirit of Goodyear" will be on-site throughout the week and will be flying regularly during the festivities. In addition, it will be moored near the EAA AirVenture Museum's Pioneer Airport for up-close viewing at other times, giving visitors a unique view of an aircraft that is commonly seen only from afar.

"We are very pleased to welcome the Goodyear blimp back to EAA AirVenture, especially given the company's long involvement in aviation," said Tom Poberezny, EAA president and AirVenture chairman. "Longtime attendees recall the excitement surrounding the visits the Goodyear blimp made to Oshkosh in the 1970s and 1980s. The opportunity to see this aircraft flying along the AirVenture flight line and on the ground is one that should not be missed this year."

The Goodyear blimp's visit to EAA AirVenture marks the first time one of the company's airships has stopped at Oshkosh since visits in 1986 and 1988. The "Spirit of Goodyear" will be a first-time visitor to the event, as the blimp was christened and placed into service in March 2000.

Based at Goodyear's Wingfoot Lake Airship facility in Suffield, Ohio, the "Spirit of Goodyear" often flies the sky over Goodyear's headquarters in nearby Akron. The airship is 192 feet long and nearly 60 feet tall, and typically cruises at 30 mph at between 1,000 and 3,000 feet. This particular blimp is also equipped with lighted sign functions that incorporate more than 165,000 LEDs.

In addition to the familiar nose-to-tail blue panel above the mid-line (equator) of the Spirit of Goodyear there is a blue panel below the mid-line. This panel is designed to improve the visibility of the day sign lights. EagleVision, the electronic sign configuration on the port side, provides high resolution for text, graphics and video.

Naming its blimps is a very personal thing to Goodyear. Each name is a proud handle that represents something important to Goodyear or brings recognition to a proud tradition. The Spirit of Goodyear was named to honor the employees of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

This airship primarily travels throughout an area of the United States bordered by the Rocky Mountains to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the south and Canada to the north. A Goodyear blimp is not limited to the United States, however, and may occasionally visit Canada or Mexico.

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