The world’s biggest floating billboard is now longer, quicker, and more maneuverable. It is the Usain Bolt of blimps, even though it’s nonetheless … well … unwanted fat and slow.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT) pulled the cover off a new airship nowadays in Suffield, Ohio, about a yr soon after it began piecing (sewing?) the craft collectively. The development web site looked like a mash-up in between a Viking boatyard and a NASA shuttle hangar.
Goodyear has created about 300 blimps, but it hasn’t substantially up to date the style in 45 many years, meaning the previous model essentially debuted not extended after “Broadway” Joe Namath assured a Super Bowl victory. The company generally keeps 3 blimps all around the country and has one particular in China. Goodyear deploys them during a whole lot of major events including college football video games, the Kentucky Derby, and parades.
At 246 feet, the new blimp is about one-quarter longer than its predecessor and it can carry up to twelve passengers, rather than 7. What’s far more, this one particular has computer systems! Goodyear retired the fly-by-wire program that had been used for the past 80 many years. It can also motor at 73 miles per hour, up from 54, which will let Goodyear cover more occasions.
So what do blimps have to do with a rubber empire that sells 163 million tires a 12 months? Not a total lot. The blimp isn’t even produced out of rubber it’s largely aluminum, composite fibers, and polyurethane bladders. And Goodyear does not mention its blimp business in its SEC filings (however the new 1 cost about $ 21 million).
But it is a special advertising strategy. The ship floats above a great deal of Nascar races and it is far much less creepy than the Michelin Man. Plus, a “Goodyear drone” just sounds ominous.
Goodyear says the only thing it collects for its panoramic stadium shots are title recognition and goodwill.
Test pilots will put the new blimp through its paces this spring—you know, floating up, turning, floating down. It will hit the stadium circuit this summertime. Hold an eye out for it. In spite of the overhaul, you’ll know it when you see it.