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Iconic “Spirit of Goodyear” Blimp Retired After Daytona 500

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has announced that the iconic “Spirit of Goodyear” airship retired after last weekend’s Daytona 500 race, ending a fourteen-year-long career.
Spirit of Goodyear blimp 1 photo
Launched on March 2000, the blimp was used to covered not only NASCAR Sprint Cup races, but NFL playoffs matches, NBA finals, MLB All-Star games and US Open tennis championships as well.

Joined by Goodyear’s “Spirit of Innovation” airship at the 2014 Daytona 500, the “Spirit of Goodyear” will be decommissioned as the longest continuous operating airship, an achievement to be filed with Guinness World Records.

The retired blimp will be replaced by an all-new airship that’s currently being finalized at the manufacturer’s Wingfoot Lake Hangar in Suffield, Ohio. Goodyear has yet to reveal when the new airship will begin its career, but said training flights are expected to commence in the near future.

“The ‘Spirit of Goodyear’ has provided captivating aerial coverage of the biggest televised events in its 14-year history including many prominent NASCAR races,” said Paul Fitzhenry, senior vice president of global communications. “Sports fans around the globe have seen the ‘Spirit of Goodyear’s’ aerial coverage and Daytona was an ideal venue to recognize those contributions.”

Goodyear launched its first blimp in 1925 and today’s North American fleet consists of three airships.

 
 
 
 
 

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