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The Goodyear Blimp

The airship Spirit of America is Goodyear’s newest airship and the third to operate from California (following Columbia, 1968-1992 and Eagle, 1992-2002). The Spirit of America was christened on September 5, 2002 in a ceremony in Akron, Ohio, by Letitia Driscoll, mother of NYPD Officer Stephen Driscoll, who died in the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

The Spirit of America is one of three airships operated by the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in the United States. It is based at Goodyear’s airship station in Carson but flies out to events throughout the western U.S. (and sometimes Canada and Mexico). The airship has a crew of one pilot and up to five passengers. The airship measures 192 feet long, 50 feet wide, 59.5 feet high, and is powered by two 210-horsepower engines. It has a volume of 202,700 cubic feet.  It normally cruises at 30 mph, although it can attain a top speed of 50 mph. The airship normally operates at an altitude of 1,000 to 3,000 feet. It has a maximum operating altitude of 10,000, but, because helium-filled airships do not agree with high altitudes, the Spirit of America rarely flies above 5,000 feet. This explains why it is unlikely to been seen at Colorado events. The airship provides a bird's eye view for television coverage for special events and also provides a community service message board on its night signs.

The Spirit of America makes about 10 flights per day. The airship provides a bird's eye view for television coverage for special events. During daylight hours, it also takes Goodyear clients and sales people for 45-minute rides. After dark, it will don its lighted billboard (165,000 LED's with more than 256 colors) to promote charities or other causes.

Rides on the Spirit of America are by invitation only and generally limited to members of the media and corporate trade guests of Goodyear.  The next best thing is to view images taken from Goodyear airships (click here).

Spirit of America Statistics

Length 192 feet
Width 50 feet
Height 59.5 feet
Volume 202,700 cubic feet
Maximum Gross Weight 12,840 pounds
Maximum Speed 50 mph
Cruise Speed 30 mph
Power Plant Two 210 hp fuel-injected, air-cooled aircraft piston engines
Passengers Six, including pilot
Operating Altitude 1,000 to 3,000 feet (10,000 feet maximum)

See Goodyear Spirit of America Page



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