A legend of the air lives on
Goodyear celebrates anniversary with new blimp
October 19, 1998
Web posted at: 2:08 p.m. EDT (1408 GMT)
AKRON, Ohio (CNN) -- The tire company that has made a name for itself in the sky is celebrating its 100th anniversary by building a new blimp. At its Ohio hangar, technicians have been putting the finishing touches on the newest addition to the Goodyear fleet: the 192-foot (57.6-meter) long "Stars and Stripes." The aircraft has a $1-million lighting system that is computer controlled and includes 8,308 tiny pods that can emit 256 colors, allowing people to read the blimp's message from a distance of a half-mile during daylight.
The new blimp is no less spectacular than its predecessors, which have thrilled millions since 1925, when Goodyear brought out its first blimp, "The Pilgrim." Flying legends Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart were among the early enthusiasts to bring the blimp to the public consciousness. More recently, blimps took to the air over America's playing fields, and in 1992, a blimp helped the South Florida victims of Hurricane Andrew's devastation by providing vital disaster information from the air in multiple languages. Goodyear said the blimp fleet devotes 60 percent of its time to charity and community events.
CNN National Correspondent Larry Woods contributed to this report.