The Goodyear team poses for a photo after announcing plans to build an inflatable hangar for its new Wingfoot Two blimp, which is scheduled to arrive in Carson, Calif., by the end of the year. (Photo by Nancy Kirk)

The Goodyear team poses for a photo after announcing plans to build an inflatable hangar for its new Wingfoot Two blimp, which is scheduled to arrive in Carson, Calif., by the end of the year. (Photo by Nancy Kirk)

Out with the old, in with the new. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. blimp fleet is in transition, as is the Airships Operations base in Carson, Calif.

The "major facilities upgrades" will include an inflatable hangar for the new Goodyear Blimp Wingfoot Two, which is scheduled to arrive in Southern California by the end of the year. The company has operated its base in Carson since 1968.

Since 2014, Goodyear has been transitioning from its 1970’s-era GZ model blimps to a new state-of-the-art fleet of blimps. The new blimps feature an entirely new design, with capabilities including faster speeds (73 mph vs. 50 mph), quieter engines, advanced on-board avionics (custom computer-controlled avionics versus manual flight systems), and larger passenger capacity (12 people vs. six, not counting pilots)

Goodyear announced plans to replace the 10-year-old GZ-20 Model with an updated blimp, the Wingfoot Two. Unlike its predecessor, the new blimp will have an internal framework made of aluminum and carbon fiber trusses. (Photo by Nancy Kirk)

Goodyear announced plans to replace the 10-year-old GZ-20 Model with an updated blimp, the Wingfoot Two. Unlike its predecessor, the new blimp will have an internal framework made of aluminum and carbon fiber trusses. (Photo by Nancy Kirk)

Wingfoot One (christened in 2014) and Wingfoot Two (2016), currently operate in Florida and Ohio. Wingfoot Two will replace the Spirit of Innovation (2006), which is scheduled to retire in March.

“At Goodyear, we honor tradition and drive toward innovation,” says Paul Fitzhenry, senior vice president, global communications. “We are proud to usher in this new era of our world-renowned brand icon and look forward to operating the new blimp in our Carson base.”

The new hangar will be the first on the Carson airship base. The hangar will be built out of 73 miles of partially translucent polyester fabric and will be almost nine-stories tall and longer than a football field. Construction of the hangar is expected to be completed in seven months and erected on the property in July.

Additional facilities updates will include an enlarged mooring circle for ground handling, a new masting system and a new maintenance building.

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