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‘Spirit of Goodyear’ will retire in Florida

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‘Spirit of Goodyear’ will retire in Florida

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s Akron-based blimp, the Spirit of Goodyear, which has been based at the company’s Wingfoot Lake Hangar since its christening 13 years ago, will join The Spirit of Innovation and operate from the company’s Pompano Beach, Fla. airship base this winter before being decommissioned in the spring of 2014.

Beginning next year, the company will begin replacing the current fleet of blimps with new state-of-the-art Goodyear NT (New Technology) airships, the first of which is under construction at the Wingfoot Lake Hangar.

“The Spirit of Goodyear gave up its hangar space for the construction of the new Goodyear NT airship and has been moored outside the past months,” says Nancy Ray, director of Goodyear’s global airship program.

“With winter on the way and the blimp’s retirement coming up, it’s time for the Spirit of Goodyear to move south.”

The airship will make farewell flights over the Akron area on Oct. 9-10, 2013, weather permitting, giving area residents a chance to say “goodbye” before it heads into retirement.

“Akron loves the blimp and we love Akron,” Ray says. “Our pilots and passengers routinely see countless people step outside of their homes and offices or pull over in their cars to watch the blimp. We wanted to make a last flight to say goodbye and give its fans a chance to wave goodbye to the Spirit of Goodyear.”

Additionally, the company is encouraging blimp fans to share their favorite stories, photos or videos of the Spirit of Goodyear on social media, including the blimp’s Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/GoodyearBlimp.

For more on Goodyear blimps see:

Bird's-eye view: Goodyear covers the Olympics

Where’s Phillip the Tire?

Goodyear donates blimp gondola to Smithsonian

To see a video about the Spirit of Goodyear's retirement and the new Goodyear NT, click here.

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