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The company plans to replace its current fleet of blimps as workers install an envelope over the aluminum and carbon fiber framework of the first of its new-design airships.
The airships are supplied by German zeppelin manufacturer ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik and being built with Zeppelin and Goodyear teams at Goodyear’s hangar in nearby Suffield.Compared to the current fleet of Goodyear blimps, the new airship models will be longer, faster and more maneuverable. The envelope being applied to the new airship is made of polyester with a DuPont Tedlar film. As it is stretched over each metal truss, the envelope is attached. When complete, the helium-filled envelope will have a volume of 297,527 cubic feet.Upcoming construction milestones include the attachment of the airship’s tail fins and passenger gondola –scheduled to happen this year. In early 2014, key steps will be the crew training, airship certification, installation of the electronic video boards and eventual christening.Goodyear’s blimp fleet generates significant value for the company through visibility at major events, on-camera exposure during television broadcast, tire sales through support of Goodyear dealer and store promotions, and the goodwill generated by support of non-profit and public service programs.More information: www.goodyear.com