Spirit of Goodyear blimp retires after 14 years: Longest Continuous Operating Airship
This weekend ‘Spirit of Goodyear’ airship was retired after the Daytona 500, but not before it provided aerial coverage for its final events this weekend at Daytona International Speedway. This comes after 14 years of filling the skies, thereby cementing its place as Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s longest continuous operated blimp.
Goodyear’s “Spirit of Innovation” joined the “Spirit of Goodyear” at the event. While “Spirit of Goodyear” is now decommissioned and in retirement, its farewell gift comes in the form of a Guinness World Records achievement as “Longest Continuous Operating Airship.”
“The ‘Spirit of Goodyear’ has provided captivating aerial coverage of the biggest televised events in its 14-year history including many prominent NASCAR races,” said Paul Fitzhenry, senior vice president, global communications. “Sports fans around the globe have seen the ‘Spirit of Goodyear’s’ aerial coverage and Daytona was an ideal venue to recognize those contributions.”
Since launch on March 15, 2000, Spirit of Goodyear covered NASCAR races, NFL playoffs, MLB All-Star Games, NBA Finals, Preakness, Belmont States, U.S. Opens, NCAA football games, and many more.With Spirit of Goodyear’s retirement, Goodyear is finalizing construction of a new airship at the company’s Wingfoot Lake Hangar in Suffield, Ohio. Training flights will begin shortly in furthering Goodyear’s quest of industry-leading aerial coverage since 1955.