Goodyear's New Zeppelin NT Is Getting A Whole Lot Of Love

David Dunford

Goodyear, the enormous tire and rubber company based in Ohio has unveiled the newest in its airborne fleet that has ties to one of the most well-known aviation tragedies of the previous century. Teaming up with the Zeppelin Company, best known for the Hindenburg that burst into flames on May 6th, 1937, sending thirty-six people to their maker above the New Jersey skyline. However, Goodyear assures us that their new, state-of-the-art super blimp is not only safe, but fast and fun as well.

When Goodyear decided to close the doors on the GZ-20 model blimps they designed nearly half a century ago, they realized there were many needed changes that the GZ-20 didn't have, such as bathrooms and seatbelts. considering the degree of lift that is needed for take-off and the blimp being in the air for hours at a time, both are welcome changes. But these aren't the only amenities that the new Goodyear Zeppelin has to offer. While the former Goodyear Blimps topped off at a maximum speed of 50 mph, the new Goodyear Zeppelin NT, (Which stands for New Technology), reaches up to 73 miles per hour. This means that Goodyear will be able to travel farther to cover more events than ever before.

Goodyear Zeppelin NT cockpit

Yet this is just the beginning of a list of new specs that will make the Goodyear NT the top dog for years to come. Compared to the previous blimps used, the Goodyear NT boasts an additional 54 feet in length, an aluminum and carbon fiber internal framework, 180 more horsepower from three vectored engines, up to 16 more hours of flight endurance and, to be nice to all of us on the ground, half the noise of the former model. As an added addition for those fortunate enough to take a ride, the NT offers a luxuriously streamlined gondola with seating for 12 and larger, wrap around windows so you can take in all the beauty around you. Beyond this, the new aviation and control systems have tossed out the crude manual system for a fly by wire computerized system that relays information from the pilot to three different ground based station which allows the Zeppelin to fly with pinpoint accuracy.

Even more special is that it is the first semi-rigid airship to be built by Goodyear in the 95 years they have been around.

"The completion of the new blimp marks the beginning of a new era for our airship program and reflects Goodyear's commitment to remaining at the forefront of aerial broadcast coverage and support," says Paul Fitzhenry, senior vice president, global communications. "This airship will offer enhanced aerial television coverage capabilities, increased flight range to cover more events and an unparalleled passenger experience."

To honor the consignment of the newest ship in their fleet, Goodyear has come out with a Name the Blimp contest going on until April 4th that you can enter here: Top prize is having the blimp for your own personal use for a day! 9 other winners will receive a set of 4 passenger or light truck tires. So name away! And while you are at it, point your peepers at the making of the Goodyear Zeppelin NT and marvel at just how much was put into making this magnificent piece of modern history!

— Goodyear (@GoodyearBlimp) April 3, 2014

For more serious news, see why ESPN believes that Goodyear is not at fault when it comes to problems arising with NASCAR drivers: