Goodyear Unveils New, State-of-the-Art Blimp

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SUFFIELD TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A new era in Goodyear's airship history is getting ready to take off.

The tire company Friday unveiled the first of its new hi-tech blimps, which will be replacing its aging fleet.

"We are very excited to see this one fly," said Michael Dougherty, a Goodyear pilot.

Pilots can't wait to get the new Goodyear "N-T" airships in the sky.

The "N-T" stand for "New Technology," so the new flying machine has plenty of hi-tech upgrades than the older blimps.

"The new Goodyear blimp has the latest and greatest in avionics and flight controls -- obviously beautiful new interior, " Dougherty said.

The new airship also comes with a restroom, which the old blimps didn't have, so pilots really appreciate the upgrade.

"When you guys are there watching the Indians game at Progressive Field, we are watching it from above so it will be nice to go to the restroom just like you guys on the ground, so it's definitely a nice feature." said Dougherty.

Goodyear partnered up with the German Zeppelin Corporation to build three new airships over the next six years to replace the aging blimp fleet. The new airships have three engines instead of two and are larger and faster than the old blimps.

They also fly like a helicopter. For the first time, Goodyear will have framing inside its airship, plus the side of it will look like a giant TV when you see it hovering above.

"The advancement is the frame rate that we are able to play at and the color depth of 16.8 million colors, a lot like current computer screens, so basically it will look like a high-definition TV in the sky," said Robert Peacock, a Goodyear electronics specialist.

Goodyear needs your help in naming their new airship, so if you have a good idea, let them know because you can win a pretty unique prize.

"If your name is selected, you win the ultimate blimp experience. You and five guests can go up in the blimp for a private ride," said Emily Cropper, a Goodyear marketing manager.

Click here for more details on the naming contest.

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