SUFFIELD, Ohio-- Goodyear started construction this week on its new, hi-tech airships. The new generation will be replacing the aging blimp fleet.
The new Goodyear "Airships" are called the "NTs" which stands for the new technology being used on the new Goodyear generation.
"The current airships are out of their service life, running out of their service life and it's time for us to move on to a new platform," said Nancy Ray, director of Airship Operations.
For the very first time, Goodyear will have framing inside its lighter than air vehicles.
"The frame allows us to put the fins and the engines onto the frame which gives us a little more stability," said Ray.
The new airship is being built in a huge hanger in Suffield, Ohio.
Goodyear has partnered up with the German Zeppelin Corporation to build the three new airships over the next six years to replace the current aging blimp fleet.
James Kosmos pilots the "Spirit of Goodyear" which has been used to fly over sporting and promotional events all over the country. Kosmos said he is looking forward to training on the new futuristic airships. "It'll be a little different than flying the old airships but it'll be exciting. It'll be a lot of training involved but a challenge and exciting," said the blimp pilot.
The new airships will have three engines instead of two and they'll be larger and faster than the current iconic blimp fleet, plus they'll fly like a helicopter.
"We'll be able to vertically take off and land just like a helicopter, so it'll be more maneuverable. We'll be able to get into more fields that we couldn't get in before," said Kosmos.
The new Goodyear Airship is expected to be up in the air and flying by June of 2014.