Akron's Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company has been building blimps since 1925. In the past they have been used for military surveillance as well as for air demonstrations. Today, the company's three distinctive "ambassadors" are used primarily for sporting events and to ferry corporate guests.
The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company began making blimps in 1925, after several years of supplying parts for other manufacturers. At first they partners with the German Zeppelin Company, but that association ended shortly after the start of World War II.
In the 1930s, Goodyear built two blimps for the US Navy and in the 1940s, they built a large fleet of surveillance vessels to help protect the merchant ships operating along the east coast.
About the Blimps:
Today, Goodyear maintains three blimps in the United States: "The Spirt of Goodyear," based in Portage County; the "Spirit of America," based in Carson, California; and the "Spirit of Innovation," based in Pompano Beach, Florida. There are also several blimps, based in Europe.
The Goodyear blimps have seating for just six passengers. These seats are reserved for members of the press and for Goodyear corporate guests. The company does not offer rides to the general public.
Today's Goodyear blimps are 192 feet long, 59.5 feet tall, and 50 feet wide. That is approximately 1/4 the size of the German Zeppelins of the 1930s, such as the "Hindenburg".
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company corporate Web site.