CARSON, Calif.—Goodyear Airship Operations is retiring its Los Angeles-based Goodyear blimp “Spirit of America.” The final career telecast will occur on Aug. 2 at the Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles on ESPN.
The GZ-20A model airship will be decommissioned in August and be replaced in the Los Angeles market by its twin ship “Spirit of Innovation” in late September, Goodyear said in a news release.
The firm said the transition is taking place as it introduces a new fleet of high-tech, next generation NT Zeppelin model airships. It just christened Akron-based “Wingfoot One” in August 2014, which is a Zeppelin model LZ N07-101.
Members of the Los Angeles-based community can get a final up close look at the blimp during a retirement celebration on Aug. 7 and Aug. 8 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. The event is free to the public.
“Spirit of America” was christened on Sept. 5, 2002. Its name was selected as a tribute to the U.S. following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Goodyear said it is one of only two GZ-20A classified airships that still exist in the world.
Goodyear is celebrating 90 years of the Goodyear Blimp in 2015, along with 60 years of aerial broadcasting. The firm manufactures tires in 50 facilities in 22 countries around the world with 67,000 employees.