AKRON—A new Goodyear Blimp has lifted off over Europe.
The Akron-based tire maker on May 26 launched a test flight of its Goodyear-branded Zeppelin NT airship over Germany. The launch was operated by Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei GmbH, and it's the first time a Goodyear airship has taken to European skies in nearly a decade, according to a news release.
The new blimp will fly around Germany during the coming weeks and plans to shoot aerial coverage of upcoming European motorsports races, the company said. Goodyear supplies tires to the European Le Mans Series and British Touring Car Championship, among others.
The blimp—which is about 82 yards long and about 19 yards high—is the same model as the three that operate in the U.S.
"The Goodyear Blimp is a true icon that has captured the imaginations of consumers and enthusiasts in the United States and across the world for nearly one hundred years," Mike Rytokoski, vice president and chief marketing officer for Goodyear Europe, said in the release. "Its return to Europe has been long-awaited and is the perfect way to celebrate our return to international motorsport, our new media partnership with Eurosport and the cutting-edge additions to our product portfolio."
Goodyear introduced a blimp in Europe in 1972, and the airship provided coverage of events such as the French Open and two British royal weddings before being retired in 1986, the company said. The blimp later returned over Europe, but then again retired in 2012.