ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Goodyear Blimp Columbia

Updated on February 12, 2015

The Goodyear Blimp Columbia Airship

In 1968, my husband and I had the fun privilege of receiving an offer to ride on the Columbia Goodyear blimp . I say privilege because Goodyear did not offer rides to the public. People who road on the blimp were either special invited guests, company employees and/or family members or it was used for commercial purposes. It was by accident that we even were invited.

We were driving around one afternoon and decided to stop by and visit the site. We didn't expect to get in or anything, but just drive up to its holding dock and get a glimpse. What is crazy is that my husband ended up knowing the pilot, who was at the site that day. They had been in the Air Force Reserves together years back. He invited us to come back at a scheduled date to ride on the blimp. Since this was a one shot deal, we said yes. To make this happen, I had to play hooky from a relatively new job I started. I really did not want to tell them I was sick, but did. I was not going to miss that flight.

When we arrived for the flight, we met the other two people who were scheduled; a women and her son, a boy about 10. So, it was just the six of us in the blimp (co-pilot included). The lady did have a camera, took our picture and mailed it to us. Unfortunately, she did not take a pic of the pilot or the outside of the blimp, just us setting inside. Darn, you can't even tell where we are. It looks like we are in a closet!

But that's ok because we have our memories. The airship left the field from Carson, California, where they still station it today (also one is stationed in Akron, Ohio). The third one is stationed in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Getting to the trip, it was wonderful. You take off very slow. You do feel an up drift and for the most part it is so quiet. All you hear is a slight humming sound of the motor. We got to fly over a good portion of Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Harbor area, Disneyland and more. You are only up approximately 1,500 feet. The most scary for me was when we came back down to land. Coming in and going over wires, it just seems, you are so close that you will hit them. The scenery was so beautiful from the blimp.

More of "For our safety"! - Government Spying on USA. August 2012

The Pentagon has successfully gotten its football field-size super-spy blimp up in the air and congrats, America - you're in luck! The US Army has completed a test run of its Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle right here in the United States.

Video footage has surfaced of what is believed to be the first domestic test flight of the Pentagon's Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle, or LEMV, a space-age surveillance craft that can conduct spy missions high in the sky.

The military did not announce to the public ahead of time that it would be conducting test missions of the surveillance craft, which caused confusion for many civilians who saw the LEMV stay afloat for over an hour. Finally late Tuesday, John H. Cummings, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, confirmed to Gannett that the LEMV did engage in a 90-minute test flight Tuesday evening over Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, just south of Trenton.

Continue: Spy blimp in New Jersey

Goodyear

Manufacturer's of Blimps

The Goodyear Blimp is the collective name for a fleet of blimps operated by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for advertising purposes and for use as a television camera platform for aerial views of sporting events. Goodyear began producing airship envelopes in 1911 and introduced its own blimp, Pilgrim, in 1925.

Continue Goodyear Blimp by Wikipedia

What Was He Thinking??

JUNE 8 2009

NEWS

Goodyear Blimp Aerial Coverage at Lucas Oil Off-Road Race June 27th-28th

Publish date: Jun 8, 2009

By: Press Release

Lucas Oil announced that the Goodyear blimp will present aerial coverage for the Lucas Oil Off Road Race in Lake Elsinore, California June 27th and 28th. Often seen flying high over many major national sporting events the presence of the Goodyear blimp represents the continued growth of short course off road racing along with the valued support of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series by the Goodyear Tire Company. The iconic Goodyear blimp, with images from its 360 degree state of the art Gyrocam provides images that will greatly enhance the quality of the Lucas Oil Off-Road television broadcast.

"Goodyear has been a strong supporter of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series from the very beginning," said Lucas Oil Vice President and General Counsel Bob Patison. He continued, "We are appreciative of the collaborative effort by Goodyear and our series sponsors that has allowed the Goodyear blimp to be present at our Lake Elsinore event. Viewing the blimp high above our event will be exciting for the fans, and a great asset to our television coverage."

Continue: Lucas Oil Off Road Race in Lake Elsinore

First Airship Ever Built?

Built in the 1890s. November 3, 1897 (crashed)

The first rigid airship to fly was built in the 1890s. Its skeleton and outer cover were made of aluminum, and it was powered by a 12-horsepower (9-kilowatt) Daimler gas engine connected to three propellers. Designed by David Schwarz, a timber merchant from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it lifted off successfully in a tethered test at Templehof near Berlin, Germany, on November 3, 1897. But its propeller belts broke, the pilot lost control, and the airship crashed.

An Amazon of Blimps

Airship

Spirit of America Statistics

Length 192 feet

Width 50 feet

Height 59.5 feet

Volume 202,700 cubic feet

Maximum Gross Weight 12,840 pounds

Maximum Speed 50 mph

Cruise Speed 30 mph

Power Plant Two 210 hp fuel-injected, air-cooled aircraft piston engines

Passengers Six, including pilot

Operating Altitude 1,000 to 3,000 feet (10,000 feet maximum)

Official Goodyear Site

A Different Airship

A Blimp is a non-rigid flying craft usually filled with helium, the lifting gas in the envelope.

A Blimp of Another Color

Snoopy 3

See Snoopy 3

Airship Crashes

April 17, 1897 - Mysterious airship crashes in Aurora, Texas Aurora, silver in color was seen flying in the area.UFO?

July 21, 1919 - Wingfort Air Express (Goodyear) dirigible crashes in Chicago. 13 people were killed.

September 3, 1925 - U.S.S. Shenandoah Navy Ship crashes in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The ZR-1 was 680 feet two inches long and 93 feet two inches tall.

October 5, 1930 - British dirigible crashes in Beauvais, France killing 49 people.

April 4, 1933 - USS Akron (ZRS-4) was a rigid helium-filled airship of the United States Navy that crashed off the New Jersey coast, killing 73 crew and passengers.

May 6, 1937 - Ridid German airship Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed within one minute. Of the 97 on board, 35 died, including one on the ground.

July 8, 1960 - New Jersey Navy Blimp crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. One man was reported dead, 3 injured and 17 missing. The silver ship was 403 ft long and 118 ft. high, the largest of its kind.

December 3, 2003 - Goodyear Blimp @ Los Angeles, CA story - 2 people on board; cameraman was injured.

June 17, 2005 - Goodyear Blimp @ Coral Springs, Florida - 2 people on board were not injured.

Do You Want To Take A Ride In A Blimp?

U.S. Company To Offer Rides On Zeppelin Airship

By Eric Risberg, AP

The Air Ventures Zeppelin flies over the Golden Gate Bridge to complete its cross-country transit flight with the San Francisco skyline in the background on Saturday. The airship, one of only three currently flying anywhere in the world, is the first Zeppelin to fly in the skies over the U.S. in 71 years.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Zeppelins, the giant floating airships used to carry passengers and drop bombs until the 1930s, haven't been seen in American skies for more than 70 years.

Now a California company is bringing the iconic aircraft back to the United States, with plans to offer aerial tours of the San Francisco Bay area in a newly-built zeppelin. It's one of just three in the world - the others are in Germany and Japan.

continued story: By Eric Risberg, AP

Ship Going Down

Are you a lover of the blimp? HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ON A BLIMP? I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR AIR EXPERIENCE! BEEN ON A HOT AIR BALLOON? HELICOPTER? PLEASE SHARE.

Please Sign My Guestbook!

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      VillaDejaBlue 5 years ago

      Nice lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have always wanted to ride in a Blimp or hot air balloon. That would be on me bucket list of things to do yet!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      It would be awesome to go for a ride in one. When I lived in Florida I used to drive past the landing site at Pompano Beach every day on I-95.

    • blue22d profile image
      Author

      blue22d 6 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by. When you say "like flying" do you mean behind the controls? I just remember how quiet it was and we were up only about 1000 feet? I would think the helicopter would be more"choppy" in its approach and take off.

    • blue22d profile image
      Author

      blue22d 6 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by. When you say "like flying" do you mean behind the controls? I just remember how quiet it was and we were up only about 1000 feet? I would think the helicopter would be more"choppy" in its approach and take off.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Blimp is cool flying vehicle.... just like flying rc helicopter too...

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 6 years ago

      This is a nice story and great pics and videos. The Blimp has always captured my imagination but don't expect to ride in one.

    • Twmarsh profile image

      Twmarsh 6 years ago

      I can only imagine how cool it must be to ride in a blimp. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • hlkljgk profile image

      hlkljgk 8 years ago from Western Mass

      great lens, lots of info

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 8 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      A great subject! You have been a busy little lenscrafter! I'm going to have to add a day to my week so I can read all you have been writing. lol

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Thanks Bev, I usually do have my guestbook at the end....I will switch and see if things pickup. Thank you all for coming by and visiting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Sandy, quite interesting. Could I make a suggestion? Move your guestbook down to the bottom of the page...that way people don't miss all of the other info you have about the blimp.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 8 years ago from Templeton, CA

      my dad used to work for Goodyear, and I think he may have gotten a ride, but I never was that lucky. I lived for many years near Carson, and would often see the blimp parked there. More often, I'd see it in the air above me. It was sort of a friendly landmark in our area of Los Angeles County.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 8 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      This really brings back memories! About 15 years ago my husband was a DJ on a Kansas City radio station and when the Snoopy 2 Metlife blimp was in town we were able to take a ride. It only seats four people, so my husband sat up front and interviewed the pilot while we were flying and I sat in the back with a friend of ours.

      It was a wonderful experience ....we were up over an hour and flew over all of Kansas City.

      The biggest mistake we had made was eating lunch just before the flight. When the blimp dips it sends your stomach to rolling :). It was worse for my husband since he was right in front. He was afraid he'd loose his lunch..but fortunately didn't !

      I was sitting in the back and was able to take a lot of photos! It was truly a memorable experience!