Airborne Awesomosity

The Blimp is Dead: Long Live the Zeppelin!

On March 14, Goodyear announced the completion of its newest “blimp”, and the craft had her maiden flight March 18. To sort of celebrate the occasion, Goodyear has released a time lapse of the ship’s construction, which you can find conveniently located after the jump. But as for the real question, why is “blimp” in quotes, well, let’s have it straight from the horse’s mouth:

“Assembly of the new blimp began in March 2013 at Goodyear’s Wingfoot Lake hangar. An international team of engineers and technicians from Goodyear and Germany’s ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik worked side by side to complete the build project. Parts such as the tail fins and gondola were built in Germany and shipped to the U.S. for assembly. The balloon-like body of the airship – the “envelope” – is made of polyester with an innovative film from DuPont™ called Tedlar®, surrounding a semi-rigid internal structure, which differentiates this airship from previous Goodyear blimps.” (Goodyear)

Semi-rigid? That’s no blimp! But, well, I don’t suppose it is technically a Zeppelin either, since they are more so full rigid. So, semi-blimp? Bleppelin? Zeppelimp?


Video from Goodyear, via laughingsquid. Lead image from my phone, in traffic, opening day or some such silliness.

  • The painting sequence was great, but I wonder how much all that paint weighs? Seemed like a lot of paint.

    • B72

      From painting racing boats, I can tell you that it isn't all that light. A decent 2 part paint adds about 5 lbs on the hull of a 17 foot boat. On something this size – that's a lot of paint!

    • It weighs less than air! It has to, right?

      • Vairship

        That's why you have to keep the can upside-down while painting…and drips drip UP, not down.

  • Felis_Concolor

    Or as the original marketing campaign labeled them, Zep NT.

    I don't need to ask the pilots what they prefer; those outboard engine pods are going to reduce cabin noise and vibration by a couple orders of magnitude.

  • I wonder if it uses parts from the defunct Airship Ventures Zepplin: