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Blimp facts


Did you know that the very first Goodyear blimps were made by the US Navy? That blimps use 2 airplane engines? Find out all this and more with our blimp fact sheet. And find out even more at the Goodyear Blimp dedicated website.

The blimp in action

This year, two blimps -- The Spirit of Safety I and II -- will travel through Europe. Watch the making of the Spirits of Safety.

Blimp types

There are three types of blimp ships, with different shapes and structures and different places in history.

  • non-rigid airship

    Non-rigid airships are Goodyear's only operating blimps today. They maintain their shape with the helium gas. In fact, the only solid parts of the airship are the passenger car and tail fins.

    Did you know? These airships have no internal framework.

  • semi-rigid airship

    Semi-rigid airships are ships used in the early 20th century. Unlike the non-rigid blimps, they have a partial framework, a keel, built underneath the inflatable part of the blimp.

    Did you know? General Umberto Nobile used a semi rigid airship for his attempt to reach the North Pole.

  • rigid airship

    Rigid airships are those with a solid internal frame, that supports the entire structure. For ships longer than 120 meters, this is the best kind of structure for them - for smaller ships, the solid structure would be too heavy.

    Did you know? The Zeppelin blimps and U.S.S. Akron are rigid blimps.

Find out more about blimp types.

Inside the blimp

There's more than just helium inside the Goodyear Blimp. It's made up of over 22 parts. From the nose to the tail, we'll tell you what's really inside the blimp.

blimp history

The blimp doesn't just float either. From rudder pedals to radio controls, the blimp has as many controls as an airplane.

blimp facts

Of the more interesting controls is the elevator wheel- a large wheel next to the pilot's seat that controls the up and down direction of the blimp -- and three tubes of liquid, called the liquid manometer that measure the pressure inside the helium balloon.

Blimp factsheet

    -The very first Goodyear Blimp was built in 1917
    -The fastest a blimp can fly is 53 miles per hour
    -The blimps need 69,000 cubic feet of helium to get off the ground
    -The 1964 James Bond film, Goldfinger, featured a Goodyear Blimp in the opening titles
    -Goodyear blimps usually have 17 crew members and five pilots
    -Blimps are made of polyester and rubber
    -Between three blimps, there are 7,560 lights
    -A CBS producer paid $1000 to use the Goodyear blimp to televise the 1960 Orange Bowl football game in Miami, Florida
    -The Goodyear blimp Volunteer flew over the 1932 Olympic games in Los Angeles, broadcasting a bird's eye view.
Blimp facts