By Staff and news service reports | |

PUBLISHED: October 9, 2017 at 6:04 pm | UPDATED: October 9, 2017 at 9:19 pm

Goodyear Blimp Wingfoot Two makes its way to Carson home

Photo courtesy of Goodyear Goodyear Blimp Wingfoot Two embarked on a 2,600-mile, cross-country journey from Akron, Ohio to Los Angeles on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017 with a 26-person crew and caravan of nine ground vehicles.  The three-week tour, which includes flights over 10 states and numerous tour stops, is scheduled to end at the blimp’s west coast home in Carson by the end of the month.  The blimp is shown here at its first stop in Indianapolis.

Goodyear says the second of three semi-rigid airships replacing its original blimps has left the company’s hangar in northeast Ohio for its permanent base in Carson.

Wingfoot Two, a Zeppelin NT, will fly over 10 states and make tour stops before arriving in Carson by the end of the month.

Officials at the Akron-based Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. said Wingfoot Two left the company’s hangar in Portage County on Sunday on its way to the hangar at its Carson air base just north of the 405 Freeway.

Although the new craft look like Goodyear’s previous blimps and use helium, they are semi-rigid dirigibles with a fixed structure holding the balloon in place.  Goodyear says the new airships are longer, faster, quieter and easier to maneuver than the original ones, and will operate like a helicopter rather than the shiplike blimp.

Goodyear executives and city leaders attended a groundbreaking ceremony in February for the nine-story air dock that will house the Zeppelin NT at the Carson base along the Dominguez Channel on Main Street.  The unusual hangar will be encased in two layers of polyester coated with synthetic plastic and welded in place. Fabric formers will hold the outer shells together, buoyed by pressurized air.