It was a big weekend for blimps.
Savannah James, the wife of NBA superstar LeBron James, officially christened the newest additional to Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company’s blimp fleet, Wingfoot Two. Officials at the company say that the blimp is bigger, faster and stronger than its predecessors. And for those who’ve come to expect to spot a Goodyear blimp at important sporting events, Wingfoot Two is equipped with enhanced aerial television coverage, according to a press release detailing the event.
Other Wingfoot Two factoids:
- The blimp’s frame is packed with 297,527 cubic feet of non-flammable helium.
- Wingfoot Two can hit highway speeds of up to 73 miles per hour. That’s more than 20 miles faster than previous models.
- This next-generation blimp can carry 700 more pounds than its predecessor.
- Wingfoot Two can carry up to 12 people plus two crew members.
Since 1917, the folks at Goodyear have built more than 300 such vehicles. The blimps once were used for defense applications, but now are mostly for public relations.
If you’d like to see how something like this comes together, be sure to check out the time lapse video of the building of Goodyear’s next generation blimp.