“Adding this gondola to our Setting the World in Motion display will allow us to continue telling a complete story of the innovators and entrepreneurs of Northeast Ohio’s transportation history,” said Kelly Falcone-Hall, president and CEO of the Western Reserve Historical Society. “The display will bolster the exhibit, bringing to the forefront Goodyear’s deep roots in Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial background.”
Built in 1982, the blimp gondola saw service on three airships logging more than 41,000 hours of flight during its 31-year history. From 1982-1992, it was mounted on the blimp America based in Spring, Texas; from 1992-1999 it was on the Stars & Stripes in Pompano Beach, Florida; and from 2000-2014, on the Spirit of Goodyear, in Suffield, Ohio.
In 2014, the gondola won a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as “The Longest Continuous Use for a Blimp” for its 14-year run with the Spirit of Goodyear. After covering its final event, NASCAR’s 2014 Daytona 500 race, the blimp was retired.
Goodyear was founded in Akron, Ohio, in 1898 and introduced its first airship in 1919.