AKRON, Ohio — Shaesta Waiz, the youngest woman to fly solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft, will christen Wingfoot Three, the newest addition to The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company‘s fleet of blimps.
The ceremony will be held Aug. 30, 2018, at 2 p.m. ET at Goodyear’s Wingfoot Lake Hangar, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.
“We’re delighted to have Shaesta serve as the christener of our newest blimp,” said Goodyear Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Richard J. Kramer. “Shaesta has an inspiring life story and turned her passion for flying into a record-setting solo journey around the world. She serves as a role model to young women to follow their dreams by pursuing STEM education and careers in aviation.”
Waiz traveled more than 24,000 nautical miles on her record-breaking flight between May 13 to Oct. 4, 2017. Along the way, the 30-year-old Afghan-American pilot visited 22 countries and promoted STEM education at outreach events for more than 3,000 girls and boys. Waiz continues advocating for STEM education through her nonprofit organization, Dreams Soar.
“It is truly an honor to be selected by Goodyear to christen Wingfoot Three. I know Amelia Earhart will be with us on this special day, just as her spirit was with me during the Pacific Ocean crossing from Hawaii to California,” said Waiz.
Since 1917, Goodyear has built more than 300 lighter-than-air vehicles for public relations and defense applications, many built at the Wingfoot Lake Hangar in Suffield, Ohio.
Goodyear has recognized noteworthy women for nearly a century through the tradition of christening Goodyear blimps. Celebrated aviator Amelia Earhart (1929), astronaut Dr. Sally Ride (2000) and “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts (2014) are among those who have christened a Goodyear blimp. Akron native Savannah James served as the most recent christener of Wingfoot Two in 2016.