AKRON, Ohio – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s newest blimp – Wingfoot Three – was christened Aug. 30, 2018, by Shaesta Waiz, the youngest woman to fly solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft.
Waiz traveled more than 24,000 nautical miles over a five-month period in 2017 visiting 22 countries on her record-breaking solo flight.
The christening of Wingfoot Three completes the renewal of the Goodyear Blimp fleet following the launch of Wingfoot One in 2014 and Wingfoot Two in 2016, according to company officials.
The christening falls 89 years to the day that aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart christened a Goodyear Blimp on Aug. 30, 1929, company officials add.
“It is an incredible honor to join the group of inspirational women who have christened the Goodyear Blimp, especially on this anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s christening,” said Waiz. “The blimp embodies the freedom of flight that inspired me to pursue my dream of flying around the world encouraging youth to let their dreams soar.”
Waiz is the founder of Dreams Soar, a nonprofit organization that promotes empowerment for young women through STEM education and aviation. During her flight, she participated in outreach events with more than 3,000 girls and boys.
As part of her visit to Akron, Ohio, Waiz met with students and toured the Akron Public Schools NIHF STEM Middle School and the new I Promise School.
“Shaesta is an aviation pioneer, an inspiring role model and a passionate advocate of pursuing STEM education and careers,” said Goodyear Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Richard J. Kramer. “Goodyear is proud to welcome Shaesta to the family of christeners of our iconic blimps.”
Since 1917, Goodyear has built more than 300 lighter-than-air vehicles for public relations and defense applications, many built at the historic hangar that hosted Wingfoot Three’s christening.