Iconic 'Spirit of Goodyear' Blimp Returning to EAA AirVenture in 2010

EAA AVIATION CENTER, OSHKOSH, Wis. - (June 17, 2010) - The iconic Goodyear blimp will return to the skies over Oshkosh this summer as part of EAA AirVenture 2010, which will be held July 26-August 1 at Wittman Regional Airport.

The "Spirit of Goodyear," which will arrive on Tuesday, July 27 and depart on Monday, August 2, will be flying regularly during the festivities. In addition, it will be moored near the EAA AirVenture Museum's Pioneer Airport for up-close viewing at other times, giving visitors a unique view of an aircraft that is commonly seen only from afar.

"We are thrilled to once again have the Blimp support Goodyear Aviation at AirVenture," said Eric Varndell, Global Marketing Manager for Goodyear Aviation tires. "The rides are a thrill for our customers and through our 'I Wanna Blimp Ride!' Sweepstakes this year, we get to give the ride of a lifetime to a few lucky AirVenture attendees."

Based at Goodyear's Wingfoot Lake Airship facility in Suffield, Ohio, the "Spirit of Goodyear" often flies the sky over the company's headquarters in nearby Akron. The airship is 192 feet long and nearly 60 feet tall, and typically cruises at 30 mph between 1,000 and 3,000 feet.

As with all three of the U.S.-based Goodyear blimps, the "Spirit of Goodyear" is equipped with a lighted sign that incorporates 3,780 LED boards holding 82,656 LEDs to produce a pallet of 32,767 possible colors.

Christened and placed into service in March 2000, this will be the third time in four years the "Spirit of Goodyear" has appeared at AirVenture, following up visits in 2007 and 2008. Previously, a Goodyear airship had not been at AirVenture since visits in 1986 and 1988.

"It's great to have one of the most recognizable flying machines in the world back at EAA AirVenture," said Tom Poberezny, EAA chairman/president and AirVenture chairman. "Goodyear has a long involvement in aviation, so it's only fitting this unique blimp is showcased at 'The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration.' Attendees young and old won't want to miss out on seeing this spectacle up close."

In addition to the familiar nose-to-tail blue panel above the mid-line (equator) of the "Spirit of Goodyear," there is a blue panel below the mid-line. This panel is designed to improve the visibility of the day sign lights. EagleVision, the electronic sign configuration on the port side, provides high resolution for text, graphics and video.

Naming its blimps is a very personal thing to Goodyear. Each name is a proud handle that represents something important to Goodyear or brings recognition to a proud tradition. The Spirit of Goodyear was named to honor the employees of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

This airship primarily travels throughout an area of the United States bordered by the Rocky Mountains to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the south and Canada to the north. A Goodyear blimp is not limited to the United States, however, and may occasionally visit Canada or Mexico.

Additional information is available at www.goodyearblimp.com and www.goodyearaviation.com.

EAA AIRVENTURE OSHKOSH is The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration and EAA's yearly membership convention. Additional EAA AirVenture information, including advance ticket and camping purchase, is available online at www.airventure.org. EAA members receive lowest prices on admission rates. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 1-800-JOIN-EAA (1-800-564-6322) or visit www.eaa.org. Immediate news is available at twitter.com/EAAupdate.