Last Blimp Goes Flat But Goodyear Will Still Fly

CARSON (CBSLA.com/AP) — The last of Goodyear’s fabled fleet of blimps has gone flat, but the company’s flight program will continue.

About two dozen company employees were on hand early Tuesday to witness the deflation of California-based “Spirit of Innovation.”

Spokeswoman Priscilla Tasker says crew members yanked a rip line to open a section at the top of the blimp’s gas bag, known as an envelope. It took about two minutes for it to crumple to the ground.

“Today marks one of the biggest changes we’ve had in our history,” said Edward Ogden, Goodyear’s airship specialist and historian. “I’m really proud to say I’ve been here to see it happen.”

The craft’s historic gondola will be displayed at Goodyear’s Ohio airship base.

Its replacement, “Wingfoot Two,” resembles a blimp but is a semi-rigid dirigible.

The new airships, which don’t go flat when deflated, are faster and more maneuverable.

And Goodyear says they’ll still be called blimps. That’s because, well, blimp just sounds better.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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