Goodyear Blimp Program Commits to Future with New Zeppelin Airships
AKRON, Ohio, May 3, 2011 -- Goodyear and blimps. Two things that go together like America and apple pie.
And that long-standing tradition continues thanks to a new agreement with German zeppelin manufacturer ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik -- to supply The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company with airships well into the next decade.
"The Goodyear blimp is one of the most recognizable brand icons in the world. An event isn't considered truly special unless the Goodyear blimp is there to provide aerial coverage," said Richard J. Kramer, Goodyear chairman, chief executive officer and president." I am pleased this investment will ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to experience the joy of seeing the Goodyear blimp grace the skies."
During its long operational history, Goodyear has built and operated more than 300 airships -- including two large rigid airships the U. S. S. Macon and U. S. S. Akron.
"Our current airships are approaching the end of their lifecycle, and we saw this as an opportunity to take the next evolutionary step in our airship program," said Nancy Jandrokovic, Goodyear's director of Global Airship Operations." Throughout the history of blimps, Goodyear has been an innovative leader. With Goodyear and Zeppelin working together again, we believe a new standard is about to set."
The Zeppelin LZ N07-101 model airships will be built with Zeppelin and Goodyear airship teams at Goodyear's Wingfoot Lake Airship Hangar near Akron, Ohio. Construction on the first airship is scheduled to start in 2013 and begin operating in 2014.
"We are extremely pleased to renew the Zeppelin connection with the famous Goodyear blimp program," said Thomas Brandt, Chief Executive Officer of ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH & Co. KG." Goodyear and Zeppelin worked together almost 90 years ago to bring rigid airship technology to America and we're thrilled to be working together again."
The new Goodyear-Zeppelin airships will be slightly larger than the airships in Goodyear's current fleet, fly faster, carry more passengers and include state-of-the art avionics and flight control systems.
ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik said the airships and technical support cost about $21 million (US) each.
For more than 85 years, the Goodyear blimps have appeared at the most watched news, entertainment and sporting events around the world. The blimps also heavily support local and national charities, and community emergency response programs.
The company currently operates three airships in North America -- the Spirit of Goodyear in Akron, Ohio; the Spirit of Innovation in Pompano Beach, Florida; and the Spirit of America in Carson, California. The company also has leased blimp operations in Europe and China.
Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. It employs approximately 72,000 people and manufactures its products in 55 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear, its products and its famous blimps -- to www. goodyear. com.
NOTE: B-roll video of the Goodyear blimp -- past, present and future
Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik Lands Largest Contract in its History
ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH & Co. KG sells three Zeppelin NT's to the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Goodyear ordered the new Zeppelin NT model LZ N07-101 at costs of approximately 14. 5M Euros / US$21M. The first Zeppelin NT will commence its Goodyear operation in January 2014. Besides the airship sale the deal also includes a close cooperation between the partners. On Tuesday, May 3rd 2011, Thomas Brandt, CEO of Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik presented details of this largest deal in the history of the Friedrichshafen based company." The Goodyear contract is a milestone in our company history. With this three airship sale we double the worldwide Zeppelin NT fleet."
The US based tire manufacturer Goodyear ordered three Zeppelin LZ N07-101, the successor model of the Zeppelin LZ N07-100 currently operated in Friedrichshafen. The new version airship costs approximately 14. 5 mio. Euro. In close cooperation with Goodyear, Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik will develop further technical modifications for the airships ordered. Amongst others Goodyear and Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik have closed agreements on the joint development of a LED night sign and a new cockpit display system besides the sale of airships. These improvements will also be available for future Zeppelin NTs. In addition and beyond the delivery of the airships, Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik will supply technical support to Goodyear for the introduction of the Zeppelin NT as well as for the operation, maintenance and repair of the airships.
The airships will be delivered to Goodyear over the coming six years. The first airship will commence its Goodyear operation in January 2014. This first real manufacture to order contract is the basis for synergy effects in Zeppelin's manufacturing and an optimization of the manufacturing cost through bulk procurement of parts and components. Finally Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik was able to receive the backing of the German Federal Government by way of a Hermes guaranty for the sale of the airships.
Cooperation from development to final assembly
Not only the development of modifications, but also the final assembly of the airships proves the close cooperation between both parties. Managed by Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik, the three airships will be assembled by Zeppelin and Goodyear airship teams at Goodyear's Wingfoot lake airship hangar near Akron, Ohio; there the airships will also perform their first flight. Procurement and production will be managed in Friedrichshafen. Parts and components will be preassembled by Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik before shipment to Akron Ohio. This joint project recalls memories of the successful cooperation between the German and American airship builders in the Goodyear-Zeppelin Corporation (1923-1940). This time the cooperation is based on a close teaming in the context of Goodyear's purchase of Zeppelin NT airships but not a joint venture.
Goodyear decides for Zeppelin NT quality
As Goodyear's fleet of airships has been a fleet of blimps for decades, Goodyear's decision for the Zeppelin NT is prove for the excellent properties of the Zeppelin NT. In addition, Thomas Brandt sees Goodyear's decision for the Zeppelin NT as honor as well." Since 1925 Goodyear has continuously been manufacturing and operating fleets of airships became the leader in Blimps in the airship industries. The decision for our airship makes the Zeppelin NT the leading product in its industry." With the expiry of the type certificate for the Goodyear Blimps Spirit of America, Spirit of Goodyear and Spirit of Innovation, the Zeppelin NT will then be flying from Goodyear's US airship bases in Ohio, California and Florida. Goodyear has no intention for commercial passenger flying, but will utilize the Zeppelin NT for its own corporate advertising and VIP passenger flights to support local and national charities.
Andreas Brand, Lord Mayor of Friedrichshafen and chairman of the board of the Zeppelin Foundation is happy about revival of the cooperation of both industry leaders." Almost 90 years ago Goodyear and Zeppelin bundled their competence and built the most innovative airships of their time. This cooperation will again set new standards."
The entry into service of the Goodyear Zeppelin NTs doubles Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik's market presence with the Zeppelin NT. Thomas Brandt sees the potential further sales: "This contracts bears the potential to further establish the Zeppelin NT in the skies and also strengthen the Zeppelin NT operation at it's home base in Friedrichshafen."
The Zeppelin NT with Goodyear Branding during a charter tour through the Benelux states in summer 2010. Photo: Chris Schotanus
The Zeppelin NT at its home Base the Zeppelin hangar in Friedrichshafen, Germany in summer 2010. The airship was branded by Goodyear during a charter tour through the Benelux states. Photo: ZLT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.
The Zeppelin NT is at present the only type-certificated airship with a rigid framework of aluminium and carbon-fibre frames and longerons. Engines, empennages and the cabin are mounted directly on to this rigid internal structure, thus ensuring that the Zeppelin NT offers the highest levels of safety, comfort and performance. With a length of 75 m and a volume of 8,450 m³ the Zeppelin NT 07 is the largest semi-rigid airship in the world today. The airship is powered by three independent engines, each with 200 hp and a swivelling propeller as well as an additional lateral propeller driven by the rear engine. The cockpit is equipped with full fly-by-wire flight controls. These characteristics open a wide field of application to the Zeppelin NT: passenger flights, aerial advertising, scientific platform for research project, homeland security and media and surveillance missions. The Zeppelin NT, LZ N07-101, has full IFR equipment and is certified by LBA, FAA and EASA for commercial VFR (including night flight), single pilot operation in the commuter category, carrying up to 15 passengers. Since 1997 four Zeppelin NT were built with currently two Zeppelin NT in service: In Friedrichshafen the Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei operates the airship christened Baden-Württemberg and Airship Ventures the Eureka in Moffet Field, San Francisco, USA.
ZLT ZEPPELIN LUFTSCHIFFTECHNIK GMBH & CO KG
ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH & Co KG was founded in 1993 and is based in Friedrichshafen at Lake Constance, the historical Zeppelin city of Germany. The object of the company comprises the development, manufacturing and marketing of Zeppelins of New Technology. In June 2001, the receipt of the type certification for the Zeppelin NT and the certification for ZLT Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH & Co KG as an airship manufacturing company laid the foundations for the future of airship manufacturing in Friedrichshafen. The Deutsche Zeppelin-Reederei GmbH (DZR) was founded as an operating company for the Zeppelin NT on 15 August, 2001. The DZR is a fully-owned subsidiary of the ZLT and operates the Zeppelin airships, comparable to an airline in conventional air traffic, and accounts for the training of Zeppelin airship pilots.
GOODYEAR TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY
Founded 1898, today Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies, with operations in most regions of the world. Together with its subsidiaries and joint ventures, Goodyear develops, markets and sells tires for most applications. Goodyear operates 56 plants in 22 countries. Goodyear employs approximately 72,000 people around the world. The Goodyear Blimps are aerial ambassadors of the company since 1925. Currently three blimps are operated in North America: They are based in Akron, Ohio (Spirit of Goodyear); Carson, California (Spirit of America)
and Pompano Beach, Florida (Spirit of Innovation).
Contact Press / Media:
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presse@zeppelin-nt. de | www. zeppelinflug. de