Then & Now | The Spirit of Goodyear

Built in 1982, the Spirit of Goodyear blimp gondola saw service on three airships, logging more than 41,000 hours of flight during its 31 year history. From 1982-1992, it was mounted on the blimp America based in Spring, Texas; from 1992-1999 it was on the Stars & Stripes in Pompano Beach, Florida; and from 2000-2014 it served the Spirit of Goodyear blimp in Suffield, Ohio. In 2014, the Spirit of Goodyear retired from airship service and received recognition from the Guinness Book of World Records as “The Longest Continuous Use for a Blimp.”

The gondola, which is the pilot and passenger compartment of the blimp, is currently located within the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum, in the Setting the World in Motion exhibit. At 23 feet long and 3,400 pounds, the gondola is one of the largest artifacts in the Crawford Auto Aviation Museum.

This now retired piece of transportation history appeared over some of the world’s largest sporting events such as the Super Bowl in 1990, 1994 and 1995, Major League Baseball World Series games in 1982, 1983 & 1984, The Kentucky Derby, the Daytona 500, U.S. Open tennis and golf, NCAA football, including the Cotton Bowl in 1990, NCAA Final Four basketball and NFL games. In addition, well-known celebrities, such as David Letterman and astronaut Dr. Sally Ride, have flown in the gondola.