AKRON — Goodyear's Wingfoot Two blimp has begun a 2,600-mile, three-week journey through the end of October at the blimp's home in Carson, Calif.
The trip began Oct. 8 and will take a 26-person crew and caravan of nine vehicles on the ground through 10 states and numerous stops.
Tour stops will include: Indianapolis; St. Louis; Fayetteville, Ark.; Lawton, Okla.; Lubbock, Texas; Deming, N.M.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Blythe, Calif.
"This is an exciting milestone for Goodyear as we look forward to introducing our new generation of Goodyear blimps to the West Coast and engaging fans along our tour route to create new memories of the Goodyear blimp across America," said Paul Fitzhenry, Goodyear's senior vice president, global communications.
The stop in Lawton, Okla., set for Oct. 15-19, will feature events associated with company's tire plant there. In Lubbock, Texas, Wingfoot Two will participate in the 75th anniversary of customer McWhorter Tire Co.
Fans can tweet about the Wingfoot Two visits via social media using #WelcomeWingfoot2 and #BlimpGoesWest.
Goodyear has operated blimps in southern California for more than 90 years and delivered the inaugural live aerial feed to a transcontinental telecast over the 1955 Rose Parade and Rose Bowl.
In the six decades since, the blimp has shown footage of such events as the 1982 Olympics, 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, multiple Academy Awards red carpet arrivals and the 2015 Special Olympics.
Goodyear will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Carson blimp base in 2018.
Goodyear operates two blimps, Wingfoot One and Wingfoot Two. The third airship to complete the new fleet is under construction at the company's Wingfoot Lake facility near Akron.
Since 1917, Goodyear has built more than 300 blimps for public relations and defense applications.
According to the company, the blimps are more than 246 feet long and have three vectored engines. They can reach highway speeds of up to 73 mph.