Goodyear Blimp Pilot to Speak at EAA Aviation Museum

If any aircraft is able to inspire imagination and conjure the feeling of flying, it is the Goodyear Blimp. Arguably one of the most-viewed aircraft flying, the blimp can be seen at some of the largest events in the United States. The aircraft is almost expected to be seen over events such as the Super Bowl and car races. Even though the new blimps are actually Zeppelins, “we still call them blimps,” assured Adam Basaran, who is Goodyear’s assistant chief pilot. Adam will be presenting as part of the EAA Aviation Museum Aviation Adventure Speaker Series on February 17 at 7 p.m., and will discuss the challenges in flying these large, majestic airships.

The first Goodyear Blimp was launched in 1925 with the name Pilgrim. Originally it was an idea to advertise the company’s name as well as try to find another use for the rubber that was being produced. Blimps were being used more and more, and this appeared to be a future endeavor. What was not fully realized was that they were creating an icon. The aircraft would fly using the gas in the envelope to lift the machine. The original ships had no internal structure. This is where the Zeppelin design differs, as it is a semi-rigid airship which has steel supports inside the large balloon like envelope. The envelope which holds the gas is actually a blend of polyester.

The Goodyear Blimp has become an icon of American sports, and one that people look forward to having as part of their game day experience. In fact, the Goodyear Blimp is actually the first nonhuman inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Georgia.

Thursday’s presentation is free for EAA members and just $5 for nonmembers.

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