The Goodyear GZ-20 was a class of non-rigid airships (blimps) built by Goodyear for its own promotional use from 1969. It is the most iconic and best-known of the Goodyear Blimps.
History[edit | edit source]
The GZ-20 is a larger version of the GZ-19, with more powerful engines. The GZ-20's larger size allowed the GZ-19's Skytacular advertisement night sign to be enlarged into the Super-Skytacular. From the third GZ-20 (N2A Europa) onwards the type was also known as the GZ-20A.
The last GZ-20 (also designated GZ-20A), Spirit of Innovation, was retired on 14 March 2017, ending Goodyear's 92-year tradition of operating promotional airships it developed and built itself. The GZ-20s were replaced with German Zeppelin NTs that are also called Goodyear Blimps, despite technically not being blimps, but semi-rigid airships.
Survivors[edit | edit source]
Five GZ-20 gondolas survive, but without their envelopes.
- Columbia (C-49) is at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
- Stars and Stripes (4116) and Spirit of Innovation (4119) are stored at the Wingfoot Lake Hangar in Suffield Township, Portage County, Ohio.
- Spirit of America (4117) is on display at the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California.
- Spirit of Goodyear (4118) is on display at the Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
Accidents[edit | edit source]
- N10A Columbia was intentionally rammed by a vandal with an RC plane on September 30 1990, and made a forced landing.
- N1A Stars and Stripes struck trees and power lines on 16 June 2005 in Coral Springs, Florida. The pilot and passenger were not injured.
Specifications (N2A Europa)[edit | edit source]
- Crew: One
- Capacity: 6 passengers
- Length: 192 ft 6 in (58.67 m)
- Diameter: 45 ft 11 in (14.00 m)
- Width: 50 ft 0 in (15.24 m)
- Height: 59 ft 6 in (18.14 m)
- Volume: 202,700 ft3 (5,380 m3)
- Empty weight: 9,375 lb (4,252 kg)
- Gross weight: 12,840 lb (5,824 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × Continental IO-360-D, 210 hp (157 kW) each
- Maximum speed: 50 mph (80 km/h)
- Endurance: 23 hours
- Service ceiling: 7,500 ft (2,285 m)
- Rate of climb: 2,400 ft/min (12.2 m/s)