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Poll: Should Goodyear Still Call Their New Zeppelin NT Airships 'Blimps'?

Zeppelin NT airships come to Goodyear in 2014, but are they 'blimps'? (photo: Zeppelin)

 The reviving of the relationship between the Goodyear company and the Zeppelin company is truly remarkable, as is the thoroughly modernized Zeppelin NT, or 'New 'Technology' airship, first flown in 1997. It's even more interesting that Goodyear will be replacing all of their iconic blimps with Zeppelin NT's in the coming years. The first assembly work begins in January 2013 in Akron Ohio and it appears that they expect the first of the new airships to be operating in early 2014. (learn more about the Zeppelin NT here)

 But there's one important distinction here... blimps don't have any rigid structure inside them, but the Zeppelin NT definitely has some rigid structure inside that big envelope that allows for the engines to be mounted up high on the side (rather than on the gondola like the blimps) and for an engine to mounted at the very aft end of the envelope. So technically, the Zeppelin NT is a semi-rigid airship, not a blimp. But Goodyear has indicated that they'll be calling the new aerial advertising platforms by the same blimp term that we've all grown up knowing. Usually I'm a real stickler for the correct use of technical terms like this, but this time around I'm totally cool with calling the NT's blimps.

 But what about you? Is this mis-used term gonna fly with you, or it it a big no-no? Or, maybe you just can't imagine anyone actually caring about it! Answer the poll question below to let the world where you stand on Goodyear and their big bags of helium : )

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Reader Comments (4)

Well, this is an interesting question. Although all the U.S. Navy rigids were built (and decommsioned or lost) before our entry into WWII and had a "ZR" designation, I believe the term "Zeppelin" fell out of favor prior in the U.S. prior to that.

They were more commonly referred to as "dirigibles," I believe. This can be confusing because the root of the term is not "rigid," but "steerable" or "directible" in French. Blimps are, in fact, dirigibles as opposed to hot air balloons, which are not.

I favor "dirigible" or "rigid airship" for the Goodyear craft.

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterairpigz lurker

P.S. Despite my opinion, they probably will be called "Goodyear blimps," given how the media and the public glosses over things.

October 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterairpigz lurker

I'll personally refer to them as dirigibles, and when that raises the obvious question (as it did for me as a kid in the 50s) then the distinction can be easily described, and the obvious difference in engine location pointed out. If I were Goodyear, and cared, I would refer to them in PR (and require TV announcers to refer to them) as "Goodyear Zepps, the new generation of Goodyear airships." Never using the term "blimp."

But for some, they will always be blimps.

October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Sovik

Begin to use the term Goodyear Zepps as most of the public associates Zeppelins with the Hindenburg. Using the term Zepps will begin to redirect the public mind away from just the 1935 disaster to the more benign & current airships which should reestablish the positive associations much of the world held for Zeppelins until 1935.

July 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHarryR11

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