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Goodyear orders 3 Zeppelin NT airships

A press release by the Zeppelin company dated May 2011 announces the sale of three Zeppelin NT airships to the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company.

Goodyear ordered the new Zeppelin NT model LZ N07-101 (successor to the LZ N07-100) at costs of approximately 14.5 million Euros each. The first Zeppelin NT will commence its Goodyear operation in January 2014. The deal also includes a close co-operation between the partners. On Tuesday, May 3rd 2011 Thomas Brandt, CEO of Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik presented details of this largest deal in the history of the Friedrichshafen based company. “The Goodyear contract is a milestone in our company history. With this three airship sale we double the worldwide Zeppelin NT fleet.“ Goodyear and Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik have closed agreements on the joint development of a LED night-sign and a new cockpit display system besides the sale of airships. These improvements will also be available for future Zeppelin NTs. In addition and beyond the delivery of the airships, Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik will supply technical support to Goodyear for the introduction of the Zeppelin NT as well as for the operation, maintenance and repair of the airships. The airships will be delivered to Goodyear over the coming six years. Managed by Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik, the three airships will be assembled by Zeppelin and Goodyear airship teams at Goodyear’s Wingfoot lake airship hangar near Akron, Ohio; there the airships will also perform their first flight. Procurement and production will be managed in Friedrichshafen. Parts and components will be preassembled by Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik before shipment to Akron Ohio. ( Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. It employs approximately 72,000 people and manufactures its products in 55 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Richard J. Kramer, Goodyear chairman, chief executive officer and president. "I am pleased this investment will ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to experience the joy of seeing the Goodyear blimp grace the skies." During its long operational history, Goodyear has built and operated more than 300 airships – including two large rigid airships the U.S.S. Macon and U.S.S. Akron. "Our current airships are approaching the end of their lifecycle, and we saw this as an opportunity to take the next evolutionary step in our airship program," said Nancy Jandrokovic, Goodyear's director of Global Airship Operations. The new Goodyear-Zeppelin airships will be slightly larger than the airships in Goodyear's current fleet, fly faster, carry more passengers and include state-of-the art avionics and flight control systems. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s three North American GZ type blimps are assisting the Department of Homeland Security/FEMA with a request for donations to aid those devastated by recent tornados. Posted by Gabriel Alexander Khoury

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