AKRON, Ohio, July 21, 2014 – Wingfoot One has been selected as the name for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company’s newest airship, the company announced today.
Wingfoot One was selected from nearly 15,000 names submitted in an on-line public contest that started four months ago. A panel of Goodyear judges narrowed the submissions to 10 finalists before a final round of public voting determined the name of the newest addition to the Goodyear fleet of airships.
With nearly 35 percent of the public vote, Wingfoot One received the most votes of the 10 finalists, and will take its place in Goodyear airship history as the name connected with the first of a new generation of state-of-art airships.
Wingfoot One was submitted by Akron resident Charlotte White who will receive a day of activities with Wingfoot One. The other nine finalists who submitted names will receive a set of Goodyear tires.
“Seventy six years of living in Akron and I never got to ride on the blimp,” said White, whose stepfather retired from Goodyear. “I'm just thrilled to win the contest. I never thought it could happen. I can't wait to ride it.”
Goodyear’s use of the Wingfoot trademark dates back to 1901 when the company first used it in advertising to promote the launch of its new Straight Side tire. Inspired by a statue of the Roman god Mercury in his home, Goodyear co-founder Frank Seiberling conceived of the idea of using the Wingfoot trade mark as a symbol of the company’s global ambitions.
“The Wingfoot symbol has played a prominent role in defining the Goodyear brand for more than a century,” said Paul Fitzhenry, senior vice president, global communications. “The name Wingfoot One makes an ideal connection between our trusted, global brand and our iconic airships.”
The new blimp is in the final stages of flight testing and will be officially christened in a ceremony to be held next month. After the christening, Wingfoot One will travel the United States and take its place as a fixture over the country’s biggest sporting, news and entertainment events.
Wingfoot One is a semi-rigid, Zeppelin model LZ N07-101 assembled at Goodyear’s
Wingfoot Lake airship hangar.
During its long operational history, Goodyear has built more than 300 lighter-than-air vehicles, including two large rigid airships – the U.S.S. Macon and U.S.S. Akron. This is the first semi-rigid airship to be built in the 95-year history of Goodyear’s Wingfoot Lake hangar. The new airship model replaces the previous “GZ-20A” model that flew for 45 years.
Since 1925, the Goodyear blimps have appeared at the most watched news, entertainment and sporting events around the world. The blimps also heavily support local and national charities, and community emergency response programs.
Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. It employs about 69,000 people and manufactures its products in 50 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com/corporate.