Look up, way up, this weekend as one of the world’s most famous airships will be floating high over Metro Vancouver for a special visit by the Goodyear blimp.
The Spirit of Innovation, one of the three blimps owned and operated by American tire company Goodyear, is scheduled to arrive in the region on Saturday, July 2. It will be over Vancouver from Sunday, July 3 to Wednesday, July 6 for Canada Customer Appreciation Week before it makes its return trip back to its home base in Carson, California.
Throughout the duration of its short visit to the region for Goodyear’s Canada Customer Appreciation Week, the blimp takes flight from and lands for moorage daily at Abbotsford International Airport.
This particular blimp has been in operation since June 2006, and it is scheduled to be retired next year given that it will reach the end of its 10-year lifespan. It can travel at speeds of up to 80 km/hour and carry seven passengers – all suspended by almost 203,000 cubic feet of helium contained within a balloon measuring 192 feet in length and 59 feet in height.
A newer semi-rigid model that will replace the Spirit of Innovation can cruise at 117 km/hour and carry up to 14 passengers.
The last time a Goodyear blimp visited Vancouver was in 2003. The blimp made a number of visits to B.C. when the city held its annual Indy race.