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Goodyear to build bigger blimp

July 13, 2012 at 6:11 PM

POMPANO BEACH, Fla., July 13 (UPI) -- Goodyear says it will build a bigger blimp -- 7,000 pounds heavier, 54 feet longer and 2 feet taller -- than the current model in Pompano Beach, Fla.

The new blimp is expected to be 246 feet long, 60 feet high, weigh 19,780 pounds and travel at a top speed of 73 mph, 20 mph faster than the one it will replace, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.

Goodyear's three U.S. blimps are often seen above sporting events, providing views for TV networks.

"It will allow us to get to more locations in a day; it will allow us to provide superior arial coverage for the networks," Goodyear spokesman Doug Grassian said. "So in terms of traveling to an event that will take us four days, the new version will take half that time, most likely."

The company will be forced to expand the building housing the blimp and will likely intrude on a nearby horse park used for therapeutic horseback riding for disabled children and veterans, officials said.

Pompano Beach owns the land for the horse park and the blimp and will decide whether Goodyear gets the space it will require for the blimp project.

"We don't want to leave but we are building a bigger blimp," Grassian said.

Goodyear's other blimps are based in Akron, Ohio, and Carson City, Colo.

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