Introduced in 1963 and discontinued in 1978 after the Mayflower (N38A) was destroyed by a tornado, the GZ-19 design for this class resembles the U.S. Navy's L class blimp.
The interest shown by the general public in the Goodyear airships led in 1968 to a major expansion pro-gramme involving the construction of a new "Mayflower" (GZ-19A) for Miami, a new "Columbia" (GZ-20) for Los Angeles, and a third ship "America" (GZ-20) for a new base near Houston, Texas. The GZ-20 type has an envelope of 202,700 cu.ft. and is powered by two 210 h.p. Continental engines. These ships became operational during 1969 and were joined in 1972 by "Europa" (GZ-20A), a brand new ship based at Rome as part of a new European venture.
The Goodyear post-war fleet was;
RANGER (III) Registration: N1A. First Flight: 28-5-46.
Ex-U.S.N. L-18. To Goodyear 1946. Retired, 30-5-49. Flew again, 24-5-51. Wrecked, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 26-1-58. Car stored. Rebuilt as GZ-19A type MAYFLOWER IV, 1968.
VOLUNTEER (II) Registration: N2A. First Flight: 26-9-46.
Ex-U.S.N. L-17. To Goodyear 1946. Retired, 30-10-49. Car rebuilt as GZ-19A type for COLUMBIA II 1963.
ENTERPRISE (II) Registration: N3A. First Flight: 9-10-46.
Ex-U.S.N. L-16. To Goodyear 1946. Retired, 10-12-59. Car rebuilt as GZ-20 type for COLUMBIA III 1969.
MAYFLOWER (II) Registration: N4A. First Flight: 12-5-47.
Ex-U.S.N. L-14. To Goodyear 1946. Retired, 24-11-49. Car rebuilt as GZ-19 type for MAYFLOWER III 1958-59.
PURITAN (II) Registration: N10A. First Flight: 27-3-47.
Ex-.U.S.N. K-28. To Goodyear 1946. Retired 7-4-48. Reg. transferred to AMERICA 1969.
MAYFLOWER (III) Registration: N4A. First Flight: 25-2-59
Car rebuilt as GZ-19A, 1963. Retired from fleet service, 9-68. Used for R & D work and experimental military duties, 10-68 to 10-69. First airship to fly powered by stern-mounted propeller system. Retired, 24-10-69.
COLUMBIA (II) Registration: N2A
First Flight: 23-7-63
GZ-19A type. Retired, 10-69. Ex-VOLUNTEER 11 and Navy L-17.
Capacity: 147,000 cu.ft.
Engines: 2 x 175 h.p. Continental.
GZ-19A MAYFLOWER (IV)
Ex-RANGER III and Navy L-18. Registration: N1A. First Flight: 4-9-68.