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Goodyear GZ-20

 

goodgz20a
GZ-20A

 

The GZ-20 class was introduced in 1969, with America (N10A) and Columbia (N3A) being the first two. The Europa (N2A) followed in 1972 and was based in Italy, the first Goodyear blimp operated outside of the United States. These blimps are slightly longer than the GZ-19. Beginning in 2014, Goodyear began retiring the GZ-20 and replacing them with the Zeppelin NT. On February 23, 2014, Spirit of Goodyear was retired in Pompano Beach after the 2014 Daytona 500. On August 10, 2015, the California-based GZ-20, the Spirit of America, was decommissioned. The Spirit of Innovation, took over California operations in September 2015 until its retirement in March 2017 as the last remaining GZ-20. In fall of 2017, Wingfoot Two will be relocated to California.
 
The interest shown by the general public in the Goodyear airships led in 1968 to a major expansion pro­gramme 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. A completely new ship built at Akron (car) and Litchfield Park, Arizona (Envelope). Assembled and first flown at Cardington, Beds, 10‑71 to 3‑72.
 
The GZ‑20 commercial airship America first flew in 1969, and was previously Ranger II and L‑8. The second “Ranger” was a replacement for the first. Completed after outbreak of war and delivered direct to U.S.N. as L‑8 at Moffett Field, 26‑2‑42. The car returned to Goodyear in 1946 and was stored. Rebuilt as GZ‑20 type for AMERICA, 1968‑69.
 
Goodyear operated four helium non-rigid airships, made of neoprene-coated dacron, for publicity and rides.
 
The Los Angeles‑based airship Columbia, owned and operated by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, was scheduled to be retired in late July 1975. During six years of operation the Columbia has flown more than 10,200 hours, covering more than 306,000 miles at an average speed of 30 miles per hour.
 
The blimp will be replaced by another airship bearing the same name, and of the same dimensions: 192 feet long, 59 feet high, and 50 feet wide. The new Columbia will be the 301st airship constructed by Goodyear since 1917, and will join three other Goodyear blimps based in Miami, Houston, and Rome in 1975.

 

Gallery

 

GZ-20 AMERICA
Ex-RANGER II and Navy L-8.
Registration: N10A.
First Flight: 25-4-69.

GZ-20 COLUMBIA (III)
Ex-ENTERPRISE II and Navy L-16.
Registration: N3A.
First Flight: 18-8-69.

GZ-20A EUROPA
Registration: N2A.
First Flight: 8-3-72.
Engines: 2 x  Continental IO-360-D, 210 hp.
Length: 192ft 6in.
Maximum Diameter: 46ft.
Volume: 202,700 cu ft.
Max speed: 50 mph.
Cruising speed: 35-40 mph.
Max ROC: 2,400ft/min.
Endurance: 10 hours (with normal tanks), 23 hours (with auxiliary tanks).
Fuel: 138 Imp Gal (normal tanks), 158 Imp Gal (auxiliary tanks).
Max Gross Wt: 12,840 lb.
Empty Wt: 9,375 lb.
Useful load: 3,475 lb.

 

 


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