Goodyear retiring blimps, rolling out new, more maneuverable model of the cigar-shaped craft

Associated Press

The fabled Goodyear Blimp is retiring.

But don't fret. The cigar-shaped thing most people have seen floating over sports events will still be there.

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It just won't be, technically, a blimp.

The nation's three Goodyear blimps are being replaced by larger semi-rigid dirigibles. Goodyear's Priscilla Tasker says its brand new design.

Such a craft differs from a blimp in that the big, helium-filled balloon that carries it aloft won't go flat when the gas is drained.

The company's Southern California-based Spirit of America blimp was retired earlier this month. That was about a year after Ohio-based Spirit of Goodyear left the fleet.

Goodyear's last blimp, Florida-based Spirit of Innovation, is coming to California next month. It will cover for Spirit of America until a replacement semi-rigid dirigible is built.