Special Sub-Topic: The Goodyear Blimp
|The first Goodyear blimp took flight in 1925. By what name was this blimp known?|
Pilgrim. Pilgrim was the first of the long line of Goodyear's goodwill ambassadors of the air. Her debut came almost a decade after Goodyear began building balloons and airships for the U.S. military, at the Wingfoot Lake Facility in northeastern Ohio, in 1917.
|Goodyear blimps have carried lighted signs since 1930. What name was given to the first such sign system, installed on the Goodyear blimp Defender?|
Neon-O-Gram. Neon tubes powered Goodyear's first aerial signs, which simply spelled out the company name in lights, but later systems used incandescent bulbs and LEDs. The modern Eaglevision system uses state-of-the-art computer software and graphics to create animated Goodyear advertising messages and public-service announcements for fans in the stands.
|Goodyear blimps have provided television coverage of major sporting events since 1960. Which of the following college-football game has the distinction of the first such event covered by the blimp?|
Orange Bowl. In 1960, the Orange Bowl was broadcast on CBS, and viewers had a bird's-eye view of the action. The modern fleet of blimps carry gyro-stabilized 360-degree camera systems that deliver footage from various venues.
|The modern fleet of Goodyear blimps, which includes the Spirit of America, are filled with helium to lift them into the sky. Approximately how much helium does one Goodyear blimp hold?|
202,700 cubic feet (5,740 cubic meters). The amount of helium used to fill one Goodyear blimp could be used to fill approximately 73,000 12-inch latex party balloons. Because the skin of a Goodyear blimp does allow small amounts of gas to seep out, the helium is topped off periodically.
|In terms of length, a Goodyear blimp would be closest to which of the following jet aircraft?|
McDonnell Douglas MD-11. The modern GZ-20 class of Goodyear blimps are each 192 feet long. The MD-11, the successor to McDonnell Douglas's DC-10, is 200 feet long. Four Goodyear blimps, if lined up nose to tail, would not quite combine to equal the length of the great German airship Hindenburg, which checked in at 800 feet.
|The fictional town of Eagle Rock, Iowa, got a special message from a Goodyear blimp in the motion picture "Cold Turkey". What did the President of the United States send in his message to the small town?|
His love. Although best known for his work in television, Norman Lear assembled a cast of all-star television greats, including Dick Van Dyke, Jean Stapleton and Bob Newhart, for "Cold Turkey", which was released in the United States in 1971. Residents of Eagle Rock take up a challenge to quit smoking for 30 days, in order to win a huge cash prize. The Goodyear blimp is their to celebrate their success, giving the residents the news that the President sends "all his love" to them--which led nicely into the closing song by Barry Newman--and announcing that a new missile plant will be built in town.
Ironically, Bob Newhart, who played tobacco company flunky Merwin Wren, had to give up smoking in real life because it caused nose bleeds. And Dick Van Dyke, who played Reverend Clayton Brooks, struggled for years off camera to quit.
|A blimp chase provided the climax to the blockbuster motion picture "Black Sunday". Which real-life Goodyear blimp supposedly met its end just offshore from Miami in that movie?|
Mayflower. Both Mayflower and Columbia were used during filming of "Black Sunday". But it was Mayflower that was filmed in the actual aerial chase scenes and met its demise over the Atlantic Ocean. In the movie, as in the novel by Thomas Harris, the blimp was equipped with an electrostatic bomb to be triggered by the floodlights in a football stadium during the Super Bowl.
|In October, 1999, the Goodyear blimp Spirit of Akron crashed in northeastern Ohio, not far from the Goodyear facilities on Wingfoot Lake. What was determined to be the cause of that crash?|
Metal fatigue. At the time of its crash, Spirit of Akron was the largest and most technologically-advanced blimp in the Goodyear fleet. Originally intended to prove that it could be a viable asset for the U.S. military, Spirit of Akron was doomed by metal actuators that were not properly hardened during manufacture. As a result, the actuator splines sheared, preventing the flight-control system from conveying electrical commands to perform mechanical functions. The two people on board suffered only minor injuries. Spirit of Akron was the only GZ-22 class blimp that Goodyear built.
|In June, 2005, severe weather and pilot error combined to cause the crash of which Goodyear blimp?|
Stars and Stripes. Based out of Pompano Beach, Florida, Stars and Stripes was the last Goodyear blimp to be named in honor of the winner of the America's Cup yacht race--a tradition that dated back to the first blimp. On that fateful day in 2005, the crew of Stars and Stripes actually found the storm they were caught in pushing the blimp down and backwards, despite the application of full engine power.
|When traveling across the country, the Goodyear blimps offer rides, for a small fee, to the general public.|
F. The Goodyear blimp seats six passengers, but the only way to get into one of those precious seats is to be invited by Goodyear. VIPs and members of the media are among those invited to ride in the blimp, as are Goodyear customers and charity auction winners.
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