Flying in the Goodyear Blimp
This year one of the most talked-about things at CES was actually flying high above. A Goodyear Blimp gave rides over Las Vegas, providing breathtaking, panoramic views of the Las Vegas Strip and as far as the eye could see.
Introduced in 2014, the new fleet of Goodyear Blimps is more technologically advanced, faster and more maneuverable than before, enabling the new blimps to reach more sports and entertainment events for expanded aerial coverage, and to provide more precise shots. Wingfoot Three – the newest blimp (christened in 2018 and home-based in Carson, California) – is a semi-rigid airship wrapped in a polyurethane, polyester and DuPont Tedlar film envelope. Its lifting gas is helium. If filled with water, the envelope’s volume of 297,527 cu. ft. would fill 3.5 Olympic-size swimming pools.
Its internal framework consists of aluminum and carbon fiber trusses, like many top-of-the-line sportscars. Maximum weight is 19,780 pounds (without helium). When empty, the gondola weighs 2,626 pounds.
Wingfoot Three is propelled by three vectored, 200 horsepower engines, and can remain in the air for 25 to 40 hours – based on cruise power, maximum fuel load and optimum atmospheric conditions.
Its “total usable lift” is 4,042 pounds – equivalent to 1.25 NASCAR race cars but, with a maximum speed of 73 mph, Wingfoot Three is not nearly as fast. I’ve previously seen and photographed it flying over Auto Club Speedway while it, and I, were covering the annual NASCAR racing there. I expect to see it there again later this month, when NASCAR returns.
The airships in this new fleet of Goodyear Blimps are larger than those of the previous generation, and are quite quiet inside. Overall length is 246.4 feet and overall height is 57.71 feet.
We boarded Wingfoot Three at an airstrip in North Las Vegas. Loading and unloading was interesting. Since it was basically floating and sensitive to weight changes, in order for it to stay put passengers alternated getting off and on, two-at-a-time.
The interior of the gondola was comparable to that of a commuter plane, complete with a restroom, but unlike in a commercial passenger plane, the cabin was open all the way to where the pilots sit. Passengers are free to walk around the cabin and take pictures, for a truly once-in-a-lifetime, bucket list experience.
Goodyear used their blimp to draw attention to their launch at CES of their new ‘AndGo’ Fleet servicing program – a seamless vehicle servicing platform that combines predictive software and a trusted, national service network – staffed with skilled technicians in select U.S. markets – to enable consumer fleets to be ready to go when they are needed. Fleets’ service needs are monitored through routine inspections and tire monitoring leveraging Goodyear’s intelligent tires, quick and easy scheduling, and Goodyear’s vast service network – all to reduce downtime.
For more information about the new fleet of Goodyear Blimps, visit: https://www.goodyearblimp.com
OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dock for Mac or PC
CES is the world’s premier showcase for the latest and greatest in innovative technology. You’ll find almost anything and everything at CES.
Since 1988, OWC (Other World Computing) has been making Apple computers and PCs run faster and smoother with performance upgrades, last longer with replacement parts, and do more with hardware products that include state-of-the-art external drives, docking solutions and more, to save you money without compromising computer performance or capabilities. The mantra of CEO and Founder Larry O’Connor is “upgrade, don’t replace,” and OWC supports you with U.S.-based expert advisors.
The OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dock provides all-in-one, flexible, configurable storage with multiple drive capacities (from 4TB-28TB) and seven connectivity ports of docking for Macs and PCs.
Included are dual drive bays (to accommodate two 2.5 or 3.5-inch SATA drives) with built-in, hardware-switchable, RAID 0 (blocks striped for fastest speed) and RAID 1 (blocks mirrored for safest redundancy) and span capability; dual Thunderbolt 3 and USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-A) ports; a convenient frontside SD 4.0 card reader, for quick and easy camera downloads; Gigabit Ethernet for high speed file transfers; and a DisplayPort, for an additional monitor up to 4K.
Ideal for professional notebook workflows, it provides 9V to 3A (27W) power delivery, daisy chain capability for additional devices, and single cable connectivity to your desktop workstation.
Visit OWC at: www.macsales.com
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Copyright © 2020 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More #629r2