Capsule Review: The Spirit Of Goodyear

capsule review the spirit of goodyear

Raise your hand if you’ve actually flown a Goodyear blimp for a solid forty-five minutes and actually made it go where you were supposed to take it.

I thought so. I’m the only guy with his hand up. Sucks to be you, you non-blimp-flyin’-mothertrucker.

To keep this from being Blimplopnik or whatever they’re calling Mr. Wert’s Wild Ride nowadays, I’m going to bring you content never seen before: blimp review emulation. Follow along as I review the Goodyear blimp, one paragraph at a time, in the style of each of our most famous contributors. This will be no worse than the Dune continuation books, I promise.

As Robert Farago:

The Spirit Of Goodyear is so grossly oversized, so blimp-like, that one is actually shocked by the modest yet antiquated accomodations available in the sheet-steel gondola. From the MG TD-style sliding curtain windows to the ridiculous faux-authenticity of the crooked rivet lines supposedly holding the thing together, it’s a stark statement of America’s inability to compete in the cut-throat airship business. Let’s not even begin to discuss the pathetic response from the twin overhead-valve engines or the roar which pervades the cabin like the death rattles of a terminally slain Cerberus. I despite this blimp, as I have despised every other blimp I’ve ever flown. Only the desperately credit-challenged would ever consider stepping into a Goodyear blimp when the Fuji blimps are available. I hate it. Look for it to find a permanent home in blimp rental fleets near you.

As Michael Karesh:

At my site, TrueDelta, we have yet to obtain the 2,300 responses from blimp owners which would be required to provide statistically trustworthy estimates of mean time between primary bag repair. Note that Consumer Reports received just one response, and it was the simple sentence “Blimps are awesome”. Based on that, they immediately elevated it to the “Recommended” category. You won’t find such shenanigans here at TrueDelta. Also, I thought the handling was delightful, with a touch of oversteer at the limit. Find out more at TrueDelta.

As Sajeev Mehta and Steven Lang:

Steve: We see about five of these blimps a year and I have plenty of success selling them to down-on-their-luck single-mother companies like Cooper and Nexxen. Make sure you take a close look at the rear seam where the left engine housing attaches; it’s a problem point.

Sajeev: The question I’m asking myself is whether or not the outboard engines could be replaced with LS7s. Also, could wood trim be applied to other parts of the blimp’s interior to match the real-wood elevator wheel?

As Edward Niedermeyer:

This is the blimp nobody’s asking for. Decades after the Germans suffered fiery disaster with their dirigibles, we’ve got Goodyear putting both feet into the blimp biz. You’d have to be crazy to think this will end well. As it flies over Lordstown, Ohio, home of the union-sop second-rate whip known to all and sundry outside Korea as “Cruze”, one wonders if the two could somehow collide and perform an elaborate synecdoche of the perils of collective bargaining.

As Bertel Schmitt:

The Chinese Goodyear blimp, Spirit of Innovation, is bigger, faster, and it will not fail. Blimp sales are up 300% according to the fellow who pulled my rickshaw home from the massage parlor this evening.

As Jack Baruth:

As I strafed the helpless people of Akron, cackling like Cruella deVille, watching them scatter beneath the looming mass, I saw the finest-looking bitch imaginable cowering in fear next to her infant child. Quickly, I moored to the nearest lamppost, using the power of my mind in place of the eight-person team normally assigned to the task, and bid her enter. She stripped off her clothes, lay back in the cramped six-passenger gondola, and I shoved my [blimp] into her [Wingfoot Lake hangar facility], lubricated only by the flood of her [rain on the blimp’s surface]. I noticed that there was no grass on the field, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

So there you have it. But what’s it really like to fly a blimp? In a nutshell, difficult, and someday I will tell you… but not now. I mean, it wouldn’t really fit in with the site’s mission, and I’m pretty sure there are a couple of people out there who would claim I was flying it wrong.

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  • Andy D Andy D on Mar 05, 2011

    Around Boston we have the Hood blimp and the Fuji blimp . Neither seem to be that well piloted. When I was a kid in the 50s, I used to watch 2 Navy blimps patrol Massachusetts Bay looking for subs. During WWII, a blimp fired on a U boat steaming on the surface. The deck watch unlimbered the 88 and put a 3 1/2" hole in the gas bag. After that, blimp crews were told not to engage subs.

  • -Nate -Nate on Sep 30, 2014

    Jeezo - Peezo ! I got off duty for a bit of surgery and look at what I missed . Very well done Jack . -Nate

  • Snickel Fritz I just bought a '97 JX 4WD 4AT, and though it's not quite roadworthy yet I am already in awe of it's simplicity and apparent ruggedness. What I am equally in awe of, is the scarcity of not only parts but correct information regarding anything on this platform. I'm going to do my best to get this little donkey back on it's feet, but I wouldn't suggest this as a project vehicle for anyone who doesn't already have several... and a big impressive shop with a full suite of fabrication/machining/welding equipment, and friends with complimentary skillsets, and extra money, and... you get the idea. If you don't, I urge you to read up on the options for replacing anything on these rigs. I didn't read enough before buying, and I have zero of the above suggested prerequisites... so I'm an idiot, don't listen to me. Go buy all of 'em!
  • Bryan Raab Davis I actually did use the P of D trope, but it was only gentle chiding, for I love old British cars of every sort.
  • ScarecrowRepair The 1907 Panic had several causes of increased demand for money:[list][*]The semi-annual shift of money between farms and cities (to buy for planting and selling harvests)[/*][*]Britain and Germany borrowing for their naval arms race[/*][*]San Francisco reconstruction borrowing after the 1906 earthquake and fire[/*][/list]Two things made it worse:[list][*]Idiotic bans on branch banking, which prevented urban, rural, and other state branches from shifting funds to match demands. This same problem made the Great Depression far worse. Canada, which allowed branch banking, had no bank failures; the US had 9000 failures.[/*][*]Idiotic reserve requirements left over from the Civil War which prevented banks from loaning money; they eventually started honoring IOUs illegally and started the recovery.[/*][/list]Been a while since I read up on it, so I may have some of the details wrong. But it was an amazing clusterfart which could have been avoided or at least tamed sooner if states and the feds hadn't been so ham handed.
  • FreedMike Maybe this explains all the “Idiots wrecking exotic cars” YouTube videos.
  • FreedMike Good article! And I salute the author for not using the classic “Lucas - prince of darkness” trope, well earned as it may be. We all know the rap on BL cars, but on the flip side, they’re apparently pretty easy to work on (at least that’s the impression I’ve picked up). On the other hand, check the panel fits on the driver’s and passenger’s doors. Clearly, BL wasn’t much concerned with things like structural integrity when it chopped the roof off a car designed as a coupe.
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