Thursday, April 03, 2014

The Good Year Blimp flies again

Full of hot air. Er, helium.
Deerfield Beach, FL
December 2011
Thematic. Logos. Here.
You don't see these every day, especially considering the fact that we live in a place that is home to neither a blimp hangar, nor a NASCAR track, nor an NFL team. But when vacation took us relatively close to a place that has all of these things - AND septuagenarians in jacked-up Cadillacs - we could hardly go a day without seeing one of these behemoths in the skies nearby.

Since I'm something of an airhead, my ears soon became attuned to the unique sound of the Good Year blimp (home page, wiki) buzzing the neighbourhood. It's hard to describe the sound - ride-on mower meets Paris Hilton, perhaps? - but it's just different enough from anything else that you know it when you hear it.

So if the windows were open just so and I was otherwise not listening to uber-loud punk rock music to drown out the near-violent canasta-playing couple next door, I usually had just enough time to grab a camera and run for the door as I muttered "blimp", repeatedly and breathlessly. Sometimes the kids would follow along and we'd have a good old helium-fuelled Pied Piper-esque adventure out in the parking lot. Good times.

This time out, I think the pilot had his throttle mashed as far as it could go - Blimp Top Gun, anyone? - as the blimp was almost gone by the time we got outside. But I managed to add a few megabytes of data to the memory card, and the kids were happy. Picture or no picture, if it's a moment they'll remember, then it was worth the breathless run outside.

Your turn: Do you ever "chase" a subject in this way?

One more thing: Good Year has unveiled an all-new blimp design that's bigger, faster, more maneuverable and altogether badder and cooler than its existing models. Ironically, it's not even, technically, a blimp anymore, because unlike the current vehicles, whose big gas bag is just a big gas bag, the new ones are supported by an internal structure - kind of like the zeppelins of old. But for marketing purposes they will continue to call the now-semi-rigid vehicle a blimp. Because Good Year Zeppelin just doesn't roll off the tongue as nicely as Good Year Blimp. And let's face it, "blimp" is one of the funnier words in the English language.

For more on the new Good Year Blimp, check this out. Also take a look at this time lapse video of how they build the thing. Neat.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I heard cardinals chirping outside this morning, Carmi. And I chased them the very same way.

Except, unlike your blimp, they got away. They don't want me getting their pictures!

21 Wits said...

Great capture as if it steadied itself just for you! Funny that you mention it, as it seems if I'm ever chasing something these days, it's with my camera in hand!

Kerry said...

I am actually delighted to have a blimp update, Carmi. Thank you!