Capturing those breathtaking shots from high above Daytona each year is the Goodyear Blimp and this year, the newest airship, Wingfoot One, christened nearly two years ago, will be working its first major event.
Michael Dougherty, Chief Pilot said, “Huge leaps in technology for us. We’re moving from an airship that was basically built in the 1930’s and 40’s, that we’ve been flying for 60 years now, transitioning to this one is a brand new airship, very modern airliner-style cockpit inside, seats almost twice as many folks, about 55 feet longer like you said, it’s almost 50 percent faster than the other one.”
Wingfoot One is one of two blimps in service for Goodyear, which has enormous presence each year here at the Daytona 500.
Doughtery added, “To support the tires on the track and the technology down there with the technology we have up here, so excited to be here, certainly is a big event and the biggest one Wingfoot One has done to this point.”
The Goodyear Blimp has been associated with major North America sporting events for decades. The Super Bowl, the World Series, All-Star Games, NBA Finals you could go on and on. And the Daytona 500 is a very big part of that history.
Doughtery said, “We always say it’s a big event when the Blimp is there, so we’re excited to cover events and things like that, but the people are excited to see us too. It’s one of those recognizable corporate icons out there and we’re proud to fly it, proud to show off the Goodyear name and the brand and support the folks on the ground doing the hard work for is.”
Be sure to check out the preview of the 2016 Daytona 500 on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on KRBC.