The Goodyear Blimp flew over Abbotsford on Tuesday afternoon en route to landing at the Abbotsford International Airport

The Goodyear Blimp flew over Abbotsford on Tuesday afternoon en route to landing at the Abbotsford International Airport

(Updated with video) Goodyear Blimp lands in Abbotsford, making rare appearance in area

Part of summer tour to celebrate 60th anniversary of Fountain Tire

  • Jul. 5, 2016 12:00 p.m.



One of the historic Goodyear Blimps flew in to Abbotsford on Tuesday in a rare visit to the West Coast.

The Spirit of Innovation landed at Abbotsford International Airport as part of a tour that included celebrating the 60th anniversary of Goodyear tire customer Fountain Tire.

The airship was on hand on Wednesday evening, when Fountain Tire held a free drive-in movie night and family-friendly activities at the Abbotsford Flying Club.

The blimp made its way along the Pacific coast starting last Thursday, with stops in Santa Maria and Sonoma, California, then on to Coos Bay in Oregon, and Chehalis and Everett in Washington before landing in Abbotsford, where it will be based until Sunday.

It has been 13 years since a Goodyear Blimp made a visit to this area, and one of the last times the Spirit of Innovation will fly, as it is being retired next year.

The aircraft is one of three Goodyear Blimps also including the Spirit of America and Wingfoot One making their way across the U.S. and Canada this summer.

Goodyear blimps have adorned the skies since 1925 and are among the most recognized brand icons.

In the 1930s, Goodyear built two giant airships for the US Navy. The blimps served America as surveillance airships protecting merchant ships and early-warning radar stations through the 1950s.

Today, the fleet consists of three active airships. The latest airship, Wingfoot Two, will be christened later this year.