Goodyear blimp leaving Ohio, will retire to Florida

Blimp will be stationed in Pompano Beach

AKRON, Ohio (AP) - After years of flights out of northeast Ohio, the Spirit of Goodyear blimp is retiring in stereotypical fashion: It's moving to Florida.

Akron-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. says the blimp will make farewell flights around the city Wednesday and Thursday. Blimp spokesman Doug Grassian tells the Akron Beacon Journal the aircraft's light board will carry special messages as a nod to supporters in the city.

It makes its final Akron departure Friday, bound for several college football games on the way to Florida. It will be stationed at Goodyear's dock in Pompano Beach, also home to the Spirit of Innovation blimp.

The 13-year-old airship will fly until it is decommissioned next year as the company launches a round of replacements for its three U.S. blimps over several years.

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