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Updated Mar 15, 2014 - 8:17 pm

Goodyear unveils next-generation blimp, seeks name

The newest design of the Goodyear blimp is shown. (Twitter photo/@mortgageconsult)

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — The next generation of the Goodyear blimp is getting ready to take flight as the company retires its current fleet of airships.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. says the helium-filled airship unveiled Friday at a hangar in the Akron, Ohio, area is bigger, quicker and more maneuverable than earlier blimps. The company says it will provide a longer flight range and better aerial broadcast capabilities for event coverage.

The new blimp is 246 feet long and has a silver balloon-like body emblazoned with Goodyear's yellow logo on a blue background. It is scheduled to start test flights in northeast Ohio this month and go into service this summer.

Before then, it needs one more component: a name. Goodyear is collecting suggestions through a contest on its website until April 4.

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