Goodyear's blimp replacement takes flight in Ohio

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AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- The next generation of the well-known Goodyear blimp has made its first flight, cruising over part of northeast Ohio beneath bright blue skies.

A spokesman for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. tells the Akron Beacon Journal (http://bit.ly/1ixbzIv ) the airship had no problems during the debut Monday from a hangar in the Akron area.

Goodyear says the high-tech, helium-filled airship is bigger, quicker and more maneuverable. It has a semi-rigid internal structure that wasn't present in earlier models and raises questions about whether it is truly a blimp, though the company still refers to it as such.

The airship's silver balloon-like body is emblazoned with Goodyear's yellow logo on a blue background.

The so-far-unnamed airship is expected to have a longer flight range and better aerial broadcast capabilities for event coverage.

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Information from: Akron Beacon Journal, http://www.ohio.com