Goodyear's blimp replacement takes flight in Ohio

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.

Goodyear-Blimp-Unveil Sidd

This photo taken Feb. 28, 2014, shows Zeppelin and Goodyear crews work together in prepping Goodyear's new zeppelin in the Wingfoot Lake Hangar for its debut in Suffield Township, Ohio.(AP Photo/Akron Beacon Journal, Karen Schiely)

A spokesman for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. tells the Akron Beacon Journal ( ) 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.