AKRON -- Ohio-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has christened its new airship, launching the next generation of its well-known blimps.

The company says "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts christened "Wingfoot One" Saturday at its hangar just southeast of Akron.

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Roberts also took a spin on the ceremonial first flight. She has ties to both Goodyear and Akron. She says the company recruited her great-grandfather to work for the company in 1918.

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Goodyear has used the "Wingfoot" symbol for a century.


The high-tech, helium-filled craft has a semi-rigid internal structure different from earlier models that raises questions about whether it's truly a blimp, though Goodyear still refers to it as such. Its silver balloon-like body has Goodyear's yellow logo on a blue background.