BRISTOL, Tenn. (WATE) – The United State Air Force Wings of Blue skydive unit jumped from the Goodyear Blimp during ESPN “College GameDay” broadcast at the Battle at Bristol.
The jump will mark the first skydive from a blimp. ESPN’s “College GameDay” will broadcast from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. from Bristol Motor Speedway. Skydivers are planning to jump at around 8:20 a.m.
College GameDay is part of a college football pregame show Saturday before the Battle at Bristol for the matchup of Virginia Tech and No. 17 Tennessee.
“To celebrate the launch of its new college football marketing campaign – Blimpworthy – Goodyear is extending its longstanding relationship with the U.S. Military for the historic jump, collaborating with those who have put in the countless hours of preparation to earn a spot on USAF Wings of Blue,” said Goodyear in a statement. “The Blimpworthy campaign celebrates all of the hard work, determination and grit that is central to college football.”
The Goodyear blimp made a pit stop at McGhee Tyson Airport on its way to Bristol.
“We haven’t been in here for a while. We used to bring our older model down here and stay at Island Home,” said Goodyear co-pilot Jerry Hissem.
The blimp is called Wingfoot 2. It is stationed in Akron, Ohio.
Goodyear’s blimp moves very slowly. It maxes out at about 53 miles per hour, but usually cruises at a conservative 35 miles per hour. It typically flies about 1,500 feet above the ground. Compare that with New York’s Chrysler building, which towers about 1,050 feet high.
Pilots power and steer the 192 foot aircraft with two propeller engines and a movable tail and rudder system.The Battle at Bristol will broadcast Saturday, Sept. 10 on News 2 at 7 p.m. Central. Click here for full coverage of the game.