Some people always became excited when Goodyear’s most famous representative was in town. “It’s the blimp!” kids would say, as the giant balloon floated over backyards and side streets. Mothers and fathers would run for movie cameras, hoping to secure scenes of the dynamic dirigible. In 1963, Goodyear’s Columbia made appearances over the Capital Region. The silver airship touched down at Albany County Airport in Colonie on Wednesday, Aug. 21. It was one of the first visits anywhere for Columbia, which had been christened just three days earlier.
Members of the Columbia flight crew use a little pull to maneuver the big balloon during the summer of 1963. The aerial advertising board for Goodyear Tire and Rubber was visiting Albany County Airport.
A Goodyear ground crew prepares to help the company’s Columbia airship land.
Roy Belotti of Oxnard, Calif., and a retired lieutenant commander with the U.S. Navy, keeps an eye on the sky inside Goodyear’s Columbia airship on the Aug. 21, 1963, flight.
Schenectady Gazette reporter Tommy Kahan, talks to sky pilot Roy Belotti aboard the Goodyear blimp Columbia. Kahan and photographer Sid Brown flew in the famous dirigible on Aug. 21, 1963.
Gazette reporter Tommy Kahan prepares to board the six-passenger gondola of Goodyear’s new blimp. The $750,000 flying ambassador had been christened three days earlier.