Goodyear Blimp - a rare view from high above

LOS ANGELES

Take off is about letting go, but flight in the Goodyear Blimp is a little louder than you might think. Top speed is about 50 mph, but because helium is what keeps you aloft, killing the engines is an option.

Goodyear began building blimps for the U.S. Navy in the 30s, but the company is now phasing out the current model, replacing it with a larger, more technically advanced airship. So you won't see the older version in the skies much longer.

Beyond its iconic status, flying on the Goodyear Blimp is very rare. There are actually more people flying as passengers in airplanes at any point during the day than have ever flown as a passenger on the Goodyear Blimp.

"That's one of the things that makes it so exciting, that it's a once in a lifetime opportunity really," said passenger Fernando Hernandez.

Most of the Goodyear passengers and flights are work-related, but the company has helped raise millions for charity by providing rides as an auction item for philanthropic organizations. A ride on the blimp can give you a different look at the floating museum, the USS Iowa.

For many years, Goodyear built blimps for the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, but flying over the Rose Parade is also quite a sight.

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