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Nashville could be a stop during World Sky Race, the first circumnavigation of the world by airships

Events could take place March 2025
Posted at 4:46 AM, Aug 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-01 05:46:49-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A major event could bring dozens of airships to Tennessee in 2025.

The World Sky Race is the brainchild of Don Hartsell commissioner of the World Air League, which he formed in 2006.

"It's going to be the largest race of airships to circle our planet Earth," said Don Hartsell. "We've been putting together the stops, places, and scenes that are going to be part of this race route."

In a promotional video for the World Sky Race, colorful blimps and zeppelins are shown flying low above iconic structures around the world. Hartsell is looking for a stop between Texas and New York City and says it could be Nashville.

"We're in Nashville to challenge Nashville to be in this race," Hartsell said on Sunday.

He said the Smyrna Airport would be a great place for spectators to gather like they do for air shows. It would also be a place to fuel up the airships.

Earlier in July, a blimp departed the airport to promote Shark Week on Discovery Channel and discovery+.

In 2019, Talk of the Town visited the Smyrna hangar where airships traveled from around the country for service.

Commercial astronaut Sian Proctor piloted the SpaceX flight last September that took private citizens to space. She wants to fly in the World Sky Race.

"The idea of flying an airship around the world, who doesn't want to do that!" said Sian Proctor.

She thinks the events will be enjoyable for families.

"I mean I remember when I was a kid and saw Snoopy on the Goodyear blimp and I would love to run outside and see that," Proctor said.

The World Sky Race would start in September 2024, reach Nashville by March, and end in May. Hartsell said an airship could actually circumnavigate the globe in 24 days. This event would stretch months to make time for 16 stops and events on the ground.

The goal of the event is to promote the United Nation's sustainability goals and teach that airships are a green form of aviation.