This is the $150 Million Futuristic Military Blimp that Went Down in PA
PITTSBURGH (The Blaze/AP) — A remote-controlled, unmanned reconnaissance blimp launched from Ohio by defense contractor Lockheed Martin was brought down Wednesday in a controlled descent in the woods of southwestern Pennsylvania after it was unable to climb to the desired altitude:
The HALE-D blimp was designed to float above the jet stream at 60,000 feet and can be used for reconnaissance, intelligence and other purposes often accomplished by satellites, but at lower cost. The blimp was being tested as a communications relay device as part of a contract Lockheed Martin has with the Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command in Huntsville, Ala., Lockheed spokesman Keith Little told The Associated Press.
According to Business Insider, the futuristic blimp costs $150 million.
Photo: Lockheed Martin
The blimp got to 32,000 feet but couldn’t climb higher, so controllers in Akron, Ohio, decided to bring it down with a “controlled descent” in a sparsely populated area, some heavy woods near New Freeport, about 45 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.
The ship is 270 feet long, 70 feet in diameter and filled with helium and air, which were released gradually to bring the ship to Earth.
“There is no way for the airship to come down with it all filled,” Little said. “That’s how we bring it down.”
Photo: Lockheed Martin
The ship was launched from a former Goodyear blimp air dock in Akron that Lockheed bought years ago. The defense contractor has been making lighter-than-air vehicles for more than 80 years, Little said.
Had the test craft performed as desired, it would have stayed in the air for four to 10 days at the highest altitude, then never flown again. Instead, it was brought down around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Lockheed officials were at the scene recovering the blimp, which Little said will be brought back to Akron so the defect can be investigated.
Local and state agencies, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration, also responded.
Photo: Lockheed Martin
Police say no injuries were reported and no property on the ground was damaged. Little said the blimp was caught in trees about 40 feet high and Lockheed was working with the other agencies at the scene to bring it down with minimal damage.
The blimp is guided by two propellers powered by solar panels on its exterior. Researchers were going to try to bounce radio signals off it as part of the test.
Video: HALE-D Short B-Roll
The Future Is Here: These ‘Transition’ Flying Cars Approved as ‘Street Legal’
This may be the clearest sign yet that the “Jetsons” — that old futuristic cartoon — is becoming reality.
A line of flying cars has just been approved as street legal in Florida. The cars were approved for flight last year by the FAA.
The machine is called the “Transition,” — by a company called Terrafugia — and is fully car and fully airplane. You can theoretically drive it to the airport and then then fly it to your final destination.
WTSP-TV in Florida reports on the vehicle, which is slated to hit roads, and the air, late next year:
Video: Flying Car
The vehicle costs roughly $250,000 and requires a $10,000 deposit to order one. But while that may seem pricey, owners who buy one might actually end up saving some money: developers say the vehicle gets about 30-35 miles per gallon on the road.
Terrafugia has been developing the futuristic vehicle since 2008. Below, you can catch a glimpse of the vehicle in action courtesy of the company:
Video: Next Generation Transition(R) Unveiled
Caradvice.com confirms the Transition is the first of its kind, and gives some of the specs:
The Transition requires a 520 metres strip to take off over a 15m tall obstacle and is capable of cruising at around 200km/h. The unique craft also has a range of around 700km before it needs to land and refuel. Interestingly, the Transition apparently has an average fuel consumption of 7.8L/100km on the road.
The Daily Mail says the automobile can convert in about 30 seconds with a touch of a button, and is operated by both a steering wheel and a joystick:
It measures 19ft long and just 5ft 6ins wide when the wings are folded up, but they have a full span of 27ft.
It has a top speed of 65mph on the road, but that soars to 115mph in the air.
Drivers can convert it from a two-seater road car to a plane in less than 30 seconds with the touch of a button.
It doesn’t have a gearstick, but on the road can be controlled with brake and accelerator pedals and a steering wheel like an ordinary car. In the air it is operated with a joystick near the steering wheel.
Posted by Ask Marion~