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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Blimp Launched From Akron This Morning Safely Crashes Descends In Pennsylvania (Updated)

Posted By on Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 2:33 PM


As you can see below, Lockheed Martin went to great lengths to express that when their new blimp came down in Pennsylvania, it was a "controlled descent" and not a crash. Today, the PA EPA says that combustible fluid, Dynalene MV, from the blimp leaked into a river after the "controlled descent." (Or was it a "controlled leak"? We'll see if they email us this time.) None was found to have entered the drinking supply, but further testing will be completed. (WEWS)


[Ed. note: Updated headline above reflects language Lockheed Martin wanted to clarify. A spokesman says it was a "controlled descent," which may be true, but the blimp still "landed" in a bunch of trees, which we're pretty sure isn't how blimps are supposed to land.]

A solar-powered, unmanned blimp made by Lockheed Martin that was launched from Akron by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command this morning was brought down because of technical problems... this morning. Just outside of Pittsburgh. Sort of a safe crash. (Or "controlled descent.")

The maiden voyage for the "super blimp," which was supposed to cruise at 60,000 feet, ended with the airship at 0 feet, tangled in trees.

Here's the statement from Top Men: “The U.S. Army and Lockheed Martin had a successful launch of the HALE-D aircraft from Akron Ohio at 5:47 am. The aircraft ascended as planned up to 32,000 feet along the prepared flight profile. However, an anomaly prevented our ability to ascend to the target 60,000 feet. A decision was made to end the flight and make a controlled descent into a non-populated area in southwestern Pennsylvania at 8:26a.m."

WPXI in Pennsylvania is covering the story and has aerial photos of the crash.

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