Northrup Grumman Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle
The Army's Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) is the U.S. military's first successful hybrid airship. Helium-filled nylon balloons give the LEMV the ultra-long flight time of a blimp. But its aerodynamic hull, fixed wings, and vectored-thrust engines provide additional lift and maneuverability, allowing it to take off with heavier payloads, stay in the air longer, and land safely at the end of the mission without taking on ballast to compensate for burned fuel. The football-field-size, pilot-optional airship, scheduled to go to Afghanistan next year, provides an unrivaled 21 days of "unblinking stare" surveillance from an altitude of 20,000 feet.