Since the airship glory days of the early part of the century, blimps have certainly lost some of their cachet, relegated to hovering over sporting events and not much else. However, the Army is about to test launch an unmanned hybrid airship to be used for surveillance missions in Afghanistan.
The Long Endurance Multi-INT Vehicle, or LEMV, is an impressive combination of endurance, carrying capacity, and speed (relatively speaking). The aircraft can be launched easily for missions with up to 3-weeks of continuous airtime carrying a 2,500 lb payload at altitudes of 20,000 ft. Larger payloads will lower the aircraft's ceiling slightly.
Its lift and propulsion systems are equipped to maintain an average speed of 20 kts, but can "dash" at speeds of up to 80 kts when needed. Over the course of its flight the LEMV can cover up to 2,500 miles, over which quite a bit of surveillance information can be collected. It is also equipped with a "rapid deflation device" that will ground the ship quickly if control is somehow lost, keeping it from drifting into restricted airspace and preventing the payload from falling into the wrong hands.
All these stats, however, are for the test device alone. Plans to expand the LEMV's capabilities after initial testing are underway. The final version might be able to carry payloads of 7,000lbs for month-long trips. If the LEMV becomes a regular surveillance device, silently watching the skies for even longer durations than the current crop of UAVs, we may begin to view the blimp much differently. Oh, the humanity.
I. Want. A. Blimp.
i cant wait to see one!!!
Military blimps get proposed every 10-20years. They never seem to make the big time.
Maybe this one will. Not being a nay sayer, just bringing up some history.
awesome;now put launch platform on top & use for launching drones;
or go talk to nasa & use for launching spaceshuttles;if you can get to 50,000ft;would be great launch platform & wouldn't have to strap shuttles to very large explosive device;(boosters)if any good could possibly capture shuttle on reentry;would greatly reduce wear & tear on spacecraft;& nasa wouldn't stand for need. another. seven. astronauts(lol)
Zeppelins went out of fashion because they are huge, slow targets. They are worthless against any force with anti-air technology. When rooting out primitive forces, they only have to fly higher than light arms.
My General has advised this airship will be a game-changer for the Afg fight and will save lives in an inversely proportional manner to the network that it flattens. In other words, there is a 60% chance that this airship will work everytime for 20% of all mission sets. "Every soldier is an airship" is what my General likes to say. Hooah!!!
You ever think maybe this is not for military use abroad but to be used to watch us the American people here at home? Big Brother is always finding better ways to watch YOU!
No, not COOL. It has radar that can see thru your roof and your walls.
Couldt in the same use of hydrogene use it to make working reactor stato-reactor to make fly plane civil one or militairy or tranportation passengers to fly not floating like zepplin ,same conceptuation for boat or trains , the double rocket propulser of the shuttle prove the high combustion ,the energy kilojoule,the power of take off vehicule,the gas couldt work on plane boat or train with no ges emmission....only vapor water
"Stays aloft for weeks at a time," that is so damn creepy! First off no one cares if they were considered "obsolete" because now they aren't. They will be used for surveillance over the user's slaves, or people (however you want to refer to them as). This will be used so that the military complex can watch over the battlefield and their own people with better clarity when you consider it vs the satellites. It can see through your roof and will allow the governement to be able to track and trace you at all times, even worst than satellites. The responses in this forum show you the people have yet to wake up! Please go to infowars.com, prisonplanet.com, or youtube.com and look up Alex Jones. Once you do that spend some time and look up if what he says is true. Obamadeception documentary baby.
Yeah... how cool! It's so cool, they will test this spy blimp in Afghaniland and then bring it home to use on us; more big brother isn't technology so cool and wonderful, and isn't it great when they use it to spy on and control us; whoopie friggin' doo! I am immersed in a world of Blind Idiots!
Visit www.infowars.com or www.prisonplanet.com and Learn the Truth.
lnwolf41: To MadSciGuy, ladams14640, AJCaulfield, I won't say your wrong since I think we knew about 9/11 and let it happen. But as much as you and people of like mind keep b@#$hing and moaning about big brother, you still live in my
Country where you can travel 3000 miles without a passport, denounce the goverment,and any polictical leader and still live free. Hell were more worried about having a limp penis or catching the flu than we are about civil liberties.
But the airship would be beneficial to us since we can't even find our own people who get taken over there.
As for being slow, the old zepplins went on average 60-80 mph. Our biggest problem is we have been traumtized by the Hindenberg so that is all people see.
I only worry about that rare occasion when the blimp gets caught in a storm. How will it handle the high winds ?
If they spied on a country with an, anti-air gun on the ground it would be shot down. Because the Zeppelin is a slow moving target, why cant they just stick with the drones? The drones are much safer becasue its unmanned unlike the zeppelin, it is manned by, maybe 2-5 people approx. it will be an easy target for anti-aircraft missles ,and anti-aircraft machine guns.
WAY COOL! Warfare now has come full circle to World War One. Now all we have to look out for are a squadron of Taliban suicide ultralight aircraft (trained in Florida flight schools of course) to deal with the accursed devil surveillance blimps. After that, we'll need a whole bunch of Air Force guys with handlebar mustaches (presumably recruited from the ranks of drone pilots) to do battle in Rutan-designed carbon fiber biplanes fueled by discarded cooking oil. Sorry, I couldn't resist. I really am wondering if the enemy is just going to sit still and have a blimp watch them everyday go and take a dump. I mean, the history of warfare is a tale of measure versus counter-measure versus counter-counter-measure, and so on.
cool idea,but what a target in the sky don't you think
Why keep building these gasbags when you could build a sleek aerodynamic LTA carrier able to hover high travel fast and not be buffeted about by wind. All you need is very thin Titanium and the equipment to weld it.
Up here in the Boston metro area - something like this could be used for our cell towers. Some residential areas don't want the towers in their back yards so pop this up there and you are all set. I would imagine anywhere there are helicopters - this could come into play. How expensive are they to build? So using this in for military surveillance and comm is not to different than over here. Plus you can probably reduce the radar signature and throw some anti-missile defense systems on board. Put on some solar panels up top and add in the power source.
But I agree with the one poster - another blimp getting shot down by someone who doesn't think blimps are sexy and cool.
At 20,000+ feet it will be above the weather. Anti-aircraft weapons will have a hard time hitting something with almost no radar or IR footprint. To the moron that talked about the 'crew': it is unmanned! Learn to read English! Who is going up for 3 weeks to a month (later)? Have SOME sense! Israel has been successfully using blimps for many years now. The concept is proven. To the paranoids: if you can't do the time, DON'T do the crime! They would be useful for communication points; AND, might, potentially, scare off the criminally minded :-)
Carbon fiber bi-planes with veggie oil engines. Tell me that someone has done this and there are pictures somewhere.
blimps are awesome
Interestingly, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Blimps and other similar devices have been used with a military purpose for decades with varying degrees of success. This one looks pretty interesting.
Well here we go again. As ford2go said, we've been here before, before, before. So I'll believe it when I see it. There are aspects to these things that go beyond whether or not a given foe can see and hit the thing. Here at home, the automatic answer is Yes, we can make stuff that can hit it. The time on station claims are intriguing because these things have always tended to lose gas. While I know that can be overcome nowadays, the method is a defining characteristic for it's maximum altitude and TOS, unless it drops payload. Up til now, our military has taken the prudent stance that a given piece of equipment has to have some sort of planned technique for it's own survivability. It may be that we are not so concerned with that in some scenarios anymore, like in this guerrilla environment we are in now, where it's possibly more important to actually find the enemy; and our ability to hit the enemy isn't as much in question as it was before.