Remember the giant spy blimp that we wrote to you about in early April this year? Well, unfortunately the Blue Devil Block 2 didn’t really make it to the final phase, and Mav6 – it’s creators – was forced to cancel the already ballooning $211 million project. Thankfully, Northrop Grumman’s Long-Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) made it through and took off to take its first ever flight test on Tuesday this week. The giant airship was spotted at a military base in Lakehurst where it successfully achieved its first 90-minute flight. But this is just the beginning for the LEMV.
Before it heads to the warzone next year, probably in Afghanistan, Northrop Grumman’s giant blimp will have to undergo more months of testing. Its developers said that apart from its spying capabilities, the LEMV is also capable of hauling seven tons of cargo 2,400 miles at 30 miles per hour. “The first flight primary objective was to perform a safe launch and recovery with a secondary objective to verify the flight control system operation,” Army spokesman John Cummings said in a statement. “Additional first flight objectives included airworthiness testing and demonstration, and system level performance verification. All objectives were met during the first flight.”