Air Force longs to forget it ever wanted Blue Devil airship

The Air Force this month will dismantle and store the prototype of its $211 million Blue Devil 2 airship housed in massive steel hangar on the coast of North Carolina, reports David Axe at Wired's Danger Room blog.

In a radical departure of earlier plans and discussions, the Air Force has dropped the idea of using high-altitude surveillance airships and no longer sees a future for airships in its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance arsenal, the story said.

Mav 6, the contractor that built Blue Devil 2, still has hopes for the project and plans to discuss a possible future for its airship with the Navy, the story said.

Reader Comments

Sun, Jun 24, 2012 James Bond London, Blighty

The future of LTAV's (Lighter Than Air Vehicles) is with the new hybrid air vehicles like the US Army LEMV that is now almost ready to fly, not with old blimp technology. For more info try my company site:

Mon, Jun 18, 2012

Sure why spend $30 and hour operating an helium airship compared to $3,000 per hour for the Predator drone. Also bear in mind that the Airship has a lift capacity of 2,500 lbs versus 475 for the predator. It is not technology that is the problem, but incumbant competitors.

Wed, Jun 13, 2012

Ah...hangar not hanger!

Wed, Jun 13, 2012

Big Brother IS watching.

Fri, Jun 8, 2012 Teame Zazzu

First, drone blimp technology has ALWAYS been envisioned for use in a DHS homeland security role for use with ARGUS and other Wide Are Persistent Surveillance sensors. Second, almost every branch of the military has their own spy drone blimp in design and development and oddly enough appear to be ready at the same time as this "cancelled" program. Why the Air Force awarded this particular contract to this particular company is obvious when one considers Deptula's involvement and who stands to make lots of money. Third - given the negative attention that drone spy blimps and blue devil particularly have enjoyed in the media recently (RT news, etc) the BD program is much too public and is a lightning rod concerning the use of WIDE AREA PERSISTENT SURVEILLANCE over the US cities. WAPS- (ARGUS, Gorgon Stare etc.) are systems that record and track entire cities in pedestrian clarity (10gigapixel) and use Persistics and Pursuer Viewer software to track all moving pedestrians and vehicles automatically. Th software uses automatic object recognition to track all moving objects across a 36 square mile area and can generate geo-location maps, pattern of life data and chronographs, etc. MOST IMPORTANTLY -there are multiple other programs that will provide this capability regardless of the name on the blimp and the defeat of the Blue Devil unfortunately does NOT defeat the long term agenda of parking drone blimps and other long endurance drones over cities in the USA as part of everyday law enforcement operations. Anyone doubting this need only search "persistent surveillance" .com and go to the law enforcement tab, which details the use of Wide Area Persistent Surveillance sensors such as ARGUS and the Gorgon Stare in use over US cities (LA, PA, Etc.) since 2006! They would love to put HAWKEYE up 24/7 on a blimp.

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