http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/10/armys-all-seeing-super-blimp-makes-debut-flight/ Army's all-seeing, super blimp makes debut flight By Alicia Tarancon CNN The U.S. Army has launched the debut flight of its massive Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV), a souped-up blimp designed to fly continuously for 21 days and provide full surveillance of an area. The LEMV was launched Tuesday from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. The test flight lasted about 90 minutes. The all-seeing airship is longer than football field and taller than a seven-story building, according to maker Northrop Grumman. Its shape separates the 21st-century "hybrid air vehicle," as Northrop Grumman calls it, from the blimps that have flown over sporting events for decades. The LEMV is aerodynamic, with a shape closer to an airfoil than an elongated football like classic blimps. So while old-school blimps stay aloft because of the helium inside, the LEMV uses the helium and its shape to achieve lift. Northrop Grumman has a $517 million contract to build three airships for the Army. I think this is kind of fascinating. Able to lift more and fly for orders of magnitude less money. I just wonder how vulnerable it will be.