NEW JERSEY – The Army is testing its $517 million spy blimp in the skies over the New Jersey military base where the German airship Hindenburg crashed in 1937.
The Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle spent more than 90 minutes around Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Ocean County on Tuesday.
Manufacturer Northrop Grumman says the 302-foot long airship is designed to be a high altitude observation platform.
It can be operated by a crew or by remote control.
Army spokesman John Cummings tells the Asbury Park Press the primary objective of the maiden flight was to perform a safe launch and recovery.
The airship is 100 feet longer than the Goodyear Blimp and is filled with helium.
The Hindenburg was filled with hydrogen when it burst into flames at Lakehurst, killing 36 people.