Today’s news:

Oh the humanity! Navy Airship soars above historic Floyd Bennett Field

Brooklyn Daily

Aviation history was re-made at Floyd Bennett Field in Mill Basin on Wednesday as the U.S. Navy tested one of its new, old-school, lighter-than-air airships.

Aviation aficionados flocked to the historic FlatbU.S.h Avenue airstrip to watch the U.S. Navy MZ-3A Airship lift off, fly out to New York Harbor and come back, slowly floating by at altitudes of 1,000 feet and below.

The 178-foot-long, propeller driven blimp, which is filled with helium, not the more flammable hydrogen made infamous by the Hindenberg disaster, can hold a crew of 10 and reach the lightening speed of 30 miles an hour. The Navy has been flying blimps since 2006, using them as floating research laboratories to test new technologies destined for new, state-of-the-art aircraft, explained Steve Huett, program director for the Naval Air Warfare Center.

But that doesn’t mean that the slow-moving ships that fell out of favor with the military when it became clear that they were susceptible to even the most rudimentary anti-aircraft defenses like, say, rocks, haven’t made appearances in forward areas.

Similar Navy blimps have been used on reconnaissance missions in Afghanistan. The blimps also came in handy when the government needed to measure the damage caused by last year’s BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, when the off-shore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon exploded, Navy officials said.

Reach reporter Thomas Tracy at ttracy@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2525.

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynDaily.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynDaily.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group