The United States Navy’s MZ-3A airship program has been canceled, according to Lakehurst Operations Manager Rick Zitarosa.
The MZ-3A crew has been furloughed and there is no pressure watch on the ship, which is sitting unattended at Hangar One at Lakehurst.
The ship is a modified American Blimp Corporation A-170 series commercial blimp that has been operated by the U.S. Navy since 2006.
Zitarosa hopes the program can still be saved but said that possibility is not very likely and that the Navy’s decision seems to be final. “My crystal ball is pretty cloudy right now,” Zitarosa said. He praised the ship’s crew as “one of the finest bunch of people you could ever get together to operate an airship. They all watched that ship like mother hens.”
We will be posting more details later, including possibly a guest post by Mr. Zitarosa with more information about the history of MZ-3A and the latest news.