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.
Well, Gee! Here I sit at the end of March 2015 and just learned there has been an ongoing US Navy LTA program all of this time. What was this…a secret weapon? I have long been a proponent of dirigibles, and was pleased to see the new Zeppelin go into… Read more »
Sad news. It isn’t the first time a good program has been cancelled, and getting furloughed just before Christmas really sucks.
History repeats itself again. The US Navy LTA program struggled for limited funds to survive back in the 20’s and 30’s during the Depression and it seems true today. The sole hope for LTA continuing is in our hands, not the government’s.
Well that is disappointing. Seems like the US is abandoning it’s helium dreams on all fronts these days…
I think I speak for us all when I say…