ASHTREE (KDKA) — State police in Waynesburg say a blimp made a controlled emergency landing this morning in Ashtree, Gilmore Township, Greene County.
The aircraft landed in game lands near Roberts Run Road.
The blimp is owned by Lockheed Martin Corporation of Akron, Ohio. They sent a crew to Greene County to recover the aircraft.
KDKA’s Paul Martino reports the blimp actually appears to be a secret experimental drone-like craft.
“We were working with the U.S. Army on some experimental capabilities to improve communications in remote areas,” Jim Gring, a spokesman for Lockheed Martin, said.
According to the company’s website, the aircraft is called the High Altitude Long Endurance Demonstrator, or HALE-D.
Martino: “Does this have any similarity to the drones that we hear about?”
Gring: “I can’t comment on that.”
Martino: “Are military secrets involved here?”
Gring: “I’m not authorized to talk about that.”
The HALE-D is an unmanned helium-filled solar power airship. It left Akron, Ohio, early Wednesday when some unknown problems developed and they decided to bring it down.
“The idea was to bring it down in a remote area that’s lightly populated so there would be no risk the general public or property,” Gring said.