A 243-foot-long military surveillance blimp got loose yesterday (Oct. 28) in Aberdeen and drifted about 160 miles before hitting the ground in Moreland Township, Pennsylvania.
Through its brief stint of hopping states, the helium aircraft took down a bunch of power lines and left nearly 20,000 people without electricity. No injuries have been reported.
The blimp – a JLENS aerostat – was originally being housed in Aberdeen for testing and was crafted to see up to 340 miles in any direction and track ships, cars and different types of threats like missiles. These type of military blimps are typically tied down 10,000-foot cables that transmit all the data collected back to the military. And while something clearly slipped up, the contractor says the cables are unlikely to actually break.
Source: Baltimore Sun