South American Northrop Grumman start flight tests of the new hybrid UAV LEMV, reports Aviation Week. First flying machine took place August 7, 2012, but this became clear only at the moment. Mission duration was 90 minutes LEMV; rose into the air unit manned. UAV development is carried out in the interests of the U.S. Army.
LEMV length is 91.5 meters. Reconnaissance drone it will be at a height of six thousand meters in a day or over 21. Carrying capacity of the device is 1.1 tons. Hallmark LEMV is rigid body aircraft type and availability of inflatable tissue volumes. The machine must take off in an aircraft; Merit after suitable height LEMV will be converted into a blimp.
In the airship engines previously used for take-off, will be used to move the drone between objects or to generate energy to power the on-board equipment. As expected, the engines will be able to produce up to LEMV 16 m electricity. Special apparatus for landing runways are needed.
During the first flight Northrop Grumman inspected opportunity dirizhabelnogo takeoff and landing, and maneuverability LEMV. According to the company, the first flight was a success.
Contract for development LEMV American company entered into in July 2010. The deal amounted to 517 million dollars. Initially, it was planned that the first flight later LEMV commit 12-13 months after signing the contract, and another 18 months to go to Afghanistan troop tests.