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Published on Sep 27, 2011
Scientific Development Squadron ONE (VXS-1), stationed at the Naval Air Station, Patuxent River, Md., is the U.S. Navy's sole science & technology research squadron. Throughout the many years, the Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL) VXS-1 has offered a unique array of aircraft to support NRL's research mission, none more interesting than its latest acquisition, the MZ-3A Airship.
The MZ-3A is propeller-driven by two 180 horsepower Lycoming engines producing a top speed just under 50 knots with an operational payload capability of up to 2,500 pounds. The manned 178-foot LTA craft can remain aloft and nearly stationary for more than twelve hours, performing various missions in support of technology development for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) concepts.