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Apr 9, 2005
Colorado, USA
Skunk Works' new craft over Plant 42
This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press on Thursday, February 2, 2006.
Valley Press Staff Writer
PALMDALE - A mysterious flying craft seen hovering over Air Force Plant 42 Tuesday morning was the latest creation from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.'s famed Skunk Works on its maiden flight.
The blimp-like aircraft, known simply as P791, is a proof-of-principle vehicle to help engineers learn more about technology and aerodynamics for such airships.

"Lockheed Martin is testing a small-scale airship as part of an internal research and development effort," Lockheed spokeswoman Dianne Knippel said.

The large white airship is shaped somewhat differently from a traditional blimp, with twin torpedo-like sections joined in the center and a cockpit beneath. Four airlifters move the vehicle on the ground and in the air.

The company, known for its advanced technology developments conducted in secrecy, is not releasing any additional information about the project at this time.

The airship likely will be seen flying for the next six weeks, generally during the morning hours, Knippel said.

READY TO SOAR - This mysterious-looking airship was spotted Tuesday morning near Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale.
RON SIDDLE/Valley Press

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