From ABC News:
The government says more than 45,000 people and 6,900 ships or boats are fighting the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But it’s time for heavier — or, perhaps, lighter — artillery.
The Navy has now sent a blimp — the MZ-3A Airship — to patrol the shoreline from above, direct skimmers trying to corral floating oil, and look out for wildlife in harm’s way.
The MZ-3A, almost identical to blimps used for advertising and bird’s-eye views of sporting events, has been brought in from Yuma, Arizona. The Navy says the helium-filled ship, 178 feet long and capable of carrying 10 people or equipment, can stay in the air far longer than helicopters or planes, burning just 10 gallons of fuel an hour at its maximum cruising speed of 55 mph.
Read more here: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/bp-oil-spill-navy-sends-mz-3a-blimp/story?id=11096348&page=1