Heavy-Lift Hybrid Airships Coming to Alaska
Staff posted on August 31, 2016 |
(Image courtesy of Hybrid Enterprises.)
(Image courtesy of Hybrid Enterprises.)
Hybrid Enterprises, the exclusive worldwide reseller of Lockheed Martin's Hybrid Airships, has announced a strategic partnership between PRL Logistics Inc. and UK-based Hybrid Airship owner and operator, Straightline Aviation.

This partnership will introduce the world's first heavy-lift Hybrid Airship – the LMH-1.

Developed and built by Lockheed Martin, the LMH-1 is designed to land on virtually any surface including snow, ice, gravel and even water. According to Hybrid Enterprises, these football-field-sized airships will provide low-cost and environmentally friendly solutions for moving freight and personnel to the most isolated regions of Alaska and Northern Canada.

(Image courtesy of Hybrid Enterprises.)
(Image courtesy of Hybrid Enterprises.)
Hybrid airships combine the technology of lighter than air aircraft with airplanes, helicopters and hovercraft. Helium provides 80 percent of the lift, and the remaining lift comes from the aerodynamic shape of the aircraft and its four thrust vectoring engines. The airships also feature a hovercraft-like air cushion landing system that facilitates taxiing and holds the craft firmly on the ground.

"Lockheed Martin would be proud to have its Hybrid Airships operating in Alaska," said Rob Weiss, executive vice president and general manager, Lockheed Martin Advanced Development Programs (Skunk Works). "Alaska is an ideal location for the Hybrid Airship to operate. The airship enables access to Alaska's most isolated regions, and is designed to protect the sensitive ecological environment."

“PRL's understanding of the complexities of working in Alaska's extremely remote site and our partnership with Straightline Aviation, whose airship operating experience is unparalleled, means this will be a true game changer,” said PRL CEO Ron Hyde. “It affordably opens up many projects currently inaccessible without the development of the costly infrastructure required by traditional modes of transportation.”

(Image courtesy of Hybrid Enterprises.)
(Image courtesy of Hybrid Enterprises.)
“I am pleased to hear this announcement,” commented Dan Sullivan, U.S. Senator from Alaska. “Alaska is a storehouse of immense natural resource wealth. This combination of technology and innovation will enable access to resources and provide needed benefits to our infrastructure. It is an example of a company operating to provide a transportation solution to meet Alaska's unique challenges."

The first aircraft are to be delivered in 2019 and will carry up to 22 tons of freight, along with 18 passengers plus crew.

For more information, learn how Lockheed Martin developed the airplane/airship hybrid.

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