Lockheed Martin's Hybrid Airship targets heavy-lift market

The Hybrid Airship will deliver heavy cargo and personnel to almost any location, particularly hard-to-reach land areas that lack paved roads and runways; deliveries will start as early as 2018.

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Hybrid Enterprises LLC (Atlanta, GA, US), acting on behalf of Lockheed Martin (Bethesda, MD, US), announced on June 16 that it will be taking orders for Lockheed Martin-made Hybrid Airships with deliveries planned as early as 2018.

Hybrid Airships notes that more than two-thirds of the world’s land area and more than half the world’s population have no direct access to paved roads. As you move farther away from infrastructure, cost, time and the safety of transport becomes more of a challenge.

Hybrid Airships enable affordable and safe delivery of heavy cargo and personnel to virtually anywhere – water or land, in normal flying weather conditions – with little to no infrastructure.

“Lockheed Martin’s Hybrid Airships will significantly reduce the cost and environmental impact of remote operations, making it possible to reach locations previously thought inaccessible,” says Rob Binns, chief executive officer of Hybrid Enterprises. “Customers will feel confident that with more than a century of proven experience, Lockheed Martin has repeatedly solved seemingly impossible challenges through its products and technologies.”

The technologies required for Hybrid Airships are already mature and have been demonstrated in flight by Lockheed Martin’s P-791, a fully functional, manned flight demonstrator (see photo).

“We’ve invested more than 20 years to develop the technology, prove the performance, and ensure there are compelling economics for the Hybrid Airship,” says Orlando Carvalho, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. “We have completed all required FAA certification planning steps for a new class of aircraft and are ready to begin construction of the first commercial model and the completion of the FAA Type certification process.”

Work is currently underway on the 20-ton variant at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility in Palmdale, CA, US.