|The LMH-1 Hybrid Airship. Photo: PR Newswire
[Avionics Magazine 09-01-2016] Hybrid Enterprises, worldwide reseller of Lockheed Martin's Hybrid Airships, has announced a strategic partnership between PRL Logistics and U.K.-based Hybrid Airship owner and operator, Straightline Aviation. This partnership will introduce the heavy-lift Hybrid Airship LMH-1.
Developed and built by Lockheed Martin, the LMH-1 has the ability to land on virtually any surface including snow, ice, gravel and even water. 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.
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 airship also features a unique hovercraft-like Air Cushion Landing System that facilitates taxiing and holds the aircraft firmly on the ground.
For Alaska, airship operations will be based at the PRL Logistics Operations Center in Kenai, Alaska and supported by other PRL locations throughout the state. PRL's premier Kenai Facility has overland, marine, and aviation access and will also be the base operations center for the Hybrid Airship.
The first aircraft are to be delivered in 2019 and will carry up to 22 tons of freight, along with 18 passengers plus crew.