September 13 - UK based hybrid airship owner and operator Straightline Aviation has formed a partnership with Alaskan remote site logistics provider PRL Logistics to introduce Lockheed Martin's first heavy lift hybrid airship, LMH-1.
The LMH-1 has the ability to land on virtually any surface including snow, ice, gravel and even water, said Lockheed Martin's hybrid airship worldwide reseller Hybrid Enterprises.
The aircraft is intended to provide low cost and environmentally friendly solutions for moving freight and personnel to the most isolated regions of Alaska and Northern Canada.
"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," said Rob Weiss, executive vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Advanced Development Programs (Skunk Works).
PRL Logistics offers a variety of project services and comprehensive logistics solutions in Alaska, serving a broad range of projects and clients in the oil and gas, mining, defence, industrial, construction and environmental industries.
In Alaska, airship operations will be based at the PRL Logistics operations centre in Kenai.
The first aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in 2019 and will have the ability to carry up to 22 tonnes of freight, along with 18 passengers plus crew.
HLPFI reported in March 2016 that Straightline Aviation had signed a letter of intent to purchase up to 12 Lockheed Martin hybrid airships with a potential value of approximately USD480 million.