‘The shortest distance connecting two points is a straight line”
Straightline Aviation is the world’s first owner operator of these new Hybrid, hi-tech, heavy-lift aircraft - developed by Lockheed Martin in Calfornia - that are about to revolutionize worldwide air transportation.
View the Video here : Sir Richard Branson on Hybrids
Why Hybrids – The Top Ten Market Requirements
All of Lockheed Martin, Hybrid Enterprises and Straightline Aviation’s extensive market studies yielded the same conclusions: In a wide range of industries such as oil and gas, mining and others, there is a pressing need for a new aircraft type with the capability to:
- Land at remote locations without any expensive infrastructure such as airports, roads or onsite mooring masts and support vehicles.
- Operate safely to and from any flat unprepared surface - grass, dirt, snow, ice, soft sand or even water.
- Carry at least a 20-ton payload as well 12 to 20 passengers.
- Taxi and park securely for safe emplaning/deplaning of passengers and roll-on/roll-off cargo movements without the problems of mast- moored airships that constantly shift with a surface wind.
- Land and take off near vertically with lower payloads.
- Operate with similar ground-handling parameters to a standard cargo jet such as a Boeing 737.
- Offer greater range and significantly lower costs per ton-mile than heavy lift helicopters and other traditional modes of transport.
- Reduce operating expenses through a combination of greater fuel-efficiency and lower maintenance downtime than helicopters.
- Feature a ‘sticker price’ in the region of USD 40 million.
- Not least, improve the environment by eliminating the need for landscape scarring roads and runways together with quieter engines and a much lower carbon footprint than all other modes of transport.
Big Ask - Bigger Answer
The above list may seem like a big ask but the breakthrough Lockheed Martin LMH-1 Hybrid airship checks every one of the above boxes.
With its unrivalled track record, resources and reputation for technological innovation in aerospace, the Lockheed Martin Corporation took up the Hybrid challenge over a decade ago. At its famous Skunk Works in California, Lockheed has successfully developed, built, flown and tested its Hybrid prototype and is now ready to go into production.
In addition to the pedigree of the OEM, the revolutionary LMH-1 Hybrid features a list of operating advantages and state-of the-art technology unmatched by any rival programs:
- Priced at USD 40 million, the two-pilot, LMH-1 will carry up to 22 tons of freight, (containerized or bulk loaded) plus 18 passengers.
- The aircraft can operate into and out of any flat unprepared surface whether it is dirt, grass, sand, snow, ice or even water.
- No ground-handling equipment (such as masts) is required at remote sites thanks to the LMH-1’s unique Air Cushion Landing System (ACLS). This hovercraft-like system enables the aircraft to taxi like a traditional aircraft and then, with reverse thrust, grip the surface, securing the aircraft for safe loading and off-loading.
- With a reduced payload the Lockheed Hybrid can take off and land almost vertically thanks to its vectored thrust engines.
- Fully laden with freight and passengers, the LMH-1 can handle long duration flights up to 1,300 kilometres.
- The LMH-1 will burn one-fifth the fuel and have one-tenth the carbon emissions of a heavy lift helicopter.
With the combination of Straightline Aviation and the Lockheed Martin LMH-1 Hybrid – “No roads, no airports – No problem.”
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