Question: When is an airship not an airship?
Answer: When it’s a Hybrid!
Straightline Aviation operates only Hybrids - a completely new breed of hi-tech, heavy-lift aircraft that offers a dramatically less expensive and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional modes of cargo and passenger transportation.
No airport, No roads, No problem
With their ability to take off and land nearly vertically, Hybrids can operate into the most remote and inaccessible locations without any of the infrastructure needed to support conventional air transportation.
Not your Grandfather’s Airship
At first glance, because of their immensity and shape, Hybrids may bear some resemblance to the airships of old but that is about as far as any real comparisons go – a glance.
Today’s Hybrids couldn’t be more different, they are:
- Hybrid design combines all the best characteristics of fixed wing aircraft, helicopters and hovercraft with cutting-edge aerospace technology, in an aerodynamically shaped envelope with no rigid structure filled with non-combustible helium.
- Hybrids are heavier than air: Approximately 80% of their lift comes from buoyant helium and 20% from the aerodynamic lift generated by the shape of the hull and ‘vectored thrust’ from the craft’s four rotatable engines.
- Hybrids feature a wide range of state-of-the-art avionics, flight controls and navigation systems.
- Hybrids don’t need airports: They can operate safely from any unprepared flat surface whether it is grass, dirt, sand, snow, ice or even water.
- Hybrids are marginally heavier than air, which makes for excellent ground handling characteristics.
- Hybrids lift up to 20 tons of freight (future variants will carry many times this amount) plus 18 passengers, or up to 48 passengers in an all-passenger configuration.
- Hybrids have extended range enabling them to reach and land in remote destinations inaccessible to helicopters and fixed wing aircraft.
- Hybrids’ low fuel consumption – about one tenth that of heavy-lift helicopters – greatly reduces their carbon footprint.
- Hybrids’ reduce or eliminate the environmental impact of roads and airports other infrastructure that permanently scars the landscape in wilderness areas.
- Hybrids are quiet and unobtrusive to operate compared to helicopters and conventional aircraft.
In short, Hybrid aircraft and Straightline Aviation offer the kind of breakthrough, highly cost-effective and environmentally friendly air transport alternative that the rapidly developing world desperately needs.
Watch the Lockheed Martin LMH-1 at work in the video below: