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British airship and ballooning pioneer, Mike Kendrick, has been inducted into the prestigious Living Legends of Aviation, joining the likes of John Travolta and Buzz Aldrin. He is now spearheading work with his company – Straightline Aviation – on the introduction of a revolutionary heavy-lift hybrid airship, designed to transport cargo and passengers to remote parts of the world and engineered to use less fuel, emit less carbon dioxide and eliminate the need for costly ground-level infrastructure.
The Living Legends of Aviation organisation celebrates remarkable people of extraordinary accomplishment in the aerospace industry including: entrepreneurs, innovators, industry leaders, astronauts, record breakers, pilots who have become celebrities, and celebrities who have become pilots.
Kendrick, 72, from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, was officially inaugurated at a ceremony in Salzburg, Austria, conducted by Airbus chief executive, Tom Enders, and joins the coveted group of 97 worldwide, which also includes Elon Musk, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford and Sir Richard Branson.
He was inducted into the Legends group after nomination from Sir Richard and following a lifetime in the balloon and airship industry, which started in the early 1970’s when he brought about a change in UK law to allow advertising on aircraft. This gave birth to the global aerial advertising market and the familiar sight of advertising balloons and airships seen worldwide today.
Straightline has attracted interest from the oil, gas and mining industries following its announcement that it would be buying 12 of the Lockheed Martin Hybrid Airships for $480million (£330m).
On receiving the award, Mike said: “It was a true surprise. I’m honoured and deeply humbled to be recognised in this way and am committed to ensuring that the commercial success of hybrid airships is combined with a commitment to make the planet a better and less toxic place to live.”
Photo: L-R Mike Kendrick, Tom Enders
Credit – Mirja Geh
Air Cargo Week article



He pioneered the use of hot-air balloons as an advertising tool and masterminded Sir Richard Branson’s various world-record attempts in a flying basket.
Now Mike Kendrick’s contribution to the industry has been recognised with his induction into the Living Legends of Aviation organisation – joining the likes of Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin and film star pilot John Travolta.
The 97-strong roll of honour includes entrepreneurs, innovators, industry leaders, astronauts, record breakers, pilots who have become celebrities, and celebrities who have become pilots.
The 72-year-old, who was brought up on a council estate in Wolverhampton, was nominated by Branson, a friend and former business partner, following a lifetime in the balloon and airship industry, which started in the early-1970s when he brought about a change in the law to allow advertising on aircraft.


Preparing for lift off – Mike Kendrick with Per Lindstrand, left
This gave birth to the global aerial advertising market and the familiar sight of such balloons and airships now seen worldwide.
In 1988, he went into partnership with Sir Richard to form the Virgin Airship and Balloon Company in Telford.


Sir Richard Branson, Brad Pitt and Mike


With Nelson Mandela and businessman John Paul DeJoria
The firm quickly grew to become the world’s largest aerial advertising agency, operating more than 180 aircraft in some 30 countries, with clients such as Goodyear and Budweiser.
The Wolverhampton Airport owner also introduced balloons and airships to many places that had never seen them before, including the first passenger flights over the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.
Based in Bridgnorth, he is now spearheading work with his company, Straightline Aviation, on the introduction of a revolutionary heavy-lift hybrid airship designed to transport cargo and passengers to remote parts of the world and engineered to use less fuel, emit less carbon dioxide and eliminate the need for costly ground-level infrastructure.

The Mineseeker Foundation blimp in action
He also set up the Mineseeker Foundation, using airbuses to find and remove mines in Africa, a project supported by Nelson Mandela and actor and humanitarian Brad Pitt.
On receiving the award, he said: “It was a true surprise.
“I’m honoured and deeply humbled to be recognised in this way and am committed to ensuring that the commercial success of hybrid airships is combined with a commitment to make the planet a better and less toxic place to live.
“We intend to use our new aircraft for the good of all communities, particularly in remote places for those in need of help.”
He was inducted into the group in a ceremony in Austria by Airbus chief Tom Enders, who said: “The contribution to aviation made by Michael Kendrick is truly remarkable, and inspiring.”
 
Express and Star article



2017-04-24 : Possibilities that a new airship design may bring to Kenai include a $10 million hangar, science educational activities, local jobs and a chance to fly liquefied natural gas to remote Alaska.

Founder and CEO Ron Hyde of transportation and contracting company PRL Logistics gave Kenai City Council members an update on Wednesday about his plans to base a Lockheed Martin hybrid airship at PRL’s compound on the south side of the Kenai River mouth, as well as the possibility of moving PRL’s corporate headquarters to Kenai from Anchorage.

In August 2016, the Anchorage-based PRL first announced plans to put Lockheed Martin’s LMH-1 hybrid airship — so called because it generates lift with both an aerodynamic shape and a helium-filled envelope — to work on projects in Alaska. The LMH-1 could make remote areas of Alaska more accessible to smaller companies. Its vertical takeoff and landing ability lets it deliver 47,000-pound cargos to places without landing strips, and its operating cost is lower than planes that can transport comparable cargoes.

Alongside PRL, other organizations began planning to lease the LMH-1 from its licensed operator, the United Kingdom-based Straightline Aviation, in late 2016. These include the Canadian mining company Quest Rare Minerals and the nonprofit radiology group RAD-AID, which plans to use the craft as a mobile radiology clinic in Africa. The 15 airships now under construction in Palmdale, California, will cost about $44 million, Hyde said, and will be ready for use in 2019.

Since the announcement in August, Hyde and his partners have also been developing Alaska missions for the airship. He said his group is working with ExxonMobil on modular liquified natural gas tanks that could be installed in the airship’s cargo bay and used to deliver North Slope gas to isolated communities. PRL is also patenting a portable camp system that can be deployed from the airship, Hyde said.

For work in remote areas, Hyde said that logistics can account for up to half a project’s cost. His goal for the new vehicle is to cut that cost, making economic opportunities in remote Alaska accessible to smaller independent companies that don’t have billions to spend on building airstrips, ports and temporary roads.

“Alaska can’t depend on megaprojects to carry it through, so you’ve got to count on a number of successful small projects,” he said. “Right now, that’s very expensive. If the cost of being able to do remote construction and responsible resource development can be reduced through reducing the logistics cost, some projects that might be close to going may actually go.”

In late May, Hyde said he’d be meeting with President Donald Trump and the U.S. Department of Transportation to “outline how this ship’s going to be a game-changer.”

“(Trump) has already been briefed, and we’ve provided him with slides and introductions to the technology,” Hyde said.

To house the aircraft in Kenai, PRL plans to build a hangar on the south side of the Kenai River for an estimated $10 million.

“That hangar can also stunt-double — because it can hold 6,000 people in it — potentially as a community center,” Hyde said. “And if that ship is sitting in that hangar for any period of time, then I’ve failed in my mission to have it working on the North Slope and in Western Alaska and other places. So we see some dual benefit there, and we’ll want to work closely with the community to see what kind of design criteria may be useful for that kind of stuff.”

The airship base would hire and train pilots, mechanics and ground crew members. Hyde said he’d try to hire locally.

Along with the airship, Hyde is also considering moving PRL’s accounting, procurement and technical teams from Anchorage to an office in Kenai.

“With the amount of work we’re able to execute down here, it makes sense to have our corporate capabilities located here as well,” Hyde said, adding that Lockheed Martin may also have a small Kenai office in support of the airship.

Other groups could also benefit from the scientific and technical expertise that could accompany the airship to Kenai — Hyde is a board member of Kenai’s Challenger Learning Center, a science education nonprofit, which he said may plan educational activities related to the airship and its makers.

Reach Ben Boettger at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



NEW YORK - The 1at Annual celebration of International Nurses day will be held on Friday May 12 2017


Anchorage, AK - May 25th, 2016 The Contractor of the Year Award for Safety Performance, sponsored by the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, was created to recognize an oil and gas support company that has demonstrated exemplary commitment to safety. To be considered for this award, a company had to demonstrate the highest safety standards, communication of safety policies and employee training, and have an exemplary record of incident-free days.  

The 2016 Contractor of the Year for Safety Performance is PRL Logistics, Inc., also known as PRL. PRL truly exemplifies the highest standard of safety, through exemplary communication, training, and modeling safety to the workforce. PRL employees worked more than 210,000 hours on the Point Thomson project in 2015, including 164 cargo flights, 129 coastal barge voyages and more than 44,000 personnel moved via charter with zero lost time incidents and zero recordable incidents. Personal engagement by PRL senior leadership in articulating, modeling, and recognizing safety standards drives safety as a core value through all level of the organization.
http://aoga.org/aoga-awards




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