The Times Transport

A new generation of high-tech airships capable of delivering passengers and cargo to the most hostile parts of the globe will be operated by a British company.

Straightline Aviation will become the first in the world to purchase and run a fleet of hybrid airships built by Lockheed Martin, the American aviation group.

It will buy 12 of the part-airship, part-aircraft, part-helicopter and part-hovercraft giants as part of a $480 million deal. Each 280ft-long airship is fitted with four hovercraft-style landing pads that allow it to set down on land, ice or water without more

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