Straightline Aviation has signed a £330m ($NZ692m) deal with Lockheed Martin for 12 airships  and is currently working with Hybrid Enterprises, Lockheed Martin's seller of the airship to finalise the agreement.

Straightline Aviation hopes to receive their fleet by 2018, airlive.net reported.

 Mike Kendrick, the co-founder and CEO of Straightline Aviation said: "We are delighted to be first in line with this magnificent aircraft that is going to dramatically change the way cargo is moved around the world. The clear-cut economic and environmental advantages of these Hybrids are attracting vast amounts of attention from a wide-range of potential end users."

"Lockheed Martin's Hybrid Airship represents a revolution in remote cargo delivery," said Rob Binns, chief executive officer of Hybrid Enterprises.

"Having an experienced team such as SLA recognise the Hybrid Airship's potential by signing the LOI solidifies the demand for this new mode of transportation. We are honoured and excited to share this milestone with them."

With an hovercraft-style air cushion landing system, the Hybrid Airship can transport cargo and passengers to and from remote locations.

They require little or no fixed ground moorings and burn far less fuel compared to conventional aircraft.

 The airships will be filled with helium and will be able to carry up to 20 tons of cargo or passengers.
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