Straightline Aviation (SLA) signed a letter of intent to purchase up to 12 Lockheed Martin Hybrid Airships with a potential value of approximately $480 million. SLA is working with Hybrid Enterprises, Lockheed Martin's Hybrid Airship reseller, to finalize the purchase agreement.
Based in the U.K., the leadership team of SLA has deep-rooted experience in airship operations and established the company specifically to act as an owner-operator of Hybrid Airships.
"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," said Mike Kendrick, SLA co-founder and chief executive officer. "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 recognize the Hybrid Airship's potential by signing the LOI solidifies the demand for this new mode of transportation. We are honored and excited to share this milestone with them."
With its unique, tri-lobe shape and air cushion landing system, the Hybrid Airship can affordably transport cargo and passengers to and from the most remote locations. They require little or no fixed ground infrastructure and burn significantly less fuel compared to conventional aircraft making them an environmentally friendly solution to remote cargo delivery.