April 1, 2016
By: Daniella Soloway
U.K.-based Straightline Aviation (SLA) will reportedly purchase 12 cargo-carrying hybrid airships from Lockheed Martin for $480 million. The blimp-like aircrafts will be used to deliver cargo remotely, to places where poor infrastructure hinders access.
The helium airships can hold 20 metric tons, passengers and crewmembers, and are almost the length of a football field. SLA’s airships have been a cost-effective logistics alternative, but with oil prices hitting record lows, the company is re-evaluating its business model.
Lockheed’s Skunk Works lab has covertly been creating the blimp-like aircrafts, and this sale marks the first time that the lab’s creation will be used commercially rather than militarily.