PALMDALE, Calif., 31 March 2016. Officials atStraightline Aviation (SLA), an aviation-services company in Stourbridge, England, have signed a letter of intent to purchase up to 12 Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) Hybrid Airships with a potential value of approximately $480 million, from Hybrid Enterprises, Lockheed Martin’s Hybrid Airship reseller.
“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,” explains Mike Kendrick, SLA co-founder and chief executive officer, who previously worked for Richard Branson’s Virgin Airship & Balloon Co.
“The clear-cut economic and environmental advantages of these Hybrids are attracting vast amounts of attention from a wide-range of potential end users.”
The Hybrid Airship, with a tri-lobe shape and air cushion landing system, 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.
SLA, acting as an owner-operator of Hybrid Airships, will use the blimps to run air operations for oil-and-gas companies, transporting equipment and commodities to and from remote locations.
“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.”
Headquartered in the United Kingdom with offices in New York and Los Angeles, SLA was co-founded by a team of experienced airship and aviation executives with the sole purpose of bringing Hybrids into operation. Chief Executive Officer Mike Kendrick previously founded and ran the Virgin Group’s extensive airship interests, including the Virgin Airship and Balloon Company (VABC). Mark Dory was the chief operating officer of VABC and is now SLA’s COO. David Tait OBE, the president of SLA’s U.S. operations, was a founding member of the team that created Virgin Atlantic Airways and was the executive vice president of Virgin Atlantic Airways’ U.S. operation for 18 years.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Hybrid Enterprises is the exclusive reseller of Lockheed Martin’s Hybrid Airships. Hybrid Enterprises is comprised of industry professionals who have sold, leased, and operated cargo aircraft in over 120 countries on six continents. Hybrid Enterprises is solely focused on sales and marketing of Lockheed Martin’s Hybrid Airships.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that - with the addition of Sikorsky - employs approximately 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services.
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