Hybrid Airships

The Lockheed Martin Hybrid Airship introduces the next revolution in affordable transportation for heavy lift cargo to remote operating sites around the world. Lockheed Martin has invested more than 20 years to develop the Hybrid Airship’s technology and prove its performance.

Hybrid Airships enable affordable and safe delivery of heavy cargo to virtually anywhere, with little or no infrastructure required. These airships can launch, land and be serviced on unimproved surfaces using an innovative air cushion landing system.  Hybrid Airships are needed for locations and missions where conventional aircraft cannot operate due to cost or technical limitations.  Hybrid Airships allow access virtually anywhere, water or land, in wide range of weather conditions, without forward infrastructure or manpower required. Hybrid Airships also burn much less fuel than conventional aircraft.  For many projects, the combination of these capabilities makes Hybrid Airships the best economic choice and an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional modes of transportation.

Hybrid Lift

The Lockheed Martin Hybrid Airship design combines buoyant lift (from a helium filled envelope) and aerodynamic lift (from the airfoil shape of the envelope) to carry payloads. 80 percent of the lift comes from buoyant lift and the remaining 20 percent comes from aerodynamic lift.

By blending aerodynamic lift with buoyant lift, hybrid airships can achieve the operating efficiencies of traditional  airships, while retaining the reliable ground-handling characteristics of fixed-wing aircraft.

 
 
 
 

 

Hybrid Innovation


Design

ACLS 
The Lockheed Martin Hybrid Airship features an air cushion landing system (ACLS). The ACLS allows the airship to land on a cushion of air on any unimproved surface. Envelope The airship's envelope is made with a high-strength and lightweight load-bearing material. 20 percent of the Hybrid Airship's lift comes from aerodynamic lift, generated by the innovative tri-lobe envelope design.

Proven Technology

P-791 test flight 
The technologies required for Hybrid Airships are mature and have been demonstrated in-flight. In 2006, Lockheed Martin's half scale prototype vehicle, the P-791, flew in Palmdale, California and successfully completed all flight test objectives.

Flight Controls

Fly-by-wire
The fly-by-wire flight control system gives precise control of airship.

Weather monitoring
Weather monitoring systems include a weather radar, storm scope, icing sensors, and satellite radio weather

Technology Spotlight

Envelope Maintenance
SPIDER (Self-Propelled Instrument for Airship Damage Evaluation and Repair) is an autonomous robot, designed to locate and repair pinholes in the Hybrid Airship envelope.