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.
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.