Hybrid Airships to take to the air with Helium One
05 / 04 / 2017
Hybrid Enterprises, the exclusive worldwide re-seller of Lockheed Martin’s Hybrid Airships, has agreed a strategic partnership with Helium One, an explorer, developer and producer of high value bulk liquid helium for the international market.
Helium One will use the LMH-1 Hybrid Airship to safely transport helium out of Helium One’s deposit sites in Tanzania.
Helium One holds a prospecting license at three project areas in Tanzania, areas that encompass more than 4,500 sq km of land with significant helium concentrations.
This strategic collaboration will provide a “safe and sustainable solution for transporting helium from mining sites in Tanzania”, a statement from Hybrid Enterprises declares.
“We are excited to be working with Hybrid Enterprises to explore a new way to efficiently deliver bulk liquid helium to the world,” enthused Thomas Abraham-James, Helium One’s chief executive.
“We are in the process of developing a new helium province in Tanzania that has the potential to alleviate fears of a global helium shortage for decades to come.
“The LMH-1 airship may be a highly cost effective transportation method for us, and could reduce the bottlenecks associated with road transportation.”
Developed and built by Lockheed Martin, the LMH-1 can land on virtually any surface, including gravel, snow, ice and water.
The helium-filled, heavier-than-air airships can carry up to 21 tonnes of cargo.
“The LMH-1 will provide a low cost and sustainable solution for moving cargo and personnel to the most isolated regions of the world,” Hybrid Enterprises considers.
“With the demand for helium increasing, this discovery of a nearly 100 billion cubic foot helium deposit in Tanzania will help ensure future supply,” informed Rob Binns, chief executive of Hybrid Enterprises.
“And what better way to transport this product than with our helium filled Hybrid Airship.”
Hybrid Airships combine the technology of lighter-than-air machines with that of fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters and hovercraft.
Helium provides 80% of the lift, and the remaining lift comes from the aerodynamic shape of the aircraft and its four thrust vectoring engines.
The airship also features a hovercraft-like Air Cushion Landing System that facilitates taxiing and holds the craft firmly on the ground when required.
Hybrid Airships can safely and sustainably support a wide range of activities in areas with little to no infrastructure.
The airship is said to offer the simplicity of a pick-up truck by carrying cargo loads and personnel in and out of remote areas, not just in certain seasons or only after major road, rail or airport infrastructure has been developed.
In other news, at the end of last month (March), UK-based 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 to finalise the purchase agreement.