Everyone has heard of hybrid cars. But how about hybrid aircraft? Straightline Aviation Ltd, operators of Lockheed Martin’s revolutionary new Hybrid aircraft, is specifically targeting the Chinese and Asia-Pacific markets, the company announced.
“The hybrid aircraft is being heralded as a game changing aviation milestone and is the result of hundreds of millions of US dollars of research and development being focused on reducing the costs of moving freight, particularly in remote locations,” says Straightline Aviation in a news release.
The company, which has offices in the US and the UK, says that its aircraft can land on almost any unprepared surface. That includes water, ice or sand. The first aircraft will carry up to 20 tons of cargo and it will have a range of 1,400 miles. Straightline also says that its plane will use 30% less fuel and have 80% fewer carbon emissions than traditional heavy lift helicopters.
Straightline Aviation has already signed a $850 million memorandum of understanding to provide Canadian mining company, Quest Rare Minerals, with seven of its aircraft. It says that the Asia-Pacific region is ideally suited for the deployment of the hybrid for similar applications.
“This new aircraft is ideally suited for operations in China and will revolutionize the way we handle freight,” said the Chairman of Straightline Brian Kessler, who has over thirty years of experience working in China.
“China is a vast country not only comprising large hubs and congested commercial centers but also many remote locations,” he added. “The Lockheed Hybrid can service main business centers but can also, economically and effectively, move freight to more remote areas, without the need for expensive infrastructure like roads and airports.”