Alaska May Be Getting the World’s First Modern Cargo Airship
Alaska may be the home base for the world’s first modern cargo airship once the aircraft is completed by Lockheed Martin’s assembly line in 2019.
The innovative aircraft involves an Anchorage logistics company that plans to use the helium-filled airship to carry freight and workers to remote sites.
The owner of PRL Logistics said the aircraft will safely support remote Alaska resource projects while giving emergency personnel another way to save people in areas that are difficult to get to.
“We hope this brings more work to Alaska,” said Ron Hyde, founder of PRL Logistics.
PRL Logistics will supply the ground support, like loading and offloading freight in Alaska and other areas.
The aircraft is not like your standard commercial jet. It moves across the sky at 65 mph and helium will provide 80% of the lift, with help from four engines. At 285 feet, it is longer than a 747 airplane and capable of carrying 22-ton loads.
“We don’t want to oversell it and say it can do everything and anything,” said Hyde. “Like any transportation asset, it will have limitations and those will become more known. But from an engineering perspective and everything we’ve been able to assess, we think this is a dependable and reliable option to move cargo and people.”
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