UK’s Straightline Aviation signs LOI for 3 hybrid airships

Render of a Straighline Aviation hybris airship in flight over Baffin Island.
Image Credit: Straightline Aviation

UK aerospace company Straightline Aviation Ltd has signed a letter of intent (LOI) to purchase three hybrid airships from Lockheed Martin spin-off company AT2, with options on a further 12 aircraft.

The company will become the lead customer and operate the hybrid airship aircraft on behalf of customers worldwide.

Lead customer for AT2 airship

Following the recently announced transitioning of the hybrid airship intellectual property and related assets from Lockheed Martin to AT2 Aerospace, Inc. (AT2), Straightline Aviation will become lead customer of the AT2 hybrid airship and take delivery of the first aircraft in 2026.

AT2 is comprised of a team of hybrid airship engineers who led the project at Lockheed Martin’s Skunkworks.

The company has agreed to work with Straightline in delivering its Round the World (RTW) non-stop un-refuelled net zero emissions flight, details of which will be announced later this year.

Straightline’s management team is regarded as the most knowledgeable go-to airship operator, having commissioned and operated a fleet of 19 airships and 200 aerostats in more than 35 countries.

Mike Kendrick, Chairman of Straightline and one of 118 Living Legends of Aviation said, “The introduction of the hybrid airship will be transformative for the aviation industry.”


“Vastly reducing the cost of moving cargo, massively reducing carbon emissions, and giving access to remote areas since it can land almost anywhere on unprepared areas including grass, water and ice.”

“Importantly it opens the way for true zero-emission flight, with the RTW non-stop net zero-emission program scheduled to begin flight trials in 2025. It’s what the industry and the planet have been waiting for.”

About the AT2 hybrid airship

The AT2 hybrid airship is based on the Lockheed Martin LMH-1 design, and will be certified to carry a minimum of a 21 metric ton payload and up to 19 passengers.

The aircraft is capable of domestic and international air cargo operations in either VFR (Visual Flight Rules) or IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) conditions.

With the capability to take off or land in open spaces on a variety of terrains including any hard surface, dirt, gravel, grass, snow or water, it also has Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) capability.

Photo Credit: Straightline Aviation

The hybrid airship is equipped with avionics, communications, navigational equipment and weather detection systems along with a state-of-the-art flight digital fly-by-wire control system.

A patented Air Cushion Landing System (ACLS) consisting of large air pads, similar to a hovercraft, is used to support the hybrid during landing and take-off and when parked the ACLS airflow is reversed to provide a suction gripping it in place for loading and unloading of cargo and passengers.

Straightline CEO comments

Straightline Aviation CEO, Mark Dorey, commented, “We are delighted to be working with Dr Bob Boyd, former hybrid airship project leader for Lockheed, and the team at AT2 in delivering this much-needed aviation solution to the market.”

“The hybrid is unique in its capabilities to solve transport and logistics issues, in particular reaching remote parts of the world that are not served by conventional air transportation.”

“Straightline is working closely with the United Nations to deliver humanitarian services including medical facilities to improve the socio-economic well-being of communities that are currently off-grid.”

“With the hybrid airship’s ability to land anywhere, it eliminates the need for expensive and environmentally damaging airport, road and rail connections providing connectivity in a more sustainable and cost-saving manner.”

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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