Lockheed Martin P-791

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The Lockheed Martin P-791 is an experimental aerostatic/aerodynamic hybrid airship developed by Lockheed Martin corporation. The first flight of the P-791 was on 31 January 2006 at the company's flight test facility on the Palmdale Air Force Plant 42. It has a unique tri-hull shape, with disk-shaped cushions on the bottom for landing. As a hybrid airship, part of the weight of the craft and its payload are supported by aerostatic (buoyant) lift and the remainder is supported by aerodynamic lift.

The combination of aerodynamic and aerostatic lift is an attempt to benefit from both the high speed of aerodynamic craft and the lifting capacity of aerostatic craft.

The P-791 was originally part of the U.S. Army's Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) program, but lost to Northrop Grumman in partnership with Hybrid Air Vehicles HAV-3 design. The P-791 is now being modified to be a civil cargo aircraft under the name SkyTug with a lift capability of 20 tons (40,000 pounds) with plans to scale larger.[1]

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  1. ^ Trimble, Stephen (2011-05-23). "Skunk Works P-791 airship revived as civil cargo-lifter". Flight Global.