Lockheed Martin P-791

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The Lockheed Martin P-791 is an experimental aerostatic and aerodynamic hybrid airship developed by Lockheed Martin. The first flight of the P-791 took place on 31 January 2006 at the company's flight test facility at United States Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, CA.[1][2]


The P-791 has a 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.[3]


The P-791 was designed as part of the U.S. Army's Long Endurance Multi-intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) program, but lost the program's competition to Northrop Grumman's HAV-3 design. The P-791 was modified to be a civil cargo aircraft under the name SkyTug, with a lift capability of 20 short tons (18,000 kg) and plans to scale larger.[4]

In March 2016, Straightline Aviation signed a Letter of intent for 12 LMH1 airships, valued at $480 million.[5]


In 2014, Hybrid Enterprises from Atlanta, Georgia entered into an agreement with Lockheed Martin to market and sell the commercial LMH-1 Hybrid Aircraft built by Lockheed, based on the technology demonstrated by the P-791.[6]

At the Paris Air Show in June 2015, Lockheed Martin announced that all required FAA certification planning steps were complete, and Hybrid Enterprises was accepting orders.[7] The LMH1 would initially transport 20 tonnes of cargo or 19 passengers, plus 2 crew members, with deliveries beginning in 2018.[8] In September 2016, plans were announced to operate the LMH-1 craft in Alaska.[9]

In September 2017 it was announced that the first flight of the LMH-1 was being delayed to 2019.[10]


The Lockheed Martin LMZ1M is the follow on to the P-791 test vehicle.[11][12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Trimble, Stephen (30 December 2009), "US Army revives hybrid airship interest with LEMV", Flight Global
  2. ^ Member 26835147 (24 October 2011). "The P-791 Hybrid Air Vehicle". Military.com. Retrieved 29 January 2021.
  3. ^ "A Comprehensive Look at Lockheed Martin's Hybrid Airships". Forbes. Retrieved 3 March 2019. The airships are considered "hybrid" in nature because they apply both aerostatic (i.e., buoyant) and aerodynamic technologies to achieve lift, thereby exceeding dirigibles in speed and planes in economy.
  4. ^ Trimble, Stephen (23 May 2011). "Skunk Works P-791 airship revived as civil cargo-lifter". Flight Global.
  5. ^ Wells, Jane (30 March 2016). "Lockheed has liftoff: Sells new airships in $480M deal". www.cnbc.com. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Hybrid Air Freighters Signs Letter of Intent to Purchase Lockheed Martin Hybrid Airships". PR Newswire Association LLC. PR Newswire. 20 June 2017. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  7. ^ Clark, Colin (16 June 2015). "Lockheed Hands Off Hybrid Airship To Commercial Reseller". Breaking Defense.
  8. ^ Stevenson, Beth (16 June 2015). "PARIS: Lockheed introduces new hybrid airship design". Flight Global.
  9. ^ "Lockheed Martin hybrid airships are coming to Alaska". www.dpaonthenet.net. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  10. ^ "LMH-1 airship "float out" pushed to 2019". Skies Mag. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Improved designs and technologies welcome a 'new era of airships'". NBC News. Retrieved 30 December 2018.
  12. ^ Wings, Graham Warwick in Things With. "Proposed Rules Provide Peek at Lockheed's Cargo Airship". aviationweek.com. Retrieved 30 December 2018.

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