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Are blimps the future of oilfield transportation? New deal could make it a reality

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Are blimps the future of oilfield transportation? New deal could make it a reality

You may soon see blimps flying overhead in Fort McMurray.

An announcement today from Lockheed Martin, a U.S.-based aerospace and defense company, revealed that they plan to sell 12 airships to Straightline Aviation in the United Kingdom.

The agreement is currently being finalized between Straightline and Hybrid Enterprises, Lockheed Martin’s hybrid airship re-seller, and has an estimated value of $480 million USD.

The intended purpose of the airships is to transport supplies and workers to oilfields and mining sites in northern Canada, Alaska, southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Representatives from Straightline say they are already seeing demand for the blimps, adding that they are confident that the crafts will positively contribute to the industries they serve.

Airships being constructed as part of the new agreement will reach a maximum speed of 110 kilometres an hour and will have a cargo capacity of 20 tonnes.

Straightline is slated to begin receiving the airships in 2018, with the last ones arriving in 2021.

Photo courtesy Hybrid Enterprises

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