Straightline Aviation, operators of Lockheed
Martin's new Hybrid aircraft, has said it plans to specifically
targeting the Chinese and Asia Pacific markets.
The company, which already has offices in
the UK and US, is looking to expand its global presence with a
base in the region.
The Lockheed Hybrid aircraft is the result of hundreds of
millions of US dollars of research and development being focused
on reducing the costs of moving freight, particularly in remote
It combines technology from
fixed wing aircraft, helicopters and hovercraft and does not need
an airport to operate from as it can land on almost any unprepared
surface including, water, ice or sand.
The first aircraft will
carry up to twenty tons of cargo with a range of 1400 miles, with
30% less fuel burn and 80% less carbon emissions than traditional
heavy lift helicopters.
Straightline Aviation has already
signed a US$850m memorandum of understanding to provide Canadian
mining company, Quest Rare Minerals, with seven aircraft and
having had significant expressions of interest from customers and
investors in the Asia-Pacific region, believes that the Chinese
market is ideally suited for the deployment of the Hybrid for
The company has appointed Francis
Chiew as Managing Director - Asia-Pacific to spearhead
development. Francis has extensive experience working across the
region and was instrumental in bringing airship operations into
China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Australia and
Japan during his time with Virgin Lightships. He joins a team of
other senior former Virgin executives including founding directors
Mike Kendrick, Mark Dorey and David Tait who have
experience in growing and developing global aviation businesses.
The Chairman of Straightline, Brian Kessler, who has over
thirty years of experience working in China, said, "This new
aircraft is ideally suited for operations in China and will revolutionise the way we handle freight. China is a vast country
not only comprising large hubs and congested commercial centres
but also many remote locations. The Lockheed Hybrid can service
main business centres but can also, economically and effectively,
move freight to more remote areas, without the need for expensive
infrastructure like roads and airports."
The Lockheed Hybrid is
uniquely suited for China's 'Silk Road' initiatives where roads
and airports are not available.
"I have enjoyed my
experience in China , working with innovative and technology led
companies and I am sure that the area will embrace the advantages
that this new aircraft offers," he added.
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