Trucking has long been the number one mode of freight transportation, but a new kind of carrier may soon offer some unforeseen competition. Lockheed Martin Corp. debuted a prototype of a freight blimp it hopes to have in production by the end of next year.
The blimp is actually a hybrid airship that utilizes a combination of helium and propeller-driven propulsion to move as mucrah as 47,000 of cargo and 19 passengers through the sky. It is designed to move as much freight as a traditional tractor-trailer with the ability to access remote areas. It can even land on water, snow, sand and ice.
The full-sized version of the blimp will be 300 feet long and 78 feet tall. While it is not designed to compete with traditional carriers, the company also has visions of smaller versions of the airship, which would be utilized in more familiar territory.