Northrop Grumman surprised me at AUVSI last week by revealing that its new hybrid airship -- the long-endurance multi-intelligence vehicle (LEMV) -- is designed to provide the same airlift performance as the Lockheed Martin C-130E Hercules. [Read full story.]
There's no shortage of interest in achieving what Lockheed designer Willis Hawkins clearly got so right nearly 60 years ago with the basic Hercules design. The size of the C-130 cargo box has remained static through five evolutions of fighter jet technology, although its propulsion, payload weight and avionics capability has greatly expanded since the early 1950s.
For our special report on military airlift in this week's magazine, I focused on EADS North America's plans to break open the US tactical airlift market with the Airbus A400M. I also wrote about how the C-5M Galaxy is opening eyes in the strategic airlift sector. Meanwhile, my colleague Craig Hoyle breaks down the UK's airlift conundrum.