Pallas Aviation, a company apparently so low profile it lacks a website, will be launch operator of Lockheed Martin's LM-100J civilian airlifter in 2019, says Lockheed.
Pallas will "provide operational control of two LM-100J aircraft requiring heavy-lift/oversized cargo capability into and out of unconventional airports and remote locations," Lockheed says in a media release.
Pallas will receive the first aircraft in the first half of 2019. Lockheed declines to disclose the purchase price, but has previously disclosed the LM-100J's list price as being $65 million.
Lockheed's media release cites Pallas president Emory Ellis as saying the LM-100J will give Pallas "access to one of the newest cargo freighters that happens to have one of the most proven pedigrees in aviation: the C-130J Super Hercules".
Pallas will operate the LM-100Js from Fort Worth Alliance airport, which is north of the city.
Web searches for Pallas Aviation and president Ellis return few relevant results. The company appears not to have a website, though a Fort Worth company by the same name did file for a trademark earlier this year.
Lockheed Martin declined to provide Pallas' contact information, adding it has no affiliation with Pallas.
"Pallas is an independent company and not affiliated with Lockheed Martin except that it will operate two LM-100Js," Lockheed says. "At this point, the Pallas team is not able to support media interviews."
Based on the C-130J, Lockheed designed the LM-100J largely to carry heavy equipment to remote airfields, particularly for companies operating in heavy industries like energy and mining, it says.
Powered by four Rolls-Royce AE2100D3 powerplants, the aircraft can carry 22,700kg (50,000lb) of payload and has range (when carrying 18,100kg of payload) of 2,390nm (4,426km), Lockheed says.
Lockheed is currently flying two LM-100Js as part of type certification, it says.