Aviation Photo #1153517 Lockheed Martin P-791 - Lockheed

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I was at the Blackbird Air Park when suddenly this black project hybrid airship took off. It has been secretly built by Skunkworks as a heavy-load carrier. To gain more span to act like a wing, the P-791 is three pressurized lobes joined together. It uses four air cushions as landing gear, located on the outer lobes. It appears to have four propellers-two at the tail and two on the sides. A hybrid airship derives most of its lift by lighter-than-air gas, the rest by its shape and span.
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    Gerhard Plomitzer
    Lockheed
    Lockheed Martin P-791
    Lockheed Martin P-791
    Lockheed Martin P-791
    Lockheed Martin
    0001
    N791LM
    Palmdale - Production Flight Test Installation AF Plant 42
    California
    USA
    November 20, 2006
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Photo Added: December 17, 2006

Comments (49)

Anonymous
9 years ago
That's one of the strangest looking flying machines I've seen for a while! Must have been exciting to unexpectedly see it.
Anonymous
9 years ago
Very interesting...I guess it's no longer "black".
Anonymous
9 years ago
Looks similar to a girl I used to go out with.
Anonymous
9 years ago
That's a funky looking thing. Thanks for posting it.
Anonymous
9 years ago
This thing is definitely going to lead to several "UFO sightings" from overzealous conspiracy theorists over the next few years... very odd looking airship, especially with the 4 large landing pads.
Anonymous
9 years ago
I m building my own (miniature) zeppelin at this moment. It takes a lot of experimenting before you can get it in the air properly so you can adjust flight speed en velocity and stuff like that. Respect to the engineer who developed this. Although it's an ugly one:d
Anonymous
9 years ago
What a surreal shot - possible replacement design to replace the defunkt European Cargo-Lifter project abandoned in 2001. Imagine this creeping up on you as airships being so silent often do. Great Stuff!!
Anonymous
9 years ago
Strangest flying object ever seen here, and great shot too. Hope to learn more on it about its unconventional technology.
Anonymous
9 years ago













This picture shows the working parts. I can almost hear it flying by.
Anonymous
9 years ago
Excelent photo and idea to transport heavy lift !
Anonymous
9 years ago
Interesting project
Anonymous
9 years ago
What an awesome photograph!! Thanks for sharing this!
Anonymous
9 years ago
Great shot!
Anonymous
9 years ago
Fab shot! zeppelins are alive and well...
Anonymous
9 years ago
this photo brings to mind airbus 380,"the flying titanic", whose innaugural flight from singapore to sydney was this past thursday, october 24, 2007. It both scares and amuses me to see them building them so huge!
Anonymous
9 years ago
It is a picture of an airship that may change avation.
Anonymous
9 years ago
Good lighting, great angle, crisp and clear.
Anonymous
9 years ago
This is the future of alternative air transport. Its a pity they dont have it in mind for civilian use and not just as a military transport
Anonymous
9 years ago
I think this is an outstanding concept! I would love a ride in it! Heavy lift capability plus low fuel consumption plus no wheels to add extra weight!
Anonymous
8 years ago
Nice shot. Looks like two airships stuck together.
Anonymous
8 years ago
Greate future strange device)
Anonymous
8 years ago
This shot is excellent in so far as it provided a marvelous view of the aircraft's systems, structure and controls. I have a fairly clear idea of how the projected full sized (500 ton capacity) model would work.
Anonymous
8 years ago
Intresting aircraft but it seems almost pointless to spend the money to plan produce and fly this
Anonymous
7 years ago
It's more than a great photo, it's a great photo of a new prototype which makes it even more valuable!
Anonymous
6 years ago
Sure it will be able to lift tonne after tonne of military equipment, but how fast will it be able to move that equipment to where its needed? Hardly seems efficient in todays world where almost any decent air force in the world can plant equipment anywhere on the globe in hours. Plus, loosing on of these means the loss of a multimillion/billion dollar aircraft, plus the 500 tonnes of tank, helicopter or ammunition in it
Anonymous
6 years ago
THE BEST, NOT MORE. EXCELLENT PICTURE
Anonymous
6 years ago
Real hi-tech Hovercraft
Anonymous
6 years ago
Awesome catch - Kinda Area 51-SciFi-Esque!
Anonymous
6 years ago
Interesting airship, but looks underpowered...
Anonymous
6 years ago
This device make me think "they're among us" LOL!!
Anonymous
6 years ago
At night it can look like a UFO to general public.
Anonymous
6 years ago
Hoovercraft, UFO, Area 51, Balloon or Blimp....anyway, it looks awesome!!
Anonymous
6 years ago
I could imagine that 500T lifting capacity has its uses, no matter how slow it moves compared to an airplane.
Anonymous
6 years ago
I am glad that someday in the near future the airships will return to every day cargo ops. is cheap, practical, economical. the photo is so clear...
Anonymous
6 years ago
Awesome photo... but... what happens if you shoot it??
Anonymous
6 years ago
Very futuristic and very secret! nice shot!
Anonymous
6 years ago
This concept was invented in Russia as Termoplan.
Anonymous
5 years ago
Never seen ever in my life!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous
5 years ago
Maybe no military application, but many civilian uses.
Anonymous
5 years ago
The lobes are to reduce the amount of stress in the envelope since hoop stress is directly proportional to the radius of curvature. As for shooting it the pressure difference is so small that the helium would take weeks to leak out. the goodyear blimps get shot all the time
Anonymous
5 years ago
It seems to me that this sort of airplane must be very sensitive to strong winds.
Anonymous
4 years ago
Omg ,is this a plane
Anonymous
4 years ago
I love airships. If only they were planning to use it for civilian transport... it would be awesome as an alternative transportation, or for air-cruises!
Anonymous
3 years ago
Amazing concept by Skunkworks. These guys know how to make really good projects.
Anonymous
3 years ago
Looks like someone had too much to eat.
Anonymous
3 years ago
I had heard about this aircraft...and this photo fits the description of what was described to me...amazing looking that's for sure!

Capt. Dan
Northwest Airlines (Retired)
Anonymous
3 years ago
No worries about running short of fuel, she has four acetabula^^
Anonymous
2 years ago
NOT a black project! This machine has received a lot of press over the years.

And there are lots of military AND civil applications for this machinel.
Anonymous
2 years ago
I like it.

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