Legislature(2017 - 2018)BARNES 124

04/04/2017 01:00 PM TRANSPORTATION

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01:08:02 PM Start
01:08:45 PM Presentation: Hybrid Airships: Opening New Frontiers by Skunk Works, a Division of Lockheed Martin
02:16:01 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ Presentation: Hybrid Airships: Opening New TELECONFERENCED
Frontiers by Skunk Works, a Division of Lockheed
Martin
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
            HOUSE TRANSPORTATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                           
                         April 4, 2017                                                                                          
                           1:08 p.m.                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Adam Wool, Co-Chair                                                                                              
Representative Matt Claman                                                                                                      
Representative Harriet Drummond                                                                                                 
Representative Chuck Kopp                                                                                                       
Representative Mark Neuman                                                                                                      
Representative Colleen Sullivan-Leonard                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Representative Louise Stutes, Co-Chair                                                                                          
Representative David Eastman (alternate)                                                                                        
Representative Gabrielle LeDoux (alternate)                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
PRESENTATION: HYBRID AIRSHIPS: OPENING NEW FRONTIERS BY SKUNK                                                                   
WORKS ~ A DIVISION OF LOCKHEED MARTIN                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     - HEARD                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG JOHNSTON, Business Director                                                                                               
Lockheed Martin Skunk Works                                                                                                     
Palmdale, California                                                                                                            
POSITION STATEMENT:  Offered a PowerPoint presentation titled                                                                 
"Hybrid Airships: Opening New Frontiers".                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:08:02 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  ADAM  WOOL  called the  House  Transportation  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting  to order at  1:08 p.m.   Representatives Wool,                                                               
Drummond, Neuman,  Sullivan-Leonard, and  Claman were  present at                                                               
the call  to order.   Representative Kopp arrived as  the meeting                                                               
was in progress.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
^PRESENTATION: HYBRID  AIRSHIPS: Opening  New Frontiers  by Skunk                                                               
Works, a Division of Lockheed Martin                                                                                            
 PRESENTATION: HYBRID AIRSHIPS: Opening New Frontiers by Skunk                                                              
              Works, a Division of Lockheed Martin                                                                          
                                                                                                                              
1:08:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL announced that the  only order of business would be                                                               
the presentation  by Craig  Johnston, entitled  "HYBRID AIRSHIPS:                                                               
Opening  New Frontiers  by Skunk  Works, a  Division of  Lockheed                                                               
Martin."                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:09:09 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CRAIG JOHNSTON,  Business Director, Lockheed Martin  Skunk Works,                                                               
advised that  the corporation  is over 100  years old,  and Skunk                                                               
Works  has  almost  75  years' worth  of  history,  primarily  in                                                               
aviation  and  innovation.   It's  landmark  products include  as                                                               
follows:   introduction of the  first jet fighter toward  the end                                                               
of  World War  II; development  of some  of the  early spy  plane                                                               
technology,  such  as  the   Lockheed  U-2,  ultra-high  altitude                                                               
reconnaissance  aircraft "Dragon  Lady"  and  the Lockheed  SR-71                                                               
"Blackbird";  involvement   in  advances  in   combat  capability                                                               
represented by  the Lockheed  F-117 Stealth  Fighter "Nighthawk";                                                               
design  for the  Lockheed Martin  YF-22 and  the X-35,  frontline                                                               
fighters of  today's United  States Air  Force; and  the Lockheed                                                               
Martin  F-35 of  the United  States  Marine Corp,  Navy, and  Air                                                               
Force.   Traditionally, he said,  Skunk Works has  been motivated                                                               
by solving tough  problems for the nation primarily  in the realm                                                               
of  the military.   Of  late, it  expanded to  look at  civil and                                                               
commercial  missions and,  for Skunk  Works this  is a  bit of  a                                                               
"back to the future" because  the last big commercial project was                                                               
the  Lockheed  L-1011 TriStar,  which  ceased  production in  the                                                               
1980s.    Skunk  Works,  he  related, is  moving  back  into  the                                                               
commercial world with the introduction of the hybrid airship.                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:11:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON said that primarily,  he would like to discuss these                                                               
hybrid airships  in the transportation  realm as  Lockheed Martin                                                               
considers  itself a  transportation company  first and  foremost.                                                               
Its  roots   originated  in  carrying   people  and   cargo  and,                                                               
ultimately, moving into  elements of the far reaches  of the deep                                                               
sea  and  deep  space.   The  hybrid  airship  represents  direct                                                               
evolvement into the cargo market space,  he said, and it has been                                                               
a two-decade adventure.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON  turned to  slide 1  and pointed  out that  both the                                                               
Lockheed Martin  and the Hybrid  Enterprises logo  appear because                                                               
approximately 2.5 years  ago Lockheed Martin decided  that it was                                                               
"good at doing  things within the governmental  sectors," but not                                                               
so much in the commercial  sector.  Therefore, it brought onboard                                                               
Hybrid  Enterprises as  a partner,  with the  entity selling  the                                                               
hybrid airships, he explained.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:13:14 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON turned  to slide 2, "Why Airships?"  and referred to                                                               
the centuries  known fact that  the natural buoyancy of  ships on                                                               
the  water  allows  a  ship  to hold  cargo,  and  noted  it  was                                                               
relatively inexpensive  to push the  ship through the  water with                                                               
sails.   Except, he commented,  ships are relegated to  the water                                                               
with  inherent limitations  as to  where they  can operate.   The                                                               
concept  of  an  airship  was introduced  many  years  ago  using                                                               
buoyant gas to  lift it in the air, and  the challenge was making                                                               
it  operable enough  to control  it  and take  advantage of  that                                                               
fact.   He  suggested that  when thinking  of airships,  to think                                                               
ship first  and air second  because much  of the operation  has a                                                               
stronger heritage to  ships in terms of how it  moves through the                                                               
surface.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:14:39 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON  turned to  slide 3,  "Airship Types"  and explained                                                               
that  the airships  in California  are  non-rigid airships,  also                                                               
known as  blimps, and are  filled with helium used  to pressurize                                                               
the envelope.  Generally, he  explained, they concentrate all the                                                               
load into one  single structure that is "hung below  that one" so                                                               
the  compulsion system,  pilot, and  limited crews  "all ride  in                                                               
there."   Semi-rigid  airships are  a bit  larger and  distribute                                                               
loads  into other  areas of  the structure,  he advised  that the                                                               
airship  depicted on  the  slide  is the  "Norge  Airship of  the                                                               
1920s."  Interesting, he noted, this  airship has a bit of Alaska                                                               
history, wherein it  was an airship built by  the Italians, flown                                                               
out of Norway with the design  mission to fly over the North Pole                                                               
and drop flags to declare America  as being "the first here."  He                                                               
said that he  read this morning that there was  controversy as to                                                               
whose flag  was the largest when  they dropped it over  the North                                                               
Pole.  That  airship recovered into the Arctic  Region in Alaska,                                                               
it had  a not so successful  landing, and it was  decided to just                                                               
take it  apart.  There  may be remnants  of the Norge  airship in                                                               
some of Alaska's museums, he offered.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:16:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL  noted that he  read about an airship  that carried                                                               
airplanes  during World  War I  and asked  whether it  would have                                                               
been a rigid airship.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON  answered that  originally,  those  were the  "Graf                                                               
Zeppelin" rigid  airships that were  large to enough to  attach a                                                               
piece of structure  to it and tether the airplane.   He said that                                                               
they  were used  somewhat successful  and were  recovered on  and                                                               
off, but  the utility ended up  not being that high.   Those were                                                               
the large rigid airships of the 1920s and 1930s, he said.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON, in  response to  Co-Chair Wool,  agreed that  they                                                               
were the  first aircraft  carriers.  He  referred to  the massive                                                               
scale  of  those rigid  airships  and  advised  that the  LZ  129                                                               
Hindenburg  was of  that  class.   He described  that  it was  an                                                               
aluminum structure  covered with a fabric  impregnated surface to                                                               
hold the  hydrogen in at  that time,  the vehicles were  over 900                                                               
feet long, and he commented  that airships have been in operation                                                               
since the mid-1800s.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:17:21 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON turned to slide  4, "Concepts & Prototypes" and said                                                               
there  are concepts  for "modern  ways of  going about  it."   He                                                               
advised  that  with  regard to  the  Boeing-USA  and  Piasecki-US                                                               
concepts, Lockheed  is trying to  capitalize on  putting together                                                               
the best  of a  helicopter and an  airship, using  the helicopter                                                               
for precision  as to how to  move things around, and  the balloon                                                               
to augment the  lift and offset some of the  weight, and it would                                                               
be a precision  hybrid airship that was part  helicopter and part                                                               
blimp.   Except, he  advised, the  concept turned  out to  be the                                                               
worst  of both  cases  because it  did not  solve  enough of  the                                                               
problem  of   what  happens  when   trying  to  tie   four  large                                                               
helicopters together and hang a large balloon above them.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:18:31 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON  pointed to the Aeorscraft-USA  and the Varialift-UK                                                               
and advised  that they  are similar in  concept because  both are                                                               
semi-rigid to  rigid airships  and employ the  concept of  how to                                                               
control the buoyancy of the airship.   He related that one of the                                                               
benefits and challenges of an airship  is that the lift cannot be                                                               
turned off because when there is  a lighter than air gas, such as                                                               
helium, the lift cannot be turned  off.  Therefore, he said, both                                                               
the  Aeroscraft and  the Varialift  concepts  employ a  mechanism                                                               
whereby it tries  to control the buoyancy by  the compression and                                                               
expansion  of  the helium  gas,  but  it  tends  to be  a  fairly                                                               
expensive way to  think about operations.   The RosAeros Systems-                                                               
RU is a Russian concept and not  a lot has been portrayed, but it                                                               
does appear to bring on both  rigid structures and some amount of                                                               
air dynamic lift,  and from that standpoint it would  be called a                                                               
hybrid airship concept.  He  opined that probably the most mature                                                               
of the  concepts and prototypes  is the Hybrid Air  Vehicles, out                                                               
of the  United Kingdom, originally  designed as part of  a United                                                               
States Army contract for a  surveillance platform designed to fly                                                               
at 20,000 feet and stay there for  a certain amount of time.  The                                                               
United  States  Army  cancelled the  concept  and  the  contract.                                                               
Hybrid  vehicles in  the United  Kingdom have  continued to  move                                                               
forward in terms of a platform  that could be employed for future                                                               
commercial  use, whether  it be  cargo,  surveillance, or  sight-                                                               
seeing activities.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
1:20:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[MR. JOHNSTON played a video from 1:20 p.m. to 1:21 p.m.]                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:21:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON  turned to  slides 5-6, "What  is Hybrid  Lift?" and                                                               
advised that,  importantly, with  hybrid lift  the big  payoff is                                                               
that 80  percent of it comes  from the buoyant helium  gas, which                                                               
is  as close  as they  can get  to anti-gravity  in terms  of the                                                               
ability to lift.   That is where a lot of  the economics come in,                                                               
he  said,   and  with   economics  come   operational  challenges                                                               
addressed by the  two other components of lift.   The aerodynamic                                                               
lift  employed by  the forward  motion  of the  airship, and  the                                                               
wing-like shape of the airship by  its tri-lobe hull.  One of the                                                               
challenges  of  lighter  than  air  vehicles  is  that  they  are                                                               
sensitive to weight changes.  In  the event there was an increase                                                               
in  weight, such  as being  rained  on, it  simply increases  the                                                               
angle of the  wing of the body  which makes up for  the lift that                                                               
otherwise would  have been  lost, with  a component  of efficient                                                               
lift  plus  robust  lift.    The  direct  lift  provided  by  the                                                               
helicopter-like operation  offers a  lot of  the controllability.                                                               
The four propulsion systems have  a great degree of thrust-vector                                                               
capability and  offer the  ability to  be highly  maneuverable on                                                               
the ground,  in flight, and  in the presence  of wind.   When all                                                               
three  of those  are combined  it  is considered  "a hybrid  lift                                                               
solution," he said.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:22:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON turned to slide  7, "Our Hybrid Airship" and advised                                                               
that specific  to the  Lockheed Martin  hybrid airship,  the tri-                                                               
lobed hull allows  the ability to generate  the aerodynamic lift.                                                               
It  also offers  a mechanism  to provide  a structural  mechanism                                                               
with the ability to carry  fairly significant loads, about 47,000                                                               
pounds of load off that  envelope by distributing the load across                                                               
the entire surface.  There  are four thrust vector and propulsion                                                               
systems attached to the side  of the vehicle, the envelope itself                                                               
is non-rigid, and  the rigidity comes simply from  the helium gas                                                               
that fills  the envelope.   Therefore, he  pointed out,  not only                                                               
does the  helium gas provide  the buoyant  lift gas, but  it also                                                               
provides  the  pressure  gas  that keeps  the  outer  skin  stiff                                                               
allowing things  to be attached  to the outer skin.   Significant                                                               
to  the capability,  he said,  is the  capable Fly-By-Wire  (FBW)                                                               
flight control system.   This FBW system makes  it extremely easy                                                               
to fly, and  with the modern computers and  modern flight control                                                               
technology  they can  make all  that a  simple mechanism  for the                                                               
pilot operating  the airship.   The FBW system has  two controls,                                                               
one  control "says  how fast  you want  to go"  from minus  three                                                               
knots to  seventy knots, the  computer determines  the propulsion                                                               
inputs needed,  and the other  stick "says go up/go  down/turn to                                                               
the left/turn to the right."   He described it as very simple and                                                               
ship-like in  terms of how  it is operated, and  sophisticated in                                                               
terms  of  the  flight  controls  that  are  running  behind  the                                                               
airship.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:24:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WOOL  surmised that  to  control  it,  a pilot  is  not                                                               
required  to have  particular knowledge  about each  engine, what                                                               
the engine  is doing, and  the angles  of surfaces, and  he asked                                                               
the type of licensing necessary to fly the airship.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON  responded that Skunk  Works will work with  the FAA                                                               
to  have  a  "type  certificate"  in a  hybrid  airship,  and  he                                                               
anticipates that  initially Skunk  Works will  use the  pilots it                                                               
trained under the "initial cadre  of pilots."  Subsequent to that                                                               
process,  he said,  it is  anticipated that  the typical  airship                                                               
pilot and  command would have  the similar experience as  a pilot                                                               
and  command  in  a  twin-engine piston  powered  aircraft.    He                                                               
described  that  it is  not  as  sophisticated as  the  airliners                                                               
because  flying  the   airship  is  relatively  straight-forward.                                                               
Skunk  Works has  a requirement  to work  with the  FAA for  that                                                               
training  program  and  the  training of  the  initial  cadre  of                                                               
pilots, he offered.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:25:25 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON turned  to  slide 8,  "LMH-1  Interior Layout"  and                                                               
noted  that  a   significant  feature,  when  it   comes  to  the                                                               
operability of  hybrid airships, is  the ability to adapt  to the                                                               
environment.     One  of  the   challenges  of   earlier  airship                                                               
operations was that  they had no idea as to  the weather over the                                                               
horizon, and  modern weather prediction and  planning allows that                                                               
to  be an  issue of  the past.   A  common misperception  is that                                                               
airships are  more sensitive to  the environment  than airplanes,                                                               
such as  wind, and cold.   Except, he pointed out,  airships have                                                               
essentially the same weather limits  as the fixed-wing fleet, and                                                               
airships are  certainly more robust  than the  current helicopter                                                               
fleet.  The onboard weather  prediction and route planning is key                                                               
in  allowing  for efficiency  when  looking  for route  structure                                                               
because  the airship  flies  the currents  exactly  as a  sailing                                                               
ship.   After reviewing worldwide  routes, the airship  can count                                                               
on up to  a 15 knot increase  in speed when flying  with the wind                                                               
as opposed to into the wind, he advised.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:27:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  NEUMAN  asked  whether  temperature  affects  the                                                               
lift,  and whether  the  same  quantity of  gas  is  used at  the                                                               
equator as at the North Pole.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON  answered  yes,  if  there  had  been  a  plan  for                                                               
operations  in one  spot only  because the  helium load  could be                                                               
optimized  for  that specific  environment.    However, he  said,                                                               
onboard  is  the  Balane  automatic  system  which  automatically                                                               
regulates the  pressure of the helium  gas with the goal  to keep                                                               
that  pressure constant  through  temperature, through  altitude,                                                               
and through many such factors.   He explained that as the airship                                                               
moves  up  in  altitude,  the  pressure  is  going  down  as  the                                                               
temperature changes, and there is  a built-in Balane system which                                                               
automatically takes care of that  issue.  For most operations, he                                                               
said,  they would  just  rely on  the Balane,  and  there is  the                                                               
ability to  slightly optimize  the "helium load  out" to  make it                                                               
more ideal  for a  specific location.   In  the end,  he advised,                                                               
"that is not a big swinger" in terms of ...                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:29:06 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE NEUMAN  asked whether  there are  any environments                                                               
where airships will not work.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON  answered  no.     Although,  he  said,  there  are                                                               
environments where they do not  work well, such as Greenland with                                                               
extremely high  winds all  the time in  one area,  airships would                                                               
probably not be  seen in that region due more  to the wind rather                                                               
than  the temperature.   As  it  gets colder,  the airships  work                                                               
better within  the airship component because  the components that                                                               
occupy  the  airship are  standard  aircraft  components and  are                                                               
generally certified  by the FAA  down to minus 40  Centigrade and                                                               
Fahrenheit,  he  explained.   Any  electronic  component  can  be                                                               
frozen, he  said, but they  are standard  aviation specifications                                                               
for environment specifications.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:30:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON advised  that other pieces include:  the large cargo                                                               
bay is  10 feet by  10 feet by  60 feet long;  unpressurized; the                                                               
airship generally operates below 10,000  feet; the payload bay is                                                               
square; the ramp  is at truck bed height; the  tailgate is a soft                                                               
structure  in  the back  of  the  airship  allowing it  to  carry                                                               
outsized cargo, such  as a large turbine wind blade  out the back                                                               
of the airship; and its cargo  fuel and ballast tanks are located                                                               
in the back to manage its weight on the ground.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:32:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SULLIVAN-LEONARD requested  a description  of the                                                               
tri-lobed hull, and  whether it was specific to the  front of the                                                               
airship.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON responded that the  tri-lobed hull is throughout the                                                               
entire structure,  and a normal  airship is purely  round because                                                               
all pressure  vessels want  to naturally  go to  round.   In this                                                               
case, he  noted, there are  two rounds,  cut in half,  and joined                                                               
with the  other part, which would  be a third one  in the middle.                                                               
The reality is that with the round  one in the center, as soon as                                                               
a load  is on  it will  straighten out.   He explained  that when                                                               
looking inside the airship a person  would see two half lobes and                                                               
a  lobe  with   straight  lines  which  provides   shape.    Most                                                               
importantly, he said,  are those curtains that "we  hang all that                                                               
load on."   The  original hybrid lift  had the  three-lobed hull,                                                               
"what  normally would  be circles,"  but Skunk  Works intersected                                                               
them together to  form that which goes from the  nose to the tail                                                               
offering a  bit of streamlining, but  it also is a  mechanism for                                                               
hanging the payload.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:33:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SULLIVAN-LEONARD related  that, initially, she was                                                               
thinking of  the double-hulled  ships that  are required  for the                                                               
transport of  oil and  gas, and  whether that  would be  the same                                                               
concept.    Although, the  airship  appears  more aerodynamic  or                                                               
structural in design, she offered.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON  responded  that  it  was not  there  as  a  safety                                                               
feature, three lobes have been  put together for both aerodynamic                                                               
and structural reasons.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:34:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON advised that in  addition to the water ballasts used                                                               
to manage the  airships heaviness on the ground, it  also has the                                                               
cargo  fuel tanks.    He referred  to  the "cube-out"  phenomenon                                                               
challenge  in  typical  fixed-wing transportation  and  explained                                                               
that normally when hauling cargo by  air, the cargo bay is filled                                                               
with cargo  before hitting  the maximum  weight because  there is                                                               
not the  tendency to carry  "really heavy stuff" in  a fixed-wing                                                               
aircraft.   He related that  not all  cargo is heavy,  but 10,000                                                               
pounds of  groceries take up  volume, such  as cereal boxes.   In                                                               
this  case, he  said, to  put the  airship at  maximum efficiency                                                               
with  10,000 pounds  of  groceries, the  company  would load  the                                                               
cargo fuel  tanks with  36,000 pounds of  diesel fuel  for remote                                                               
areas.    One  of  the  things recognized  in  remote  areas,  he                                                               
commented, is the need for fuel,  and the airships can always fly                                                               
full  which,   from  a   weight  standpoint,   drives  economics.                                                               
Importantly,  he  said,  because  Skunk  Works  is  part  of  the                                                               
certified  system,  fuel is  not  hazardous  cargo and  it  flies                                                               
people at  the same  time as  the fuel.   Skunk Works  is working                                                               
with  the FAA  in that  its  baseline configuration  will be  two                                                               
pilots and eight  passengers, with the ability to  travel with up                                                               
to 19 passengers, the FAA limit.   He pointed out that the people                                                               
essentially   fly   nonrevenue,   at   no   cost,   unlike   most                                                               
transportation  opportunities  because  the airship  is  designed                                                               
around  the main  cargo bay  and the  people are  there basically                                                               
flying for free.   At this point the airship  was not intended to                                                               
be  an airline,  but eventually  an operator  could apply  for an                                                               
airline operating certificate.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:36:56 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON turned  to slide 9, "Operations" and  said the video                                                               
was  a  full-scale mockup  in  Palmdale,  California designed  to                                                               
represent a  landing site  in the  Ambler region.   He  said when                                                               
they bring  people to the  "Hybrid Experience" they  say "Welcome                                                               
to  Alaska" as  they  tried to  put it  directly  in its  working                                                               
environment.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
[Video played 1:37:21 through 1:38:50.]                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:39:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WOOL referred  to what  was seen  on the  video wherein                                                               
"they see the envelope there."                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON agreed.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:39:18 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON  turned to  slide  10,  "Tech Demo  to  OPERATIONAL                                                               
CAPABILITY" and  noted that  the vehicle at  the top  left, P-791                                                               
(2006), flew ten  years ago as a sub-scale  demonstrator to prove                                                               
out the  tri-lobed envelope design, digital  flight control, full                                                               
vectored  thrust,  air  cushion  landing  system,  and  it  over-                                                               
performed  so   they  made  some   design  changes.     Palmdale,                                                               
California, he  advised, is  one of the  windier places  on earth                                                               
and  in terms  of  the  operation they  were  able  to prove  the                                                               
airship could operate  routinely in 30 plus knots  of wind, which                                                               
exceeds  most  fixed-wing aircraft,  and  the  airship system  is                                                               
designed for  40 knots  of wind.   He referred  to the  LMH-3 and                                                               
advised that is where they started  20 years ago, the vehicle was                                                               
capable of  carrying 500 tons or  1 million pounds of  cargo as a                                                               
"through  the  air  version"  of a  container  ship,  except  the                                                               
vehicle  was  approximately   700  feet  long.     There  are  no                                                               
facilities  today "to  do that"  and they  backed away  from that                                                               
vision to  what they  believe is  an irresistible  initial market                                                               
space in  the remote  cargo transport market.   He  suggested the                                                               
committee  consider   that  it  carries  payloads   designed  for                                                               
overland  trucks,  Lockheed C-130  Hercules,  or  the Boeing  737                                                               
fleet.  He  said, "So that's the first vehicle  that we intend to                                                               
introduce  to the  marketspace,"  anticipating  having the  first                                                               
flights  in  2018.   Skunk  Works  will  perform a  one-year  FAA                                                               
certification   program  during   which  it   may  conduct   some                                                               
environmental testing  to prove it  works in the  environments in                                                               
Alaska,  he said.   The  airship  would then  be introduced  into                                                               
commercial services in 2019, and  FAA certified under a whole new                                                               
type of certificate with new criteria for hybrid airships.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:42:28 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KOPP  said that  as far  as air  traffic controls,                                                               
the airship  would have  the similar approach  and take-off  as a                                                               
helicopter and asked where they would commercially operate.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON answered  that the  basic concept  is to  avoid the                                                               
traditional airport  infrastructure with long runways,  and fast-                                                               
moving  airplanes.     The  fundamental  concept   of  operation,                                                               
although it is compatible, is  a landing area approximately 2,000                                                               
feet in  length and  approximately 800 feet  in width,  devoid of                                                               
large trees due to the air  cushion landing system.  Most likely,                                                               
he  said, the  most rigorous  element to  accommodate is  how the                                                               
buyer  would operate  their cargo  operation  and whether  trucks                                                               
were  accessible.   He stated  that  "vertical operations"  would                                                               
require a  500-foot helipad.   He explained that  [airships] have                                                               
less vertical precision than helicopters.                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:44:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL surmised  that a frozen or unfrozen  river in rural                                                               
Alaska would be ideal.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON agreed,  and he clarified that a  raging river would                                                               
not be ideal, but the weight would certain work.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP noted  that there  should be  a commercially                                                               
based  area  for  resupplying  away from  an  airport,  and  good                                                               
road...                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON interjected that close  to a railroad is ideal which                                                               
is  close to  a road  network  because when  bringing cargo  from                                                               
remote areas  to the railhead  there should be a  quick mechanism                                                               
to put it  on the railroad or  truck and transfer it  to the next                                                               
most  efficient mechanism  as quickly  as possible.   He  related                                                               
that a partner of Skunk Works  is looking at setting something up                                                               
in the Kenai Peninsula in terms of a remote location.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:48:00 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  KOPP  said  he  knew that  PRL  Logistics  had  a                                                               
commercial heliport  there with a  lot of logistical  support for                                                               
the oil companies.                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON  said  that  he  can  publicly  disclose  that  PRL                                                               
Logistics is the logistics arm  of the first announced interested                                                               
buyer,  Straight Line  Aviation out  of the  United Kingdom,  and                                                               
they  recently signed  PRL Logistics  on  as a  component of  its                                                               
logistic side.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
1:46:51 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  asked the  range of the  cost of  a hybrid                                                               
airship.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON  answered that  the purchase  price is  $40 million,                                                               
more  expensive   than  used  airplanes  and   cheaper  than  new                                                               
airplanes.    He commented  that  the  competition, such  as  the                                                               
Douglas DC-3s,  has a market  value of approximately zero.   More                                                               
importantly,  he  said, is  the  fact  that  it competes  on  the                                                               
overall  operating costs,  and  the  price of  the  vehicle is  a                                                               
component.    Detailed modeling  has  shown  that when  competing                                                               
against  used  cargo aircraft,  and  rolling  in the  maintenance                                                               
cost,  operating cost,  fuel cost,  crew costs,  all those  other                                                               
costs, and determining what it costs  per ton mile to operate, he                                                               
said  that Skunk  Works  is competitive  against  almost all  the                                                               
existing "remote transportation needs."                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
1:48:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  noted that  there are practical  limits as                                                               
to the distance of transporting  cargo.  For example, he offered,                                                               
2,000 miles  would be too far  of a distance for  the airship and                                                               
that 200-300 miles becomes more reasonable.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:48:36 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON stated that Representative  Claman was correct.  The                                                               
airship has  economic ranges probably in  the 300-600-mile range,                                                               
and he explained that the range  has to do with the throughput of                                                               
cargo, how many  flights, and how long the crew  was onboard.  He                                                               
related that  a customer  flew the airship  around the  world, it                                                               
could fly 22,000  miles without refueling, except it  took him 28                                                               
days.    The airship  has  a  1,400-nautical  mile range  and  he                                                               
suggested  thinking of  that  primarily  as a  ferry  range.   He                                                               
offered that if  the airship was deployed from Alaska  to an area                                                               
in Canada  it would  be flown  there "which  probably would  be a                                                               
nonrevenue flight generally,  "it would be a  positioning of it."                                                               
Travel slower and those sorts  of ranges could be exceeded, which                                                               
is typically in  the 300-600-mile range.  Skunk  Works is working                                                               
with the FAA on  a new set of rules that  makes it more ship-like                                                               
in terms  of how  it is crewed,  he said.   Rather than  having a                                                               
pilot in  command that can only  sit in the seat  for eight hours                                                               
and  cannot let  him  off,  to switch  over  and  have a  captain                                                               
onboard relaxing  in the back with  a duty officer.   That is the                                                               
model that  was there in the  early days of the  airships because                                                               
they were the same speed and  flew for long periods, he said, and                                                               
the FAA is willing to work with Skunk Works on the concept.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:50:26 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE CLAMAN  surmised that it  flies lower, so it  is a                                                               
different airspace than what the FAA currently regulates.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON replied  that it  still  can be  regulated, but  it                                                               
generally economically flies at 1,500  to 2,500 feet above ground                                                               
level  (AGL)  with the  maximum  height  of approximately  10,000                                                               
feet.  The lower the airship  flies, the more efficient it is but                                                               
the  planning   will  be  weather  and   obstacle  dependent,  he                                                               
explained.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
1:51:11 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND  referred   to  Mr.  Johnston's  earlier                                                               
testimony regarding diesel  fuel in the tanks of  the airship and                                                               
asked whether there  was a limitation other than  size and weight                                                               
on the other types of cargo,  such as a tank of liquefied natural                                                               
gas  (LNG) or  propane  going  to a  remote  village which  would                                                               
otherwise be difficult to reach.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON  answered that a plan  is to certify the  airship to                                                               
carry the diesel  fuel in the tanks, and because  it is certified                                                               
it would  allow people and  fuel at the  same time.   Skunk Works                                                               
looked at  the transport of  LNG and noted  that LNG is  not well                                                               
designed for airborne  operations due to the  "tare weight" being                                                               
fairly high,  and currently no  one would conceive of  flying LNG                                                               
in an  airplane.  There  is a  market space that  could transport                                                               
LNG  efficiently,   and  it  would  probably   involve  a  slight                                                               
modification to the transport mechanism.   Whether or not the FAA                                                               
would allow Skunk Works to do  it as a non-hazardous operation is                                                               
still to  be determined, he  explained, and that  would basically                                                               
mean  that "you  can't  fly  passengers and  would  have to  take                                                               
specific actions."  He said that  they do believe this could open                                                               
a market  that says, in  addition to  just heavy fuels  "that you                                                               
actually even  be able  to conceive of  a -- of  a pace  that you                                                               
could actually  deliver LNG  to remote areas  where you  start to                                                               
unlock the sorts  of things where you could  provide a year-round                                                               
access to that."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:52:55 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  noted the  upside is  that a  village is                                                               
small, and it does not need a  large LNG tank, and the whole goal                                                               
is to replace diesel fueled operations with cleaner fuel.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON added that LNG does  not have the same shelf life of                                                               
a heavy  fuel and  the airship  could simply  supply fuel  once a                                                               
week and top  off the tanks.  That is  a potential, he commented,                                                               
but it is  not in the baseline thinking because  no one is really                                                               
trying to transport LNG by air.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:53:37 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL noted another fact for  LNG as opposed to diesel is                                                               
that there is  no fear of it spilling on  the ground whereas many                                                               
tank farms  in rural Alaska  have a lot of  necessary maintenance                                                               
and rehabilitation.  He referred  to the largest LMH-3, which was                                                               
700 feet with 500-ton payload,  noting that the Graf Zeppelin was                                                               
900  feet, and  asked  whether  it had  a  huge  payload and  its                                                               
primary use.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON  answered that  the  Graf  Zeppelin was  built  for                                                               
passenger carriage, and  although it was 900 feet long,  it had a                                                               
payload   capacity  of   approximately  10   tons,  and   due  to                                                               
technology, that  is half  of what  Skunk Works  is doing  on its                                                               
smaller airships.  It had a  rigid structure, the fabric that was                                                               
dope covered  so it was  not a lightweight high  strength fabric.                                                               
In terms of the massiveness of  an airship, the modern airship is                                                               
smaller and  "much, much,  more capable"  due to  advancements in                                                               
technology and materials ...                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:54:45 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL interjected  that even though the gas  was half the                                                               
weight, all  the other stuff  was heavier and was  primarily like                                                               
an ocean liner ...                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON interjected  that it  was  an ocean  liner and  was                                                               
never designed for cargo.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:54:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON  turned to slide  11, "Demonstrator  Flight (video)"                                                               
and  said the  slide is  the demonstrator  Skunk Works  built and                                                               
flew in  2006.  It  was a ground operation  and although it  is a                                                               
fairly large machine "you can see  how nimble it is on the ground                                                               
turning on  itself," which is  afforded by the  propulsion system                                                               
making it very snappy in  its takeoff and flight characteristics.                                                               
The airship is large  with no sense of motion, it  is like a bush                                                               
plane in terms of the mode of operation, on a much larger scale.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON, in  response to  Co-Chair Wool,  advised that  the                                                               
airship  is  possibly  "knocked  around"  in  serious  turbulence                                                               
resulting in a bit of a  ship-like swaying, but a person would be                                                               
comfortable due to the large inertia.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:55:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL asked the weight of the LMH-1.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON  replied that weight is  interesting when discussing                                                               
airships  because  after  removing  helium from  the  airship  it                                                               
weighs approximately  60,000 pounds,  when helium is  inserted it                                                               
becomes much lighter,  and then if all the payload  is removed it                                                               
weighs less and  will float away.  He  explained that "heaviness"                                                               
is a measure of apparent weight  and that a typical airship blimp                                                               
has about 800  pounds of heaviness, yet if you  put their airship                                                               
on   the   scale  under   normal   operations   it  would   weigh                                                               
approximately 20,000 pounds.  There is a robustness ...                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL interjected  that as far as being  pushed around by                                                               
the wind, how much mass would be involved.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON  answered  that in-flight  there  would  be  little                                                               
effect, and because the flight  control system is trying to drive                                                               
it 20 degrees, for example,  it would perform whatever the flight                                                               
control had  to do to  make certain it  stayed on the  command of                                                               
the pilot's course.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:57:29 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON turned to slide  12, "Getting to Market" and advised                                                               
that getting  the airship to  market comes down  to understanding                                                               
the  value stream  and making  it  clear across  an entire  value                                                               
stream  that  this  is  good  for  everyone  involved,  including                                                               
convincing  the oil  and  gas  and mining  extraction  side.   He                                                               
pointed out that  questions for the user  of transportation could                                                               
include: what  was needed to move  "their stuff" into and  out of                                                               
their facilities; what mode; and  how that mode would save money;                                                               
whether it would de-risk their  operation; and how it would lower                                                               
those costs.   Additionally, he said, the oil and  gas and mining                                                               
folks do  not generally  operate any of  their own  equipment and                                                               
generally  work  through  a logistics  provider.    For  example,                                                               
Pacific Rim  Logistics (PRL) connects  the hard job  with someone                                                               
willing to  do the hard  job, and convincing a  logistic provider                                                               
there  is  money  in  the  airship.   Ultimately,  he  said,  the                                                               
financiers, such  as Lockheed Martin,  said that before "I  go do                                                               
all the  capital development it  says okay, I'm going  to develop                                                               
and field  one of these  systems, how  do I know  that somebody's                                                               
actually going to  use it or buy  it."  He related  that by Skunk                                                               
Works moving  through that  entire stream  of value  and locating                                                               
everyone  willing to  sign up  and agree,  has been  a relatively                                                               
hard  challenge over  the last  three years.   The  hard part  of                                                               
revolutionary technology  is how to  get everyone to sign  on, he                                                               
said.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:59:43 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON  turned to slide  13, "Offshore  Operations Support"                                                               
and  advised, in  transportation  there is  the consideration  of                                                               
safety, and  how the  airship would  support off-shore  oil, with                                                               
the  range, payload,  and costs  advantages far  superior to  the                                                               
helicopter fleets of today.  Safety  is a challenge, he said, and                                                               
landing  on  the oil  rig  itself  is  not necessarily  an  ideal                                                               
situation, and  there is  the problem of  landing on  the surface                                                               
around the rig to transport the crew to the rig.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON turned  to slide 14, "Oil and Gas  Support" and said                                                               
the  airship   can  support   phases  from   exploration  through                                                               
development  through production  to  emergency  services.   Skunk                                                               
Works spoke with the oil  companies about making their rigs small                                                               
enough to fit  20 tons at one time, and  the oil companies agreed                                                               
if  it made  enough  sense.   He  said that  it  is difficult  to                                                               
compete  with pipeline  transportation,  and the  interest is  in                                                               
spill response, transport, and resupply.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:02:41 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON turned  to slide 15, "Hybrid  Operations Case Study"                                                               
and said  that, ultimately, from  an economic standpoint  "we can                                                               
push out"  close to twice the  range of the current  fleets, four                                                               
times the load,  charge aggressive rates, and  allow the operator                                                               
to make money.  When it comes down  to the value in this, he said                                                               
they  offer  an  opportunity  to  open  a  tremendous  new  value                                                               
proposition for all the players.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:03:23 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON turned to slide  16, "The 'Roadless' Mine" and noted                                                               
that the  largest rare earth  mineral deposit, outside  of China,                                                               
is on the border of Quebec  and Labrador in Northeast Canada, and                                                               
the  plan is  to build  a permanent  road from  the Strange  Lake                                                               
Project to  the coast on the  east side.  He  explained that they                                                               
have  worked  for  multiple years  to  obtain  the  environmental                                                               
impacts  reports  and  "we're having  a  challenge"  closing  the                                                               
business case  on this.  Straightline  Aviation approached "them"                                                               
about creating a  roadless mine with the current plan  to fly the                                                               
rare   earth  mineral   concentrate  out   of  Strange   Lake  to                                                               
Schefferville,  put it  on the  railroad and  ship it  to further                                                               
processing.  He  described this as the first adoption  of a truly                                                               
roadless mine, although,  they may build temporary  ice roads for                                                               
some of  the initial construction  and infrastructure  to provide                                                               
wind energy.   Significant to that value stream,  he pointed out,                                                               
is the  fact that now there  is a mining operation  signed up and                                                               
ready  to spend  $850  million, over  a  10-year period,  writing                                                               
contracts allowing  the logistics  provider to buy  services from                                                               
the airline (indisc)  shifts from Lockheed Martin  "and the whole                                                               
string closes through there."                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:04:57 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON  turned to slide  17, "Arctic Operations -  Ice Road                                                               
Replacement  - Point  Thomson"  and referred  to  the slide  that                                                               
depicts the  budget allocations for  2015-2016 for  this specific                                                               
operation involving trucks  moving up the Dalton  Highway, an ice                                                               
road for the last mile from  Deadhorse to Point Tomson and flying                                                               
all the  people from  Anchorage to  Point Tomson.   He  said that                                                               
when only considering  that last tactical mile,  the small hybrid                                                               
airship would result  in a 25 percent reduction  in the operating                                                               
cost of that operation.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
2:05:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON  turned  to  slide  18,  "Hybrid  Case  Study"  and                                                               
emphasized  the  significance of  a  major  project completed  at                                                               
Papua New Guinea  performing LNG movement.  Skunk  Works was able                                                               
to  review  in detail  the  costs  involved  in the  manner  they                                                               
performed  the  project, and  how  those  costs would  have  been                                                               
impacted if "we'd  done it a different way using  airships."  The                                                               
total actual project  cost was almost $1 billion,  largely due to                                                               
building the  road and runway  infrastructure to allow  the cargo                                                               
to move in on  a large Russian antonov 124 vehicle.   If they had                                                               
had  the 20-ton  hybrid  airship  they would  have  been able  to                                                               
complete the  same project,  in terms  of the  infrastructure set                                                               
up, for  a 98 percent  reduction.  He  said that those  facts get                                                               
people's attention,  the challenge is  that no large  oil company                                                               
is  willing to  bet  a  $1 billion  plus  development program  on                                                               
something that  does not yet exist.   Therefore, he noted,  it is                                                               
important to get the hybrid airship  to market so the public will                                                               
start to see that this will enable different projects.                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON noted that in a  similar region "they are looking at                                                               
transportation  options" that  currently represent  barges moving                                                               
up rivers.   The  problem being  that, at  times during  the year                                                               
those rivers are  dry, unlike Alaska with its  frozen rivers, and                                                               
it has  a tremendous risk  of losing all  transportation options.                                                               
Therefore, "they look at ways"  of de-risking those operations by                                                               
bringing  on  alternate  mechanisms of  transporting  people  and                                                               
materials, he said.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:07:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON  turned to slide  19, "Hybrid Case Study"  and said,                                                               
in terms  of the direct  costs of transportation,  when comparing                                                               
the  large Russian  antonov 124  vehicle  moving essentially  the                                                               
same cargo as  a hybrid airship, the airship offers  a 72 percent                                                               
cost reduction.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
2:07:33 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON  turned  to  slide  20,  "Operational  Safety"  and                                                               
reiterated  that safety  is  a key  component  of any  operation.                                                               
Airships inherently travel at slow  speeds and the beauty is that                                                               
"if it  really looks hairy and  scary" in terms of  the approach,                                                               
it could pull back  and wait because it can fly  at zero speed at                                                               
certain weight levels.   He explained that  the redundant systems                                                               
refer not only to the  electronics and avionics onboard, but also                                                               
to the propulsion system because  the airship is designed to "fly                                                               
with engines out."   Therefore, he pointed out,  another asset is                                                               
the ability to  lose an engine and take off  and return home with                                                               
only three engines, plus the  airship can operate off any surface                                                               
when looking for emergency landing  spots, whether it is a river,                                                               
lake, or  an open spot.   There is also  the fact, he  said, that                                                               
the  airship was  purpose designed  for  cargo and  it keeps  the                                                               
potential  sources of  fire away  from people  through separation                                                               
and inherent safety elements.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:08:58 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON turned to slide  21, "Hybrid Airship Sustainability"                                                               
and  reminded the  committee that  more and  more of  a worldwide                                                               
issue   is  the   sustainability  of   transportation  solutions.                                                               
Conservatively on the fuel side,  he advised, the airship is one-                                                               
fifth  to  one-tenth of  the  fuel  required  to carry  the  same                                                               
payload via the airship compared  to a helicopter.  Even compared                                                               
to  the most  efficient fixed-wing  aircraft, [airships]  require                                                               
one-third to one-tenth  the fuel.  He related that  more and more                                                               
of an  issue in both  urban areas and  remote areas is  the noise                                                               
impact on  the environment  and animals.   He explained  that the                                                               
baseline noise  profile of a  hybrid airship is  approximately 60                                                               
decibel (db), which is a  relatively low noise footprint compared                                                               
to  the current  eight  times  that level.    The emissions,  the                                                               
carbon  footprint, goes  almost  hand-in-hand  with fuel  because                                                               
when  burning less  fuel there  is  less production  of a  carbon                                                               
footprint,  which  becomes a  bigger  and  bigger issue  as  some                                                               
nations drive toward reducing that carbon footprint.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
2:10:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON turned  to slide 22, "Summary" and  related that the                                                               
hybrid  airship  was purpose  built  for  remote operations;  the                                                               
ability   to   operate   without  building   an   infrastructure;                                                               
environmentally friendly; ability to  show the dramatic reduction                                                               
in the cost  of performing operations; and when  the airships are                                                               
introduced  it  will begin  to  enable  different concepts.    He                                                               
related  the airship  can assist  in humanitarian  missions, such                                                               
that  a radiological  group signed  up and  is trying  to provide                                                               
radiological  services   worldwide  in  rural  areas,   which  is                                                               
possible with an airship.   Alaska, he stated, could see airships                                                               
as early as 2019 because  Skunk Works anticipates flying airships                                                               
and  starting the  certification program  in 2018.   Skunk  Works                                                               
believes that  Alaska is ideally  suited for the  operations that                                                               
this vehicle was purposely built to solve, he said.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
2:12:38 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR WOOL  commented that  the Lower-48,  with its  access to                                                               
roads and  railways, probably is not  a likely area to  see a lot                                                               
of hybrid airship  cargo activity, but Alaska is  likely by being                                                               
remote  and  without those  infrastructures.    He said  that  it                                                               
sounded  like Skunk  Works has  customers and  people interested,                                                               
which is  the part that  interests him,  noting that he  had been                                                               
reading about  this for decades.   He said that Mr.  Johnston had                                                               
testified that Alaska  would see the airship next  year and asked                                                               
whether that was an accurate statement.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. JOHNSTON  responded, "We believe  so, we  -- I'd like  to say                                                               
that it's done, but  I can tell you that there is  a lot of stuff                                                               
going  on  in  the  background  that is  aligning  all  of  those                                                               
component  pieces," and  his  company would  not  waste his  time                                                               
coming to  Juneau to  say, "Oh  yeah, just  -- just  wait another                                                               
year,  just wait  another year."   Skunk  Works is  serious about                                                               
this with  a lot  of serious players  performing serious  work in                                                               
attempting to unlock this opportunity  because it will truly open                                                               
new frontiers in terms of  transportation in Alaska and Canada in                                                               
remote  areas, he  stressed.   Ultimately,  Skunk Works  believes                                                               
that  as it  deploys the  full family  of these  capabilities, to                                                               
start in Alaska, he remarked.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
2:14:40 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  WOOL  opined  that the  timing  was  fortunate  because                                                               
someone had mentioned it to  him in passing, his office contacted                                                               
Mr. Johnston, and now he was  testifying, which is a testament to                                                               
the  fact that  Skunk Works  is  serious about  being in  Alaska.                                                               
Alaska has  transportation needs and resources  located in remote                                                               
areas and "we'd love to combine  those two things."  He described                                                               
that  it will  be  exciting and  see  how it  works  at minus  40                                                               
degrees in Barrow or Fairbanks.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR.  JOHNSTON related  that it  was  a privilege  to address  the                                                               
committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
2:16:01 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Transportation Standing  Committee meeting was adjourned  at 2:16                                                               
p.m.                                                                                                                            

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
House Transportation - Bio Craig Johnston 4.4.17.pdf HTRA 4/4/2017 1:00:00 PM
House Transportation - Hybrid Airships Lockheed Martin PPT 4.4.17.pdf HTRA 4/4/2017 1:00:00 PM