British airship and ballooning pioneer, Mike Kendrick, has been inducted into the prestigious Living Legends of Aviation, joining the likes of John Travolta and Buzz Aldrin. He is now spearheading work with his company – Straightline Aviation – on the introduction of a revolutionary heavy-lift hybrid airship, designed to transport cargo and passengers to remote parts of the world and engineered to use less fuel, emit less carbon dioxide and eliminate the need for costly ground-level infrastructure.
The Living Legends of Aviation organisation celebrates remarkable people of extraordinary accomplishment in the aerospace industry including: entrepreneurs, innovators, industry leaders, astronauts, record breakers, pilots who have become celebrities, and celebrities who have become pilots.
Kendrick, 72, from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, was officially inaugurated at a ceremony in Salzburg, Austria, conducted by Airbus chief executive, Tom Enders, and joins the coveted group of 97 worldwide, which also includes Elon Musk, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford and Sir Richard Branson.
He was inducted into the Legends group after nomination from Sir Richard and following a lifetime in the balloon and airship industry, which started in the early 1970’s when he brought about a change in UK law to allow advertising on aircraft. This gave birth to the global aerial advertising market and the familiar sight of advertising balloons and airships seen worldwide today.
Straightline has attracted interest from the oil, gas and mining industries following its announcement that it would be buying 12 of the Lockheed Martin Hybrid Airships for $480million (£330m).
On receiving the award, Mike said: “It was a true surprise. I’m honoured and deeply humbled to be recognised in this way and am committed to ensuring that the commercial success of hybrid airships is combined with a commitment to make the planet a better and less toxic place to live.”
Photo: L-R Mike Kendrick, Tom Enders Credit – Mirja Geh