Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hybrid Air Vehicles — the future of Arctic mining is up in the air

Hybrid Vehicles
The 1985 movie Back to the Future ends with the prophetic line “Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.”

Fast forward to the present to Canada’s Arctic region and that prediction is appearing to come true. The Ice Road Truckers better watch out, the future of Arctic mining and drilling may not need any roads.

British aviation pioneer Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited is proposing an alternative option for the delivery of heavy goods and equipment to remote mining sites and oil and gas drilling locations which eliminates the need for long-distance trucking.

The company has developed a “hybrid” aircraft that combines the helium lift of a conventional airship with the aerodynamic shape and more conventional thrust of a vertical take-off-and-landing craft and the precision hovering and soft-landing ability of a hovercraft. It is working to give its vehicles a heavy lift payload capacity ranging from 20 tons to 200 tons.

Hybrid Air Vehicles, which has been developing vehicles for the military in conjunction with defense contractors such as Northrop Grumman, signed its first commercial contract in August with Canada-based specialty aviation company Discovery Air Innovations to build airships capable of lifting as much as 50 tons.

Read More

No comments: