Hooked up

  • 07-Aug-2008 01:27 EDT
The SkyHook JHL-40 is a neutrally buoyant heavy-lift aircraft being designed and built by Boeing for SkyHook International Inc. It is designed to carry up to 80,000 lb and fly up to 200 mi before refueling.

The Boeing Co. and SkyHook International Inc. formed a teaming agreement to develop the JHL-40 (Jess Heavy Lifter), a commercial heavy-lift rotorcraft designed to address the limitations and expense of transporting equipment and materials in remote regions. SkyHook secured the patent for the neutrally buoyant aircraft and approached Boeing with the opportunity to develop and build the system. The helium-filled envelope is sized to support the weight of the vehicle and fuel without payload. With the empty weight of the aircraft supported by the envelope, the lift generated by four rotors is dedicated solely to lifting the payload, leaving the aircraft neutrally buoyant. The SkyHook JHL-40 aircraft will be capable of lifting a 40-ton sling load and transporting it up to 200 mi without refueling in harsh environments such as the Canadian Arctic and Alaska. Boeing is designing and will fabricate two production prototypes of the JHL-40 at its Rotorcraft Systems facility in Ridley Park, PA. Skyhook will own, maintain, operate, and service all JHL-40 aircraft for customers worldwide. The new aircraft will enter commercial service as soon as it is certified by Transport Canada and the U.S. FAA.

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