Boeing’s Blimp: The Answer Cometh

By James T. McKenna | July 8, 2008

Boeing is teaming with a Canadian firm to develop a new commercial heavy-lift rotorcraft. Calgary, Alberta-based SkyHook International will work with Boeing to design and build the JHL-40 under a multi-year contract. “SkyHook secured the patent for this neutrally buoyant aircraft and approached Boeing,” said Pat Donnelly, director of Advanced Rotorcraft Systems for Boeing. The aircraft is to feature a helium-filled envelope sized to support the weight of the vehicle and fuel without payload. Lift generated by four rotors would bear the payload weight. The goal is to carry a 40-ton sling load about 175 nm without refueling in harsh environments such as the Canadian Arctic and Alaska. Boeing will design and will build two production prototypes at its Rotorcraft Systems facility in Ridley Park, Pa. Skyhook will own, maintain, operate and service all JHL-40s worldwide. For related news


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