Sling Big or Go Home

 - August 29, 2008, 1:17 PM

Ice road truckers could be out of business soon. Boeing and SkyHook are developing a hybrid heavy-lift helicopter/blimp capable of hoisting a 40-ton sling load and moving it 200 miles without refueling. The JHL-40 will be capable of transporting equipment and materials to remote drilling and mining locations in the Canadian Arctic and Alaska. The helium “envelope” will support the vehicle while the four main rotors will lift the payload. Boeing will build two production prototypes at its Ridley Park, Pa. plant. SkyHook will own and operate the vehicles.