Thursday, July 10, 2008

Arctic Zeppelin

Named the Jess Heavy Lifter after Pete Jess, SkyHook International's president, the JHL-40 is designed to address the limitations and expense of transporting equipment and materials in remote regions and harsh environments such as the Canadian Arctic and Alaska. Conventional land and water transportation in these undeveloped regions is inadequate, unreliable and costly. When flying without a load, the JHL-40 will have a ferry range of 800 nautical miles (921 miles), so it will be able to deploy itself to remote locations where it is needed.

St. Louis, Mo.-based Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, the Boeing unit that will build the JHL-40, says it already has received from SkyHook the first increment of a multi-year contract to develop the new aircraft. Privately owned SkyHook expects the JHL-40 to support several industries, including energy, mining and logging.

"There is a definite need for this technology. The list of customers waiting for SkyHook's services is extensive, and they enthusiastically support the development of the JHL-40," said Pete Jess, SkyHook's president and chief operating officer.

"Companies have suggested this new technology will enable them to modify their current operational strategy and begin working much sooner on projects that were thought to be 15 to 20 years away," added Jess. "This Boeing-SkyHook technology represents an environmentally acceptable solution for these companies' heavy-lift short-haul challenges, and it's the only way many projects will be able to progress economically."