Wednesday, 06 Oct, 2010 Technology

Skylifter - Balloon Sky Crane for Transporting Heavy Equipment


There are situations when the only way to transport equipment to remote areas is by helicopter. The largest helicopters are able to carry a maximum of 20 tons.

This is why the Australian company called Skylifter designed a helium balloon sky crane that can move heavy equipment and prefab buildings in different areas where there are no roads.

It is worth mentioning that the Skylifter's transportation device can carry a payload of 150 tons, being able to register a range of 1240 miles.

Due to its compact design, the Skylifter can show great mobility and resistance to the wind. It can also reach a top speed of 45 knots.

An improved maneuverability is provided by the Voith-Schneider propeller, which resembles the propeller used in modern tugboats.

Currently the firm is working on a 23 meter test sky crane. The full scale model is expected to be created within 3 years, informs The Economist.

If built, the Skylifter could push sustainable building in developing countries a step forward, being able to bring prefab medical, school and housing facilities to remote regions.

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