SkyCat Technologies and Advanced Technologies have won a contract to take part in an engineering study to assess the potential of their SkyCat hybrid air vehicle in an ultra heavy-lift role. The contract comes from the US Department of the Army through Camber Corporation.

The studies are based on the SkyCat 1000 design, which is scheduled to fly in 2008. The SkyCat 1000 can lift 1,000t and carry it 7,400km (4,000nm), or 600t and take it 9,000nm, returning home unrefuelled.

Two smaller hybrid air vehicles - the SkyCat 20 and the SkyCat 200 - lifting 20t and 200t respectively - will fly before the large variant.

Designed by Roger Munk, SkyCat brings together three innovative technologies. Aerodynamic lift derives from a conventional lifting body, coupled with gaseous lift derived from the use of helium in a catamaran-shaped pressure-stabilised envelope. In addition there is a novel air-cushion landing system which enables the SkyCat to takeoff and land almost anywhere including remote land and sea locations.

Source: Flight Daily News