This aircraft will be a serious heavy lifting aerial crane. With helicopter technology limited to payloads of up to 20 tonne, the SkyLifter's 150 tonne vertical pick-up and deliver capability will present a paradigm shift for the heavy airlift industry when it is introduced.
A common theme in the heavy airlift scenario is the ad-hoc nature of the tasks - so a 'go anywhere', 'lift anything' aircraft is demanded. SkyLifter's intended capability is:
- Very heavy airlift. The SkyLifter's payload is around 150,000 kg (330,000 lbs) at sea level. This capability could be used to carry items for wind-farm construction, pylon and bridge installations, transformer transport and anything that is too heavy for helicopters, or too difficult to move by land or sea.
- External payload. The picture to the right illustrates SkyLifter’s goal to carry oversize payloads. When introduced, builders of pre-fabricated buildings, large equipment or other cargo will be freed from the size restrictions of road transport, enabling them to do more manufacturing in the factory and less assembly onsite, thereby saving time, materials and costs.
- Flexible logistics. No landing, minimal payload hand-offs, and extended loiter are key benefits. SkyLifters would be used in many projects where other terrestrial crane services are unable to work, particularly in isolated, mountainous, waterlogged or forest regions.
Below is a very short time-lapse video to illustrate the capability.
Read more about the Healthcare and HADR applications of an SL150
- SL class = SkyLifter. SL150
- Aerostat diameter = 150 metre (450 ft)
- Certification category = Transport
- Payload = 150,000 kg (330,000 lbs)
- Cruise range = over 2,000 km (1,200 miles)
- Cruise speed = under 80 kmph (50 mph)
- Cruise altitude = under 3,000m (10,000 ft)
- Crew = 2 (pilot and loadmaster)or more people
- Power = Diesel/Electric/Solar
More information is available for potential operators.