DAI is in the process of securing lead customers with a need for heavy-lift capability to optimize their logistics solutions into remote areas in the 2014 timeframe. The helium-filled hull creates aerodynamic lift, which when combined with vectored thrust engines enables vertical takeoff / landing (VTOL), as well as precision hover. The hovercraft landing system, with "suck down" capability, allows for multi-surface operation and load transfer on land, water, ice and snow, while roll-on-roll-off cargo load capability facilitates heavy load operations. The aircraft will carry a payload of 50 tonnes delivering cargo point to point, without the need for a runway. The ability to load, launch, and land from gravel airstrips, water, snow or ice surfaces with no preparation or specialist handling equipment saves time and investment in infrastructure.
"Hybrid Air Vehicles will dramatically improve existing supply chains for large industrial projects in hard to reach places and enable economic development where it was previously not viable", said Paul Bouchard, President of DAI. "We are extremely pleased to partner with a company like Hybrid Air Vehicles to deliver this revolutionary product to the market. HAV has re-examined the basic principles behind lighter-than-air science and applied modern technology and materials to this 100 year old concept."
"The North has been waiting a long time for a year-round, heavy-lift, transport capability. DAI presents an opportunity for Alaska and the Canadian Territories to take control of their economic destiny" said Dr. Barry Prentice, Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Asper School of Business in Winnipeg, Manitoba. "The conditions are right for a new form of transport that is capable of heavy lift, but is also low cost and environmentally sustainable. DAI has recognized the opportunity presented by hybrid aircraft for the North"
"The introduction of a Heavy Lift Air Vehicle is very exciting. With its large lifting capacity, low emissions and the fact that it reduces the need for infrastructure, it is exactly the kind of solution Nunavut needs to promote economic development while at the same time respecting the environment and the land," said Mr. Victor Tootoo, Co-Chair of the 2010 Northern Economic and Sovereignty Infrastructure Conference.
ABOUT DISCOVERY AIR AND ITS SUBSIDIARIES
Founded in 2004, Discovery Air Inc. is a specialty aviation services company operating across Canada and in select locations internationally. With over 130 aircraft, it is one of the largest air operators in Canada, employing more than 600 flight crew, maintainers and support staff to deliver a variety of air transport, maintenance and logistics solutions to its government, airline and business customers. The Corporation's subsidiaries include Top Aces, which delivers airborne training and special mission services to the Canadian military; Hicks & Lawrence, a supplier of airborne fire management services to the Ontario government and charter services to government agencies and corporate customers; Discovery Air Technical Services, which provides a range of maintenance, repair, overhaul, modification, engineering and certification services; Great Slave Helicopters, one of the largest VFR helicopter operators in the country; Air Tindi, the largest fixed-wing aircraft charter provider based in Northern Canada; Discovery Mining Services, which supplies all-weather exploration camps as well as expediting and logistics support services; and Discovery Air Innovations, the innovation arm of Discovery Air that identifies and captures large, new market opportunities.
CAUTION REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
Air Creebec to be launch customer for the Dash 8 aircraft.
Discovery Air Technical Services Inc. Announces Multi-year Contract with Piedmont Airlines for Dash-8 fleet maintenance
Piedmont Airlines is the largest North American Dash-8 operator with 44 active aircraft.
Discovery Air Technical Services Inc. Announces Award of SAAB340 AMO Certificate and New Contracts with Sky Bahamas and Transwest Air
In addition DAT holds Transport Canada approvals for the DASH-8, ERJ 135/145 and Boeing 737 aircraft.
DATS' decision to locate in Quebec City was motivated by the availability of a pool of highly-qualified staff.