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SkyCat (a portmanteau of "Sky Catamaran") is a class of proposed heavy-lift hybrid airships which derive more than half of their lift by helium buoyancy and the balance via aerodynamic lift produced by aerodynamic shaping. The SkyCat design incorporates hover cushion technology in place of wheels, allowing craft to take-off and land anywhere, including remote regions without need for airports or sophisticated forward based infrastructure.
"SkyFreighter" is the name given by the Hybrid Air Vehicles to one of its implementations of the SkyCat design. These are proposed to carry heavy-lift and ultra-heavy-lift cargo payloads from 50 tons net payload to as heavy as 1000 tons which may be a mix of outsized and/or containerized objects.
SkyCat air vehicle developments are being pursued by at least one major aerospace company. DARPA concluded their "WALRUS" contract with industry to explore technology options that might be employed in such vehicles as SkyCat in CY-2006.
- Skykitten website
- New Scientist 2001-01-06
- "High Safety Level (page 5) and Structural Vulnerability Tests (page 7)" (PDF). World Skycat. Retrieved 2008-04-25.