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Boeing teams with Skyhook International to build heavy-lift rotorcraft

July 8, 2008, St. Louis, MO – The Boeing Company and SkyHook International Inc. today announced a teaming agreement to develop the JHL-40 (Jess Heavy Lifter), a new commercial heavy-lift rotorcraft designed to address the limitations and expense of transporting equipment and materials in remote regions.


July 9, 2008
By Carey Fredericks

July
8, 2008, St. Louis, MO – The Boeing Company and SkyHook International
Inc. today announced a teaming agreement to develop the JHL-40 (Jess
Heavy Lifter), a new commercial heavy-lift rotorcraft designed to
address the limitations and expense of transporting equipment and
materials in remote regions. Boeing has received the first increment of
a multiyear contract from SkyHook to develop the new aircraft.

“SkyHook secured the patent for this neutrally buoyant aircraft and
approached Boeing with the opportunity to develop and build the
system,” said Pat Donnelly, director of Advanced Rotorcraft Systems for
Boeing. “We conducted a feasibility study and decided this opportunity
is a perfect fit for Advanced Systems' technical capabilities.”

The neutrally buoyant feature allows SkyHook to safely carry payloads
unmatched by any rotorcraft in existence today. The helium-filled
envelope is sized to support the weight of the vehicle and fuel without
payload. With the empty weight of the aircraft supported by the
envelope, the lift generated by four rotors is dedicated solely to
lifting the payload, leaving the aircraft neutrally buoyant.

The SkyHook JHL-40 aircraft will be capable of lifting a 40-ton sling
load and transporting it up to 200 miles without refueling in harsh
environments such as the Canadian Arctic and Alaska. Currently,
conventional land and water transportation methods in these undeveloped
regions are inadequate, unreliable and costly. With its lifting
capacity and range, the SkyHook JHL-40 aircraft changes that for a
variety of industries around the world.

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“There is a definite need for this technology. The list of customers
waiting for SkyHook’s services is extensive, and they enthusiastically
support the development of the JHL-40,” said Pete Jess, SkyHook
president and chief operating officer. “Companies have suggested this
new technology will enable them to modify their current operational
strategy and begin working much sooner on projects that were thought to
be 15 to 20 years away. This Boeing-SkyHook technology represents an
environmentally acceptable solution for these companies’ heavy-lift
short-haul challenges, and it’s the only way many projects will be able
to progress economically.”

The JHL-40 is environmentally acceptable because it mitigates the
impact of building new roadways in remote areas, and Skyhook is
expected to reduce the carbon footprint of the industrial projects it
supports.

Boeing is designing and will fabricate two production prototypes of the
JHL-40 at its Rotorcraft Systems facility in Ridley Park, Pa. Skyhook
will own, maintain, operate and service all JHL-40 aircraft for
customers worldwide. The new aircraft will enter commercial service as
soon as it is certified by Transport Canada and the U.S. Federal
Aviation Administration.

SkyHook International Inc. <http://www.skyhookinternational.com/
>  is a privately owned company located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
SkyHook principals have been focused on providing solutions to
logistical challenges in remote regions. They have a 30-year history in
remote area operations and logistics in support of exploration,
research and development in isolated regions of the world.  For more
information, visit www.skyhookinternational.com
<http://www.skyhookinternational.com/> .

A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems <http://www.boeing.com/ids/
>  is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses
specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions.
Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a
$32.1 billion business with 71,000 employees worldwide.