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Sky Whale may take a bite out of transport costs

Dec. 20, 2011, Winnipeg - An airship that promoters hope will become a launching pad for eventual freight shipments into remote areas not served by roads has been unveiled at the University of Manitoba.


December 20, 2011
By The Canadian Press

The curtain was pulled back Monday on a 24-metre-long, helium-filled craft called Sky Whale – believed to be the first airship built in Western Canada.

Constructed by Buoyant Aircraft Systems International and ISO Polar, the research aircraft will be used to develop a much bigger freighter.

The research will be done at an airship hangar at St. Andrews Airport north of Winnipeg, with test flight protocols expected to start in the new year.

Sky Whale's fins, gondola and envelope were built at Red River College in Winnipeg this past summer and both the college and U of M will be involved in ongoing work on the airship.

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Bob Brennan, president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro, says the Crown utility is interested in the potential for airships to transport supplies and materials to northern and remote regions.