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Hovering rescue craft awarded a $297,000 test contract

Military will check out Markham manufacturer’s Amphibious Trimaran with Aerostatic Discharge.


Rescue craft hovers over water, land, ice snow, going to places helicopters can’t reach. Photo: Interconn

Rescue craft hovers over water, land, ice snow, going to places helicopters can’t reach.
Photo: Interconn

MARKHAM, Ont. — The Canadian Armed Forces and National Defence will test a Canadian-made light amphibious rescue craft that hovers over water, land and snow and will go to places helicopters can’t reach.

Interconn Development Ltd., manufacturer of the Amphibious Trimaran with Aerostatic Discharge, has been awarded a $297,045 contract through the federal Build in Canada Innovation Program.

Its light amphibious vehicle uses air cushion technology to transport passengers and cargo during search and rescue missions in harsh conditions that prevent the use of helicopters.

The company, based in Markham, Ont., says the craft’s operational range is about 240 to 250 kilometres.

Aerostatic discharge is the layer of 750 to 1,080 Pa pressurized air between the craft’s inflatable floats and the terrain that reduces friction. The company says the effect of the air cushion is visible on a level surface where the vehicle hovers up to 4 cm above the ground.

Interconn’s craft operates in calm or swift water of any depth and in waves up to two metres, including flooded environments full of debris and underwater obstacles. It also travels over sandbars, mudflats, muskeg, snow and ice, plus short distances over paved surfaces. But it does not operate in steep terrain or where there are obstructions such as rocks and trees.

The vehicle accommodates seven people including the operator but in an emergency it can carry as many as 12. It’s also designed to carry a wide range of cargo, rescue and emergency equipment including all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.

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