Calgary, Alberta-based SkyHook International has tapped Boeing
's Rotorcraft Div. to develop the JHL-40 neutral-buoyancy rotorcraft to carry a 40-ton payload about 175 nm. A helium-filled envelope would support the roughly 300-ft-long aircraft's empty weight and fuel load, while four rotors based on Boeing
's CH-47 Chinook dynamics components would lift the payload. Four separate propulsion systems would provide control and station-keeping thrust. Boeing expects to freeze the design for the JHL-40 by October. Targeted at the energy-exploration and mining industries, the JHL-40 also could have military applications.