Date:18 March 2014
What do you get when you combine the best attributes of an airboat with those of a hovercraft and a pontoon inflatable? You get stability, speed, agility, go-anywhere capability and a very practical weight-bearing capacity – all of which fits the ATASD, a multi-purpose amphibious vehicle designed for passenger and cargo transportation over a wide range of water and ground surfaces.
It’s the brainchild of a Canadian company called Interconn Development, which says its goal was to build a cost-effective vehicle that could travel in areas where conventional machines could not operate effectively – and here we’re talking anywhere from the debris-filled streets of a flooded city to the dangerous ice of a northern lake, from sensitive mudflats to a mine tailings storage facility.
The ATASD is said to offer exceptional stability at speeds up to 90 km/h over water and a formidable 120 km/h over snow and ice. The craft features a number of control mechanisms that allow the operator to make adjustments to the vehicle “on the fly” as the payload or environmental conditions change. Pressure in the pontoons can be increased or decreased manually, and the craft can be trimmed for efficient operation via the adjustable rear lift stabiliser, located behind the propulsion fan.
The 540 kg ATASD has a full-load buoyancy capacity of 3 240 kg and a cargo capacity of 850 kg. The deck can be configured for passenger seating, cargo or a mixture of both, and has standing room for up to nine people plus pilot. Power is provided by a single 2-litre Ford Duratec engine, driving one forward propulsion fan and two coupled lift fans. Likely applications include search-and-rescue, military operations, border security, surveying, environmental monitoring, hunting and fishing, and recreation.
Catch the ATASD amphibious vehicle in action…