The world’s first hybrid ‘aeroboat’ which has been built by an Indo-Russian joint venture has been unveiled at a start-ups event organized by Russia’s state-run Skolkovo Foundation.
The aeroboat is capable of travelling on land, water, snow and sand. It has been designed to access difficult terrain, such as flooded or marshy areas in which the regular boats cannot ply because of shallow water, patches of dry land or by marine vegetation. The aeroboats can handle steep slopes and embankments with out the requirement of marine infrastructure such as jetties. The aeroboat will have a room for 10 passengers and one crew member.
The aeroboat has been designed by IIAAT Holding. IIAAT Holding is a joint venture between the International Institute for Advanced Aerospace Technologies and Indian firm Millennium Aerodynamics.
Aeroboats are much faster and robust when compared to hovercrafts. Aeroboats are capable of moving at the speed of around 150 kmph or more on water. Hovercrafts, on the other hand, can move at around 45-50 kmph or more.
Aeroboats unlike hoverboats are cheaper to maintain and fuel. The aeroboats “hybrid” engine is capable of running on either petrol or electricity thus helping in reducing the carbon emissions and improve energy efficiency.
While hovercrafts work on static air cushion, aeroboats functions on dynamic air-cushion. The Dynamic air-cushion feature provides a lot of advantage to aeroboats in terms of speed and manoeuvrability. The amphibious aeroboats can provide high-speed year-round navigation even in frozen surfaces.
In India, these aeroboats will be helpful for disaster management authorities. It would be helpful especially to save hundreds of lives during the monsoon season.