Amphibious vehicle unveiled – July 3, 2006
July 3, 2006
Filed under Features
Gibbs Technologies Ltd., a U.K.-based specialist in “High Speed Amphibian” (HSA) technology, has unveiled a prototype of an amphibious ATV called the Quadski.
Powered by a 140 bhp gasoline engine and capable of traveling up to 50 mph on land and water, the Quadski moves by wheels on land and a marine jet pump on water.
The unit’s fuel tank allows it to travel for up to two hours on water and the vehicle has a land range of 372 miles.
The transition from land to water takes less than five seconds. Upon entering the water, the flick of a switch retracts the wheels into the body of the vehicle.
Quadski shares the same Gibbs’ patented HSA technology with the recently launched Aquada — the amphibian car that set the water speed record for amphibian craft, as well as the world record for crossing the English Channel — and the Humdinga, a five-seater, four-wheel drive vehicle capable of traveling up to 80 mph on land and 45 mph on water.
The marine jet propulsion system is of proprietary design and utilizes more than 60 patented elements. Alan Gibbs, founder of Gibbs Technologies Ltd., said the company plans to establish a number of licenses worldwide to manufacture, distribute and sell the products.
“Quadski is both exciting and practical with a multitude of uses,” said Gibbs. “I know consumers will love the fun of driving a Quadski on land one minute and then head straight into the sea or river the next. But there is a very serious side to Quadski as well: emergency services and aid workers will be able to reach areas and people no two- or four-wheel-drive vehicle could reach.”
Gibbs, one of New Zealand’s most successful entrepreneurs, founded Gibbs Technologies in 1996. While initial concept work was undertaken in 1997 and 1998 in Detroit, the project was later brought to the United Kingdom.
Gibbs’ facilities in the United Kingdom include an 80,000 square foot factory, 20,000 square foot office space, a styling studio, engineering workshop, CAD design facility, finite element analysis software, marine test facility, and prototype manufacturing assembly facility.
In his early days, Gibbs studied engineering and economics and became a New Zealand diplomat in London. He has run his own merchant bank; was a half owner of New Zealand’s largest car dealership chain; put together the management buyout of the country’s biggest publicly listed freight courier and security company; co-lead a syndicate that purchased New Zealand Telecom; and was a driving force behind the introduction of Sky, the only pay television service in New Zealand.
He also has undertaken projects for the New Zealand government to advise on restructuring the public hospital system and to restructure and privatize the massive government-owned forestry sector.