While the project of airship launched by the government of Québec is hampered by fears of espionage in Ottawa, a giant american of aeronautics has initiated the certification of a ball that has already attracted the interest in the north of Quebec.
Our Bureau of investigation revealed on Monday that the project of an airship Flying Whales, a company in which Quebec has invested $ 30 million, was blocked for months in Ottawa because of fears of industrial espionage.
The company has still not received the green light to start research and development in order to realise the aircraft, which has not yet passed the drawing table.
One thing is certain, the american company Lockheed Martin has a head start on Flying Whales up in the north of Quebec.
Transport Canada has confirmed to our Office of investigations that the american company has already submitted a request to certify his airship, a prototype of which has already been tested in volume
It has not been possible to know where is made this process nor since when it is started. “Transport Canada cannot give details about an application for reasons of confidentiality “, said the spokesperson Frédérica Dupuis.
The project of airship from Lockheed Martin was launched 20 years ago. In 2015, the company wanted to build a device that would carry 20 tons of goods. Lockheed did not respond to our interview requests.
The model LHM-1 Lockheed Martin.
BASE AT SCHEFFERVILLE
The progress of the project to Lockheed arouses enthusiasm in the north of Quebec, a market coveted by Flying Whales.
In an interview with our Bureau of investigation, a contractor of Schefferville, Elias Hage, has confirmed that it has already begun construction of an airport terminal building of airships that would serve the mining companies and northern communities.
The excavators have already started to develop a huge plot of 1.5 km by 3 km. The beginning of the activities would be possible within four years.
ENTHUSIASM FOR LOCKHEED
Even if it will be open to all airships, Mr. Hage does not hide his enthusiasm for the unit of Lockheed, in which he saw the prototype in the facilities of california of the company.
“The prototype has already flown, I touched it, I got back in, I have discussed with the company engineers in California,” he said. I believe in this aircraft. “
According to him, the main quality of the device is that it will load to the ground, contrary to the project of Flying Whales, with a capacity of 60 tons, which is in charge hovering, thanks to the winches.
“Their concept gives us the flexibility of starting directly from the train station, and landing on the way back, judge said it. There is no unloading in volume “
Mr. Hage believes that Lockheed, a supplier to NASA, has a head start on Flying Whales. “This is a company known and solid,” he said. They have equipment that goes on the Moon. It is believed that they are able to deliver the goods. “