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Boeing Skyhook is Retro-futuristic and awesome

I grew up near Seattle, Washington, and one of the biggest companies in the area is, of course, the Boeing Corporation. They have a testing field located outside the city that is almost as big as Sea-Tac Airport. The aviation giant recently announced the development of the Skyhook JHL-40.

The Skyhook is a terrific looking aircraft with eight engines. Four of them are vertical rotors that can give some extra lift, allowing the airship to lift 40 tons. The other four engines are directional propellers to control the precise movement of the Skyhook.

What I would give to live close to Boeing again as they develop this advanced airship. Not only is it a quantum leap over the Goodyear Blimp, but very environmentally friendly. The Skyhook has a reduced carbon footprint, and does not disturb the landscape like an airplane or helicopter.

It can also transport cargo and crew 200 miles without refueling in adverse environments such as the Arctic. Boeing is very confident that this airship will have a great influence on the logging industry, hence the concept graphic of it lifting tall trees.

Personally, I think this Skyhook is very cool overall, and reminds me of Victorian visions of the future, when we believed that our skies would be full of airships. I can’t wait for the day when I see it fly over my head. I just hope I believe the guy that says: “Look, it’s the Skyhook blimp!”


3 thoughts on “Boeing Skyhook is Retro-futuristic and awesome”

  1. Ever heard about Cargolifter? 😉

    The thing about airships is that when they unload those tons and tons of stuff, they’d have to LOAD tons and tons of ballast at the same time, otherwise they’d pop skywards in a hurry… Cargolifter sank hundreds of millions into developing a cargo airship and failed because physics laws can’t be beaten.

  2. I believe strongly that this concept could work. Why well because Boeing is already working on a 20 ton lifting helicopter so why not plug a blimp on it and lift 40-tons. Check out my Blog for an in depth analysis.


    Editor of Airshipworld
    Visit the Airshipworld Blog at

  3. The Skyhook actually uses 4 Chinook helicopter rotor systems to raise the 40 ton load, while the empty weight of the airship is supported by the helium. In effect, it is a “zero-weight” helicopter.
    I am curious, though, why the author says its carbon footprint is reduced and does not disturb the environment as a helicopter does. It is exactly like a helicopter – in fact it is exactly like 2 Chinooks – hanging from the beneath a balloon.

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