Large Payload: the SkyCat-20 has the flexibility and penetration of a helicopter but with a considerably greater payload capacity, while the SkyCat-220 significantly out-scales and out-performs all existing air freight transport alternatives.
Long Range and High Endurance: the standard operating range of the SkyCat-20 with 16 tons payload is 2,400 nautical miles at cruise, enabling the vehicle in a surveillance role (for instance) to remain on station for up to 10 days at a time if required. The standard range for the SkyCat-220 is 3,250 nautical miles, making it ideal for bulk transport (e.g.) of fresh produce direct from grower to market.
Low Capital and Operating Costs: the capital cost of the basic SkyCat-20 ranges from $28m-$30m and the direct operating costs are under $1000/hour. The capital cost of the SkyCat-220 is $88m-$95m and the operating cost under $1400/hour (see page 21). When relative speed is factored in, these costs compare highly favourably with both aircraft and shipping alternatives. In fact, the SkyCat fills the gap in the transportation market between fast, high-cost air transport and the slow, low-cost sea alternative, as below:
Low Maintenance: scheduled maintenance is just 2 weeks per annum and can be conducted in the field without need of hangaring.
High Fuel Efficiency: with its two stern engines running in the wake of the hull, the SkyCat achieves high fuel efficiencies due to reduced vehicle drag. The fuel burn per ton/km for the SkyCat-20 is well under 50% of that of a C-130J transport aircraft and just 25% that of a 40-ton truck.
Low Infrastructural Requirement: able to land and take off from any reasonably flat terrain, water included, without the need for runways, hangars, ground crews or handling equipment, the SkyCat offers the ideal, environmentally sensitive vehicle for transport over long distances into remote regions.