Discovery Air Innovations announces agreement with Hybrid Air Vehicles to launch a commercial Heavy Lift Air Vehicle program

Yellowknife, NT, August 30, 2011 – Discovery Air Innovations Inc. (DAI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Discovery Air Inc. and Hybrid Air Vehicles Limited (HAV) have entered into a commercial agreement which identifies DAI as the launch customer for HAV’s Commercial Heavy Lift programme.  Under the agreement, HAV grants DAI multiple aircraft delivery options and, subject to successful completion of final design and commercial terms, both companies anticipate conclusion of a definitive purchase agreement in 2012, followed by production and delivery of the first operational heavy lift hybrid air vehicles in 2014. HAV is a pioneer and world leader in the design, manufacture and support of innovative lighter-than-air aircraft products, known as Hybrid Air Vehicles.

DAI is in the process of securing lead customers with a need for heavy-lift capability to optimize their logistics solutions into remote areas in the 2014 timeframe.  The helium-filled hull creates aerodynamic lift, which when combined with vectored thrust engines enables vertical takeoff / landing (VTOL), as well as precision hover.  The hovercraft landing system, with “suck down” capability, allows for multi-surface operation and load transfer on land, water, ice and snow, while roll-on-roll-off cargo load capability facilitates heavy load operations.  The aircraft will carry a payload of 50 tonnes delivering cargo point to point, without the need for a runway. The ability to load, launch, and land from gravel airstrips, water, snow or ice surfaces with no preparation or specialist handling equipment saves time and investment in infrastructure.

“Hybrid Air Vehicles will dramatically improve existing supply chains for large industrial projects in hard to reach places and enable economic development where it was previously not viable”, said Paul Bouchard, President of DAI.  “We are extremely pleased to partner with a company like Hybrid Air Vehicles to deliver this revolutionary product to the market.  HAV has re-examined the basic principles behind lighter-than-air science and applied modern technology and materials to this 100 year old concept.”

 “The North has been waiting a long time for a year-round, heavy-lift, transport capability.  DAI presents an opportunity for Alaska and the Canadian Territories to take control of their economic destiny” said Dr. Barry Prentice, Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Asper School of Business in Winnipeg, Manitoba. “The conditions are right for a new form of transport that is capable of heavy lift, but is also low cost and environmentally sustainable. DAI has recognized the opportunity presented by hybrid aircraft for the North”

“The introduction of a Heavy Lift Air Vehicle is very exciting.  With its large lifting capacity, low emissions and the fact that it reduces the need for infrastructure, it is exactly the kind of solution Nunavut needs to promote economic development while at the same time respecting the environment and the land," said Mr. Victor Tootoo, Co-Chair of the 2010 Northern Economic and Sovereignty Infrastructure Conference.

Founded in 2004, Discovery Air Inc. is a specialty aviation services company operating across Canada and in select locations internationally. With over 130 aircraft, it is one of the largest air operators in Canada, employing more than 600 flight crew, maintainers and support staff to deliver a variety of air transport, maintenance and logistics solutions to its government, airline and business customers. The Corporation's subsidiaries include: Top Aces, which delivers airborne training and special mission services to the Canadian military; Discovery Air Fire Services, a supplier of airborne fire management services to the Ontario government and charter services to government agencies and corporate customers; Discovery Air Technical Services, which provides a range of maintenance, repair, overhaul, modification, engineering and certification services; Great Slave Helicopters, one of the largest VFR helicopter operators in the country; Air Tindi, the largest fixed-wing aircraft charter provider based in Northern Canada; Discovery Mining Services, which supplies all-weather exploration camps as well as expediting and logistics support services; and Discovery Air Innovations, the innovation arm of Discovery Air that identifies and captures large, new market opportunities.


Discovery Air’s public communications may include written or oral forward-looking statements (as defined in applicable securities laws) regarding the future performance of the company and/or its subsidiaries. Forward-looking statements by definition are based on assumptions and are as a result subject to risks and uncertainties, including those identified in the Management’s Discussion and Analysis section of Discovery Air’s financial statements for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2010, available at As a result of such risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those discussed in forward-looking statements, and readers should not place undue reliance on such statements. Forward-looking statements represent expectations as of the date they are made, and Discovery Air disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements it may make, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities laws.
Discovery Air’s shares and debentures trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (Symbols DA.A and DA.DB.A respectively).

For further information about this exciting new service, please contact:

Stephen Newton
Director Business Development DAI

Sheila Venman
Investor Relations
Toll Free (866) 903 3247

Rolf S. Dawson
Vice President, Corporate Finance & Administration
867-873-5350, Ext. 304

To download the PDF version of this press release, please click here.

More News