The ultimate amphibious trucks
The Gibbs Phibian skims across the water on the Potomac River.
With the dramatic backdrop of the Pentagon on one side and the Washington Monument just across the Potomac River, Gibbs gave a demonstration of Phibian, a 30-foot amphitruck, which will be road l egal and capable of more than 80 mph on the highway and 30 mph in water. Like Gibbs’ other amphibians, the Phibian can transition between land and water in as little as 5 seconds.
Once the vehicle determines it has enough water depth to float, it raises the wheels.
The company, which has spent 15 years and 2 million man hours developing the HSA technology, was founded by New Zealander Alan Gibbs. Gibbs has largely funded the project on his own, investing an estimated $200 million.
“Natural disasters in recent memory, such as the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan, Thailand, Sri Lanka and elsewhere in Asia; as well as the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, illustrate the need for amphibians as capable, versatile and efficient as Phibian,” Gibbs Chairman Neil Jenkins said.
Gibbs is now taking orders for the Phibian, although no price was announced. It plans to begin delivering vehicles in 9 to 15 months.
In addition to the Phibian, Gibbs also announced that it would take orders for another vehicle, the Humdinga II, a 20-foot amphibian that is capable of reaching the most extreme and remote territory. Gibbs did not have the Humdinga on hand for the demonstration.
The Phibian prototype features twin 250-horsepowerSteyr marine diesel engines. It features four-wheel drive, but front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive can also be selected depending on conditions. In water, it is propelled by twin water jets.