The Takuvik Team has been testing the ice camp airboat by driving in icy conditions, in order to be prepared for the campaign. Before the ice melted in Quebec city, our team tested the boat a second time.
As we explained in the last post about the airboat, the first trial was not entirely successful: the airboat worked well until the accelerator froze as a result of high-speed.
The second trial was successful!
After fixing the connections that were problematic during the first trial, Sylvain Blondeau succeeded in making the airboat fly and slide across Lac Piché at Forêt Montmorency.
Luckily, we found spot on the lake that was not frozen and were able to test the boat’s performance on the transition between ice and water. Neither Joannie Ferland nor Sylvain Blondeau had any problem driving the boat across the lake. The airboat easily slides from water level onto thick ice and down again with great stability.
The airboat is now ready to head north!
The airboat will be used during ice breakup when the ice is too inconsistent for travel by snowmobile. As previously explained, the airboat is a flatbottom boat powered by an airplane propeller which projects above the stern. This type of watercraft is often used in swamps or shallow waters.
It will offer a safe method of accessing the ice camp located 30km offshore the community of Qikiqtarjuaq (located on Broughton Island) during the Arctic melt season. The team expects to sample seawater at the ice camp location during the period of ice melt as progressively more light penetrates the seawater and the phytoplankton bloom peaks.