flying whales | Quebec invests 55 million in giant balloons

Quebec is investing $55 million in a bold heavy machinery transport project in the far north of Quebec.

Posted at 8:00 AM

Andre Dubuque

Andre Dubuque
Journalism

Through Investissement Québec (IQ), the county is injecting 25 million euros into the capital of Flying Whales and 15 million euros into the capital of subsidiary Les Dirigibles Flying Whales Québec. Government investment is estimated at 55 million Canadian dollars.

“These contributions are aimed at the development and adoption of steerable balloons intended for transporting heavy and inflated loads in areas that are difficult to reach by road,” we explained in the press release issued by Quebec on Thursday.

Flying Whales Group has just completed a third round of financing of €122 million. Besides Quebec, the French state, through the French technology company Souveraineté and the Principality of Monaco, join the trip. Two current shareholders are putting money into the venture, ALIAD (Air Liquide Fund) and Groupe ADP.

“Flying Whales is taking another step in its growth, the experience of which will allow Quebec to develop a new generation of aircraft,” Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon said in a statement.

Key Ingredients in Quebec

Quebec wants to see Flying Whales implement an R&D component this year. In the end will follow a factory to produce aircraft. The first certification and commercial flights are scheduled from 2025 to 2026. The government publicly hopes “key components will be developed in Quebec, such as the hybrid electric propulsion system, avionics and crew cabin.”

One hundred jobs will be created within three years.

Flying Whales, founded in 2012, aims to create cargo aircraft (LCA60T) to carry large-tonne payloads of up to 60 tons.

The aircraft to be invented will be equipped first with hybrid propulsion, and then fully electric. The elevator will be generated by helium, it has been determined. Partners are pleased in advance with its low environmental impact.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of flying whale blimps. The Quebec government agreed in 2019 to give Investissement Quebec $30 million in the project. These sums were disbursed, IQ confirmed in July 2020. The presence of the Chinese in the capital stock has delayed the project to establish this subsidiary in the country, following a decision by the Investment Canada.

Flying Whales has been able to do business in Canada since January 2022, Quebec confirms today.

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