Amphibious vehicles are back with a vengeance, with a host of possibilities for versatile designs
Everybody loves an amphibious vehicle. The iconic DUKW, a messy acronym meaning ‘Designed 1942, Utility, All-Wheel Drive, Dual Tandem Rear Axles,’ but more popularly referred to as the ‘Duck’, were best known as the ingenious Second World War invention that helped allied troops reach the Normandy beaches on the French Atlantic coast during Operation Overlord in June 1944, and which saw service supporting the US armed forces throughout the Pacific theatre. In a twist of irony, an Asia-Pacific company in the form of the People’ Republic of China’s Tsing Tech has overhauled and modernised the whole notion of the amphibious vehicle.
The company, which is exhibiting at this year’s UK Security Exhibition being held in London between 28 November and 29 November, takes a clever approach. Rather than design a Duck from the outset, its engineers take a standard four-wheel, six-wheel or eight-wheel drive truck chassis and build an amphibious hull around it. This hull can then be customised for whichever requirements the user has in mind. Company officials told MONch that an abundance of locally-produced components in China from engines, to transmissions and propellers help to keep costs down. In recent years, the firm has seen a significant demand for its vehicles for a range of applications from tourism to search and rescue and military applications. It has also enjoyed sales of its wares to markets in Mexico and the Philippines.