Helicopter delivered 2011 Ford Explorer. Image credit:Advanced Autozone.
This says a lot about how far the "green" movement is from where the private, profitable transportation business is headed. A Ford Explorer, featuring inflatable seat belts, was recently copter-delivered before a large air show audience - at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture.
As presented in the Advanced Autozone: "From Using an Erickson "Goliath" Air Crane with 9000 Horsepower, the all-new Explorer arrived suspended under the crane in a special palette held by four cables...The completely reinvented SUV includes safety features such as the industry's only inflatable seatbelts, technology that customers need and want and class-leading fuel economy--more than 30% better than the current vehicle." All to the good to achieve a a 30% mileage improvement. Go Ford.
The helicopter drop creates a brand consciousness moment for the shrinking market which can still afford this sort of vehicle.
In a parallel universe.
If they had delivered a smaller, far more mileage efficient Ford, a much smaller helicopter would have done the job. Less dramatic for sure. Would it have achieved the same level of profit prospects for Ford? Probably not.
Can you imagine the hornets nest that would have been stirred had GM, currently owned in part by the US government, pulled a similar stunt?
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh - The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration, which is the official name of the air show where the copter delivery was made is here.