How the Gibbs Aquada Works

In the Water

The design of the Aquada's hull
The design of the Aquada's hull
Photo courtesy Gibbs Aquada

­­About 75 percent of th­e Earth's surface is covered by water. A vehicle that could travel on land and water could potentially change current transportation models. For an amphibian to work, it must be able to float, prevent leakage and corrosion, and successfully transition from land to sea and back.

The Aquada has no doors, which helps prevent leaks. The basic structure is an aluminum-bonded space frame. To address the issue of corrosion, Gibbs has tested its materials under extreme conditions. Every component has undergone a 2,000-hour salt-spray test, which is about four times longer than a standard automobile is tested. Jenkins said that the company has gone to extra lengths to ensure safety.

"There's residual buoyancy, so you can't sink the vehicle," says Jenkins. "If you chain it to the bottom of the English Channel for a week and then let it go, it would pop to the surface."