Amphibious Vehicle Demoed at Columbia Island Marina

by ARLnow.com February 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm 8,497 26 Comments

A company showed off the prototype of their new American-made amphibious vehicle at Columbia Island Marina this afternoon.

Michigan-based Gibbs Amphibians held the demonstration in the shadow of the Pentagon in hopes of convincing the military to place orders for their newest land/sea vehicle, dubbed the Phibian.

Company engineers say the Phibian is revolutionary for being able to travel at a high speed on land and on sea. The vehicle can reach up to 80 miles per hour on land, 45 miles per hour on the water, and can enter the water from land at a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour, we’re told. The 30-foot craft has a 7,000 lbs hauling capacity and can transport about a dozen people.

Phibian sports a carbon fiber hull, twin turbo 250 horsepower diesel engines, four wheel drive, and a patented, hydraulic suspension system that retracts the wheels above the water level when at sea (somewhat like landing gear on a plane). It’s the retractable wheels that allow better speed and maneuverability in the water, engineers said.

The Phibian will be produced in Michigan and will create 200 jobs, according to Gibbs. The company hopes to sell the Phibian to the military and to various federal and local government agencies for search and rescue and disaster relief operations.

Gibbs also manufacturers an amphibious sports car, which was on display today at the marina.

  • brendan

    basically a duck that they’ll charge the pentagon 10x more for.

  • JamesE

    I bet it could hit 50 mph on Patrick Henry going over 66.

  • James Bond

    That sports car is weak.

    • DarkHeart

      Are you the person with the red Mini with JMS BND plates?

      • James Bond

        Are you kidding me? A Mini? I took enough grief for the Z3 I had to drive in Goldeneye!

  • Josh S

    They should probably be demoing at the Donaldson Run Civic Association – they’d sell one to every homeowner up there….

    • Frank

      Huh? What so they can use it in the donaldson run pool?

  • charlie

    so something interesting CAN happen in Arlington.

    • bob

      alas, Columbia Island is DC… all islands in the Potomac are DC (or MD)… cursed royal charter!!!

  • DSS10

    Did the Arlington police know about this? Did they get to issue any tickets?

    • JamesE

      I don’t see any stickers on it, someone didn’t pay its property tax.

  • Military Adventurer

    It looks like Michael Dukakis riding in a tank!

  • YTK

    This thing does 80 mph on land and it’ll either airborne and/or flip over backwards. Fasten your seat belts – it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!

    • bemused bystander


    • MJZ

      Its been up to 80 down a dirt road. and never has it lane jumped or even got squirley on the road. Very Stable…

  • DarkHeart

    Two years too late.

  • Michael H.

    Wish I had known about this in advance. I would have shown up to look. The Gibbs Aquada is not that practical (and it’s very pricey) but I’d like to see one in person. It appeals to the James Bond fan in me.

    • Michael H.

      The Aquada is the name of the sports car-speedboat hybrid.

  • Rick

    Can it navigate columbia pike pavement?

    • Garden City

      That’s why it has four wheel drive.

  • CarsSuck

    What a waste. Too many cars already out with 4 wheel drive and the owners either have no use for it, or no idea how to engage it. I guess it’s an easy sell for all the wannabee Navy Seals out there. Whatever it takes to compensate for a lack of something else, if you know what I mean.

  • charlie

    that is risky to show off your Phibian on Columbia Island with all that press there. phew.

  • Frank

    Security Theater is as Security Theater does

  • drax

    Screw the military, I want one for my commute. No more bridge traffic.

  • CrystalMikey

    Sports car looks like a Miata knock-off.

  • The Germans had these in WW2. Are we that far behind?



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