Stan Hewitt is the president of Amphib-Alaska, a small design and manufacturing company in Ketchikan, Alaska. Over the past 30 years, Amphib-Alaska has designed and built numerous amphibious crafts for use in Alaska’s harshest land and sea environments. We have targeted such applications as oil exploration, search and rescue, fish and game, rural airport support, rural fire departments, and emergency coastal response.
As a 60-year resident of Alaska, Stan has flown single and multi-engine land and sea aircraft and helicopters as both a commercial and private pilot and was the owner of an air taxi service. Stan has a pilot’s first-hand knowledge of the hazardous conditions that can be experienced in aircraft accidents or incidents near Alaskan airports.
Recently, Amphib-Alaska was invited to participate with the U.S. Navy in an Industry Day forum to discuss new designs, technologies, and requirements for the Navy’s 5-ton Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo (LARC-V) vessel. These military-grade technologies are integrated into every Amphib-Alaska vessel we design.
Hewitt learned to weld as a young man in the U.S. Air Force. He later worked as a commercial welder, specializing in aluminum welding. Hewitt earned commercial fixed-wing and helicopter pilot licenses and owned a Southeast Alaska air taxi business. He's built and rebuilt aircraft. He's built and rebuilt commercial marine vessels.
Hewitt is as much at home piloting a chopper as welding an aluminum boat hull or rebuilding a jet outdrive. The longtime Alaskan has run a restaurant and an air-taxi service -- but whatever else he's done, the backcountry called.
If necessity is the Mother of invention, versatility is Dad. That makes Stan Hewitt a perfect parent for a new kind of amphibious vehicle.
"My first concept for an amphibious vehicle was meant for duck-hunting in mud flats of the Stikine River," Hewitt says "I also have property that's inaccessible at low tide. And Alaska has so much ice and boggy land. Gets you thinking."
"I love to build and I love to solve problems. When the problem is getting access across an area that's part land and part water, there's one answer. I think this is it."
Click the middle image below to see a video of AmphibAlaska's amphibious vehicles going into the water, cruising, and coming out of the water.
Amphibian's builder has long experience with aircraft, boats and the backcountry. This project started with need for transport in rugged places.
Travels in Louisiana and Florida, where land and water interlace and defy ordinary vehicles, furthered Hewitt's concepts. So he set to work in his Alaska shop. AmphibAlaska was born.
AmphibAlaska unites Stan Hewitt's mechanical virtuosity and his knowledge of the challenges posed by untamed backcountry. His uniquely versatile vehicle -- a successful work in progress -- is designed to conquer any course. Now, we're on to the second stage.
Glenn Hess, Ph.D.
Director, Government Programs