America's State Parks Virginia State Park Ambassadors
Smith Mountain Lake State Park Osprey Cam



Follow Us On:

Follow Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter Follow Us On YouTube Virginia State Parks
Virginia Department Of Conservation And Recreation

Download The Virginia State Parks Mobile App


Virginia State Parks

Amphibious vehicle testing at Leesylvania

Leesylvania State Park is a popular place for military and law enforcement agencies to visit for more reasons than you’d expect.

Besides our location, being sandwiched between two major military bases, Quantico and Fort Belvoir and the Prince William County Police station just down the road, the park is often the perfect venue for training and testing out new technologies. Meaning, they test out cool toys and we get to help!


Park Manager, Karen Lambey, speaks with Gibbs Technology contractors on safety.

Before launching a new prototype to Naval Engineers at a conference in Arlington, Gibbs Technology needed to demonstrate the operation of two of their latest amphibious models. First thing Monday morning, the government contractors called the nearest marine safety and rescue boat looking for a conducive facility with water access to the Potomac River. Leesylvania was the number one choice.   

Two amphibious vehicles were tested in the park’s marina, with the assistance of trained law enforcement rangers and a rescue boat. The contractors said they had been working on the two models for over a decade and were excited to do a press release the next day. “Natural disasters...such as the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan, Thialand, Sri Lanka and elsewhere in Asia; as well as the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, illustrate the need for amphibians as capable, versatile and efficient as Phibian,” Gibbs Chairman Neil Jenkins said.

 Contractors unvieling one of two Amphibious prototypes.

 Contractors unveiling one of two Amphibious prototypes.

 The plates actually said "007" by coincidence. It does look very James Bond.

 The plates actually said "007" by coincidence. It does look very James Bond.

Park Rangers, Karen Lambey, Sarah Percival and I, volunteered to assist contractors while navigating the vehicles through park waters. The Aquada (smaller vehicle) reaches speeds of up to 35 mph in water and 120 mph on land. The Phibian reaches 80 mph on land and 30 mph in the water. Both vehicles transition into water within seconds with the push a button.  It was almost as if you were watching either a tank or sports car drive directly into the water and seamlessly, just take off! The Phibian eliminates the need for separate boats, tow vehicles, and can seat 15 passengers in the cargo area. It's 30 feet long, weighs 4500 pounds (about the same as an SUV) and is powered by twin 250 hp turbo diesel engines.

Chief Ranger, Sarah Percival, assists with the Aquada test drive.

Chief Ranger, Sarah Percival, assists with the Aquada test drive.

 The "Phibian" enters the water for an official test drive.

 The "Phibian" enters the water for an official test drive.

View from cargo area on the Phibian.

View from cargo area on the Phibian.

Just south of Leesylvania, down the Potomac River, is Quantico Marine Corps base.

Just south of Leesylvania, down the Potomac River, is Quantico Marine Corps base.

Demonstration rides have been given on the Phibian to the media, dignitaries including the New Zealand ambassador to the U.S., attorneys...and now, Leesylvania State Park staff.

Read the Gibbs Technology Press Release for more images and details. 

Leesylvania is located in Woodbridge, just along the shore of the Potomac River. For directions to the park or for more information about park offerings click here.

Published: 02/19/2012

No comments have been submitted for this article yet.


Want to comment on this article? Sign in or register to become part of our online community.






Home Join an Online Outoor Community Get Outside Learn Explore Podcasts & Media Outdoor Destinations Outdoor Activities Home