03 March 2010

Kiwi Hoverwing Invention Takes You Higher

Al Fin has discussed the need to add ground-effect capability to hovercraft. Now a clever New Zealand inventor has done just that!
New Zealand mechanic Rudy Heeman spent more than 11 years of his spare time (and tens of thousands of dollars) building the hoverwing, a wing-in-ground-effect vehicle that flies on a cushion of pressurized air created between the wing and the water's surface. Hoverwing can reach an optimum height is 1.5m (4-5ft) above the water and has a current top speed of 98kmh (61mph).

Heeman told the The Nelson Mail that the "hoverwing", which is almost complete, has drawn local residents from their houses and cars to watch test flights over the Haven in the town of Nelson, at the northern tip of New Zealand’s south island.

Heeman is no stranger to hovercraft – he’s built and sold them for some time. But the hoverwing is his most ambitious project. So ambitious that an early test flight just prior to Christmas last year resulted in a crash landing. But it wasn't enough to deter him from completing the project.

The hoverwing is powered by a modified Subaru car engine while the body comprises most fibreglass. _Gizmag_via_TheNelsonMail

A hovercraft can cross land, water, sand, mud, ice, etc. but it cannot fly over obstacles above a certain size. Adding a "ground-effect" capacity to the vehicle allows it to travel over walls, ditches, larger waves, and other surface disruptions that could stop a mere hovercraft.
"This machine is fast and furious, it roars like a lion, and is not for the faint hearted. It is adrenalin pumping and exciting."

With a 1.8-litre engine and a range of more than 225 kilometres, the hovercraft cruised at 90kmh when flying, and had a smooth ride above the waves, he said.

"The fuel economy is far better than a boat of the same size and speed."_TheNelsonMail

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Blogger neil craig said...

Cool & a genuine step change.

As we speak some bureaucrat is deciding whether it need a driving licence or a pilot's licence .. or both.

Thursday, 04 March, 2010  
Blogger al fin said...

True. This is the day of the bureaucrat. He had best enjoy his triumph while it lasts.

Saturday, 06 March, 2010  

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