12 June, 2014

Neoteric manufactures ordnance removal hovercraft for Tetra Tech

Sometimes a commercial hovercraft is the only vehicle that can get the job done. And, as Tetra Tech discovered, often a Neoteric HoverTrek is the only hovercraft suitable for the job.

Based in California, Tetra Tech is a global consulting, engineering, construction management and technical services firm with 14,000 employees and 330 offices worldwide. Tetra Tech also provides disaster management and Homeland Security services; it has responded to more than 2,000 chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive events, as well as natural catastrophes such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and tornados. Their clients vary from small local public agencies and private companies to multi-national corporations and national governments.

When Tetra Tech was contracted to conduct a major ordnance removal project in the Caribbean that involves equipment transport and detection over fragile coral reefs, the company’s Senior Geophysicist, Richard Funk and Ordnance Removal Specialist David Bennett came to Neoteric to test the capabilities of our craft and undergo pilot training at Hovercraft Training Centers.

Tetra Tech personnel complete pilot training at Hovercraft Training Centers. From left: HTC Flight Instructor Steve Stafford; Richard Funk; HTC Senior Flight Instructor/Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald; and David Bennett.
After a challenging day of training on the ice-encrusted Wabash River, Funk and Bennett felt even more strongly that the HoverTrek was up to the tasks facing Tetra Tech – especially when they learned that Neoteric would custom-build their craft to be fitted with one-of-a-kind equipment specially developed by Tetra Tech.

As Funk explained, “The hovercraft is for going places you can’t go with conventional craft, places that are too shallow for a boat, places you can’t walk. I develop systems for detecting munitions. We try to push it to the next level so we can go places other people can’t go.”

Tetra Tech’s Neoteric hovercraft has definitely reached the next level, equipped with special systems such as the TEMA – a Tetra Tech in-house developed Time domain ElectroMagnetic induction Array, essentially a large metal detector. Richard Funk describes the unique capabilities of the TEMA: “Unlike a magnetometer, the TEMA is an active sensor that can detect all metals (not just ferro-magnetic ones like a magnetometer). Another advantage of an active electromagnetic sensor is that it is focused and is not adversely affected by nearby metal structures, such as piers, bulkheads, bridges, etc.

He continues, “The first job that the new hovercraft will work on is surveying over coral reefs in the Caribbean in search of military munitions (MEC/UXO – Munitions & Explosives of Concern/Unexploded Ordnance). Tetra Tech developed this system to go where no boat can go, and where sensitive habitat is only inches below the water surface.”

Here, the TEMA prototype is tested by Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald on an HTC Neoteric training hovercraft …


The customizations Neoteric performed on Tetra Tech’s hovercraft included: Mounting points for the TEMA sensor array, mounts for the TEMA electronic modules, mounts for the pilot’s display and for the data collector’s display, three TEMA battery mounts, a table for the data collector, two GPS antenna mounts and a bimini top.

Neoteric President Chris Fitzgerald completes performance testing of the Tetra Tech hovercraft on the Wabash River.
Interior view of the Tetra Tech hovercraft, showing many of its customizations.
Tetra Tech is a company with a strong focus on sustainability. Their stated mission is to “’meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,’ as proposed by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development.” The pairing of the Neoteric hovercraft’s low environmental footprint with the TEMA system is an excellent example of how the perfect vehicle for the job can also be the perfect vehicle for the environment, allowing personnel to work safely and efficiently while protecting coral reefs and sensitive habitat.

The Tetra Tech Caribbean ordnance removal project is just the beginning. We look forward to bringing you more news and photos about the accomplishments of Tetra Tech and their specialized hovercraft. As Richard Funk reports, “We plan on using our hovercraft with many other sensor systems, including bathymetric and laser line scanners.”

Learn more about Tetra Tech at www.tetratech.com

27 May, 2014

Neoteric to star on NatGeo TV’s “None of the Above”

No doubt about it – the Neoteric HoverTrek™ is a media magnet! As just one example, our customer Gary Meyers and his recreational hovercraft (named “Neo”) is giving Bubba Watson and Bubba’s Hover a run for the money when it comes to celebrity status.

The National Geographic TV program None of the Above will feature Gary and Neo on an exciting episode this fall - and what a perfect place for them! On the show, the popular British host Tim Shaw, a child prodigy in science turned stunt-happy engineer, “pairs science, humor and hair-raising stunts to amaze and dumbfound. He challenges the people he meets, and the audience at home, to predict the outcome of a series of ever more spectacular experiments before uncovering the science behind the jaw-dropping outcomes.”
Gary Meyers (left) and Tim Shaw (right) gear up for some stunt hovering in Gary’s Neoteric craft on Lake Las Vegas.

Here's a great video clip of the film shoot on Nevada’s scenic Lake Las Vegas ...

The hovercraft was the main feature of the entire episode," Gary tells Neoteric. "I did a separate interview where I described the HoverTrek’s features and benefits, and I hope that my many positive comments will survive the editing process!”

Tim Shaw rode in the hovercraft with me on several “test flights” where we spun around on Lake Las Vegas and then flew up the beach toward the cameras and other participants,” Gary adds. “On the first take, I was to run perpendicularly up the sloped beach and stop right in front of multiple TV cameras. No problem – perfect landing! (Thanks to Hovercraft Training Centers, Chris Fitzgerald and Neoteric!) We filmed this approach four separate times at my fastest possible speed, and each time I landed almost exactly on the same spot.

If you’ve seen Gary’s unique hovercraft before, you’re probably wondering what happened to its custom designs. NatGeo felt his craft was so striking it might distract viewers! “I was asked to cover the Tek-Wrap logos and images so as to not distract viewers, so Neo was all white,” Gary explains.

Enjoy a few more photos of the film shoot while you wait for Gary and Neo to show you some jaw-dropping hovering this fall on NatGeo’s None of the Above. Then leave a comment below to tell us what you think and if you plan to watch the show!

See how you can join the hovercraft hall of fame:
Enjoy a Test Flight or Flight Training Course on a Neoteric hovercraft!

16 May, 2014

The Peak magazine features Neoteric HoverGolf™ Cart

The Peak is one of the most popular and highest-circulating magazines in Asia, and is recognized for “defining the finer things in life for people who are on top of their game.”

So it’s only fitting that the May 2014 issue of The Peak features the Neoteric Hovercraft HoverGolf™ Cart as “one of the most important things you need to take to the golf course”!
Read what The Peak has to say …

Take the Direct Route
Who needs a golf cart when there are hovercraft easily available? Bubba Watson, winner of the 2012 Masters, teamed up with Oakley and viral video marketing agency Thinkmodo to create the world’s first hovercraft golf cart. With the ability to glide across water hazards and bunkers without harming the immaculately mowed course, the HoverGolf Cart will be sure to leave your fellow golf partners speechless – before they politely ask for a ride to their next hole!

Tiger Woods is on the cover of this month's issue of The Peak. So what do you think? Should Tiger have a HoverGolf™ Cart like Bubba?

02 May, 2014

VIDEO: Neoteric featured on Indiana Outdoor Adventures

Here’s your chance to view one of the most informative hovercraft videos you’ll ever see – and to get a glimpse of the expertise behind Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc. and Hovercraft Training Centers, LLC.

Indiana Outdoor Adventures, a TV program broadcast to more than 44 million households across the U.S., has aired an episode devoted to Neoteric Hovercraft. In it, you’ll see Neoteric hovercraft in action, watch them being built, and hear Neoteric founder and president Chris Fitzgerald, one of the world's foremost authorities on hovercraft,  discuss everything about hovercraft … how they came about, how they work, their capabilities, why they’re so safe, the background story of Bubba’s Hover … and lots more.

According to Indiana Outdoor Adventures, the response to the show has been extremely positive, exemplified by the following email from one viewer:

“Amazing! Mr. Fitzgerald seems like a really interesting man. I could listen to him talk all day. I think fire and rescue departments would really like to have these, especially in areas where ice fishing is popular. Thanks for producing another great show!”

We think your response will be the same! Watch now …

Our thanks go out to Steve Stafford of Project H.E.R.O. and Hovercraft Training Centers, as well as to the Perry Clear Creek Fire Department for their invaluable assistance in organizing and performing in the filming of this episode. Perry Clear Creek first responders and their Neoteric rescue hovercraft conducted the ice rescue demonstration in the program.